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1853 SF – My God It’s Full of Ships

May 15, 2014
tags: ,

Continuing in this week’s pandoramamonium, here is the harbor San Francisco in 1853.

1853 Rincon Point panorama

Click to lengthen. h/t to @SF_historian and @dnomadB.

“Hey. I’m gonna leave this ship right here kthxbai.”

1853 sf ships

 

The abandoned ships of course proves my theory that San Francisco has always been full of assholes.

Modern day analogy:

But man do I wish people in the 1850s would make my life a little easier today:

I’m looking at you, William Shew!

Anyway, those posts and rails are marking out water lots. The photos were taken in 1853 from Rincon Point, near what is now Harrison & Spear, over a bay that was pretty much filled in by 1859.

20140515-165553.jpg

Field of view, via the 1853 Coast Survey map.

1853 pano field of view

@SF_historian play-by-play:

1906 San Francisco is Smoldering

May 14, 2014
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via British Pathé:

I created a few panoramas out of the pans in the film.

One of the three fire engines destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.

1906 SF pathe fire engine

@shamponian and the NYPL Labs pointed out this photo — is it the same one?

1906 sf fire engine crushed

180 degree slow pan which I stitched into a panorama. Residential area, street on a slope, with a cross street that looks more commercial. Where is this? Fillmore? Divisadero? The 1905 Sanborns will help. Haven’t found anything that’s a good fit yet though.

 

1906 SF quake Pathe intersection

Bingo! Matt comes through with Golden Gate and Steiner!

The homes you see at the start of the pan:

2012 golden gate and steiner homes

Note the three collapsed eaves of the streetcar barn d0wn Steiner.

 

1906 Golden Gate and Steiner

Google Maporama:

2012 golden gate and steiner

Another pan. Definitely a business district.

 

 

1906 SF quake Pathe intersection zoom

A 360 degree pan. South of Market?

1906 SF pathe pan downtown

ISS over California

May 12, 2014

You probably already know about the new HD cameras on the ISS. You can watch it over on ustream.

My ISS Above (yay Kickstarter!) blinks wildly when the ISS is passing overhead. I then run wildly to my phone, load uStream and start taking screenshots to GIF together.

2014.05.12 ISS over California

California is pretty big.

UPDATE: here’s a recording via uStream.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/47489953/highlight/502860

Here’s a still of the Bay Area.

20140512-161754.jpg

Zoom and enhance:

20140512-161754

Imagine showing this to Cabrillo or Drake. They’d be swearing like sai… well, swearing a lot.

Hopefully we can grab the straight down view on some SF pass soon…

This is a step up from the non HD version of the ISS pass I GIFd a few years back:

Still cool though.

Know Your Karl The Fog Colors

May 9, 2014
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Real San Franciscans know that @karlthefog actually comes in a wide variety of exciting colors. I use an iPhone app called Color Identifier to detect exactly what mood Karl is in any particular day.

karlthefog colors 1 karlthefog colors 2

Apparently I am not the first person to think of this (via Gilly Youner):

I stumbled onto this 18th century instrument designed to measure the blueness of the sky called a Cyanometer. The simple device was invented in 1789 by Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt who used the circular array of 53 shaded sections in experiments above the skies over Geneva, Chamonix and Mont Blanc. The Cyanometer helped lead to a successful conclusion that the blueness of the sky is a measure of transparency caused by the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.

I have helpfully labeled this 225 year old chart to reflect San Franciscan values:

karl the fog color chart half

On a serious note, this article on a blind man using the VoiceOver feature of the Color ID app is pretty amazing.

The next day, I went outside. I looked at the sky. I heard colors such as “Horizon,” “Outer Space,” and many shades of blue and gray. I used color cues to find my pumpkin plants, by looking for the green among the brown and stone. I spent ten minutes looking at my pumpkin plants, with their leaves of green and lemon-ginger. I then roamed my yard, and saw a blue flower. I then found the brown shed, and returned to the gray house. My mind felt blown. I watched the sun set, listening to the colors change as the sky darkened. The next night, I had a conversation with Mom about how the sky looked bluer tonight. Since I can see some light and color, I think hearing the color names can help nudge my perception, and enhance my visual experience. Amazing!

SFMTA Time Machine

May 5, 2014

Last week the esteemed David Gallagher kindly pointed me to a photo of a streetcar from the SFMTA photo archives.

The photo wasn’t embedded and I initially thought “Hey thanks David but I’m sure I’ve seen this one before.”

I had not seen this one before.

Mrs. Zaro Case Streetcar 1002

Or any of the photos in the archive save one or two. Warning to San Franciscans: clear the rest of today’s schedule before opening this and any other link to the SFMTA Time Machine.

Anyway, the photo above is looking at where Cole Hardware is today. Here’s the 1905 Sanborn map of that side of the street:

1905 Sanborn 3316 Misssion

The streetcar was turning into the car house across the street. Here is a photo showing the car bar from 1910, looking north on Mission towards 29th — within 6 years, the entire west (left) side of Mission had been rebuilt, including the building that the 3300 Club is in now. (If I remember correctly, the dome was removed during WWI.)

24th Street and Mission Street

Lots of the photos are nicely tagged, but some are not, or hold surprises. For example, this 1905 photo is just labelled with the “22nd 24th & Mission Street line” but for those living in the greater La Lengua Co-Prosperity Sphere will realize it is a shot of Bernal Hill taken from Valencia and Mission streets, looking to the east up Fair.

Foster Case Streetcar 1074

The lower white fence that you can see through the streetcar windows is Peters, and the one above it is (well, will be) Coleridge. Here’s the 1905 Sanborn for reference.

1905 sanborn fair st

The two houses on the right edge of the photo match up with 61 and 65 Coleridge:

1905 Coleridge sfmta photo

Also, that platform in the top right corner of the photo is clearly visible on the Sanborn map.

Here’s a dramatic SFMTA shot of Mission and 29th in 1909, looking down from above what will be the 3300 Club towards what will be Pizzahacker (so sorry verb tenses):

29th Street and Mission Street, Claims Department Case 5800

This is the same curve where our 1907 runaway streetcar jumped the tracks and crashed into future Pizzahacker after it was set loose by union sympathizers who shot the conductor. Zooming in, you can see the signs for Bernstein’s Mission Toggery and Warrens’s candy and ice cream store.

Also, a dog.

1909 sfmta mission toggery bernstein warren candy 3299 mission

Same corner in 1904 during some track work.

Curve 29th Street and Mission Streets

There used to be a kindergarten at 3303 Mission next to proto-Pizzahacker — it closed sometime between 1900 and 1905, so not sure if those kids are escaping from it or not. Can’t quite tell if the real estate/insurance sign was painted over or not.

1904 SFMTA Mission and 29th

Red is where Pizzahacker will be, kindergarten is 3301-3303 Mission:

1900 - 3299 Mission

1900 – 3299 Mission

 

 

1905:

1905 sanborn 3299 mission

Here’s looking up 29th from San Jose Ave towards Mission St in 1904:

Old Crossing 29th Street and San Jose Avenue

And a look north down Mission at the northwest corner of 29th in 1909:

29th Street and Mission Street, Claims Department Case 3058 1/2

And the 1905 Sanborn:

1905 Sanborn nw corner 29th & mission

The dentist (with a saloon on the ground floor) is long gone — that building is where 199 Tiffany now stands, and that particular spot is where Goood Frickin’ Chicken now serves delicious shwarma. But to the right is the building the home of Al’s Diner, and next to that, the new home of Ichi Sushi.

29th Street and Mission Street, Claims Department Case 3058 1/2

Stopping now before this posts turns into a doctoral thesis, but fret not as we will dig up more soon on other corners and streets in this ridiculously fabulous SFMTA historical photo archive.

 

Judgemental Map of San Francisco, 1860s edition

April 25, 2014
tags: ,

I’m sure you’ve all seen the Judgemental Maps of San Francisco by now.

SF judgemental map

It’s OK, though not particularly original and a little trite. TK made a ur-version that covers most of it:

(Hey TK, how about Pitchfork-style reviews of maps of San Francisco?)

Anyway, here’s my attempt, but it’s based of the 1861 Langley map of San Francisco (click to zoom).

1861 SF judgemental map yellow text

Zoom and enhance:

1861 SF judgemental map yellow text crop

Thanks to @mizmay, @DnomadB and @bradvertising for helping judge the 1860s.

At some point other that now, I will go through and link to all these references.

Please phrase all comments as if you were posting from the 1860s.

Cistern GIF

April 24, 2014

The cistern bricks on Guerrero and Cumberland (by 19th) really pop with the new pavement.

IMG_8175

Panorama from the median (click to embiggen):

20140424-132753.jpg

And here’s a brick GIF.

sf cistern

And remember, they are much bigger that you’d expect:

inside SFFD water cistern

 

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