Color photos showing the aftermath of San Francisco’s huge 1906 earthquake & fire

Here are 18 stereoscopic photos taken in San Francisco immediately after the great quake of 1906. vThese photographs were apparently hand-colored at the time they were first printed.

Want to know more about the disaster? See the first news coverage of the earthquake here.


Down California St, from Fairmount Hotel, the fire-swept district of San Francisco

Down California St, from Fairmount Hotel, the Fire Swept District of San Francisco


1906 earthquake and fire wreck of the Magnificent Huntington and Flood Palaces and Fairmont Hotel

Earthquake and fire wreck of the Magnificent Huntington and Flood Palaces and Fairmont Hotel


Effect of earthquake on Market Street Pavement. Ferry Bldg. Tower in distance, San Francisco

Effect of Earthquake on Market Street Pavement. Ferry Bldg. Tower in distance, San Francisco


Gathering a few home relics at the ruins of the Wenban Palace, Van Ness Ave., San Francisco

Gathering a few Home Relics at the Ruins of the Wenban Palace, Van Ness Ave., San Francisco


A glimpse of the Fire Devastated Heart of San Francisco from the Huntington Palace on California Street

Glimpse of the Fire Devastated Heart of San Francisco from the Huntington Palace on California Street


San Francisco’s magnificent City Hall and Hall of Records, destroyed by fire and earthquake

San Francisco's Magnificent City Hall and Hall of Records, Destroyed by Fire and Earthquake


San Francisco’s Six-Million-Dollar City Hall, containing the Municipal Records wrecked by the earthquake

San Francisco's Six-Million-Dollar City Hall, containing the Municipal Records wrecked by Earthquake


Showing devastation by earthquake and fire in the building containing the municipal records

Showing Devastation by Earthquake an Fire, Building containing the Municipal Records


The destruction of San Francisco, April 18, 1906, showing Market Street and Ferry Building Tower

The Destruction of San Francisco, April 18, 1906, Showing Market Street and Ferry Bldg. Tower


The New Masonic Temple on Sutter Street badly wrecked by the San Francisco earthquake

The New Masonic Temple on Sutter Street badly wrecked by the San Francisco Earthquake


The ruins of streets and homes, of wrecked district at Van Ness and Vallejo Streets

The Ruins of Streets and homes, of wrecked district at Van Ness and Vallejo Sts., San Francisco


The Union Ferry Station showing earthquake and fire devastated waterfront section

The Union Ferry Station showing Earthquake and Fire Devastated water front section of San Francisco


The utter desolation of San Francisco from the waterfront, Fairmount Hotel on Nob Hill in distance

The utter Desolation of San Francisco from the Water Front, Fairmount Hotel on Nob Hill in distance


The wreck of the beautiful St. Luke’s Church on Van Ness Ave., devastated by earthquake and fire

The wreck of the Beautiful St. Luke's Church on Van Ness Ave., devastated by Earthqake and Fire


Wrecking dangerous walls in the shaken and burned district of San Francisco – April 18, 1906

Wrecking Dangeous Walls in the Shaken and Burned District of San Francisco. April 18, 1906


A makeshift camp on the border of desolation in the fire scourged district of San Francisco

A Make-Shift Camp on the Border of Desolation in the Fire scourged District of San Francisco


A row of earthquake-wrecked cottages on Steiner and Bush Streets

A Row of Earthquake wrecked Cottages on Steiner and Bush Streets, San Francisco


Bringing order out of chaos of San Francisco’s ruins – Opening up impassable streets

Bringing order out of Chaos of San Francisco's Ruins. Opening up Impassable Streets


Images courtesy Online Archive of California and The New York Public Library. Part of the Robert N Dennis collection of stereoscopic views — Stereoscopic color halftone views of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake