Archive of five original photographs of Portola Week and the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, circa 1909-1915

[Photography] [Americana] [San Francisco]

San Francisco: N.p., Circa 1909-1915. Archive of five vintage oversize photographs of San Francisco, circa 1909-1915, relating variously to Portola Week, the U.S.S. South Dakota battleship, the Panama-Pacific Exposition, and the opening of the Panama Canal. Manuscript captions on the rectos of each.

Portola Week was a five-day festival that originated in 1909, in honor of Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola's expedition to the San Francisco Bay in 1769. The festival featured parades, fireworks, and lighted floats, led by a man dressed as Portola, accompanied by dragoons, that processed from the Golden Gate to Pier 2. The festival took place a second time in 1913, and then not until 1948, when it was revived by a local civic club. The collection on offer here includes a photograph captioned "the king and queen of our last celebration," ostensibly taken during the first Portola Week in 1909.

The Panama-Pacific Exposition was a world's fair held in San Francisco from February 20 to December 4, 1915. The fair boasted lavish architecture, and exhibits included a steam locomotive and the Liberty Bell. The 1915 American Grand Prize and Vanderbilt Cup automobile races were held during the fair, on a circuit set up around the exposition grounds. Although ostensibly held in celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal, the implicit purpose of the fair was to show the country the city's recovery from the devastation of the 1906 earthquake. Notable among the collection is a photograph of the opening day of the exposition, showing Mayor James Rolph's daughter raising the American flag at Union Square, as well as a photograph of a nighttime crowd at Union Square.

The collection also includes a photograph of the U.S.S. South Dakota battleship as she heads to Mexico during the Mexican Revolution, circa 1914, as well as a photograph of damage to the Berkeley ferryboat as a result of a collision during a heavy fog, circa 1909.

A varied collection of photographs of San Francisco during a vibrant and significant period.

Photographs 10 x 7.5 inches, mounted on cardboard measuring 11 x 9 inches. Generally Very Good plus, with light wear, age-toning, and creasing.

[Book #156241]