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HomeContentsThemes > Earthquakes


571.01   Earthquakes
571.02   Earthquake: San Francisco (1868)
571.03   USA, California, San Francisco earthquake and fire - 1906
571.04   USA, California, San Francisco earthquake and fire - 1906 - The photographers
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated. 
Status: Collect > Document > Analyse > Improve
571.01   Documentary >  Earthquakes 
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Slideshow (Be patient as this has 26 slides to load.) 
1976 Tangshan earthquake in China was a magnitude 8 event whose toll of lives varies between the official 255,000, and an estimated 655,000. This event truly began the modern era of intense seismic hazard monitoring in China and the West.
An earthquake was responsible for the deadliest landslide this century, which caused 40,000-50,000 deaths in western Iran on June 20, 1990. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake at Mount Huascaran, Peru, on May 21, 1970, triggered a rock and snow avalanche that buried the towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca, killing perhaps as many as 20,000 people. 
571.02   Documentary >  Earthquake: San Francisco (1868) 
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571.03   Documentary >  USA, California, San Francisco earthquake and fire - 1906 
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The San Francisco earthquake struck on April 18, 1906, at 5:12 a.m. and it had the disadvantage of affecting a major population center - but the advantage for photographer that so many photographers were available to record the devastation of the earthquake and the fire that followed. The earthquake was a massive 8.25 on the Richter scale and had a duration of only 49 seconds. The fire that followed did far greater damage destroying about 28,000 buildings. In this catastrophe 315 people were killed outright with a 352 missing. 6 people were shot for criminal offences during the tragedy and one more was shot by mistake. The whole event left 225,000 homeless.
Photographers lost their homes, Carleton E. Watkins lost his studio and negatives.[1] In one photograph we can see Carleton E. Watkins, the great photographer of California, with his cane being helped along a rubble strewn street with smoke rising behind him.[2] 
571.04   Documentary >  USA, California, San Francisco earthquake and fire - 1906 - The photographers 
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The photographers who covered the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 included:
  • Arnold Genthe who included a description of the fire in his autobiography As I Remember, (1936).[3]
  • Edward A. "Doc" Rogers who photographed for the San Francisco Morning Call
  • George Parmentier and Harry Coleman with the San Francisco Examiner
  • George Haley for the San Francisco Chronicle
  • George R, Lawrence took aerial panoramas of the devastation taken from 2000 ft above the city.
The buildings of the key newspapers were all destroyed in the fire but the photographers and journalists used the presses of the Oakland Tribune to create a four-page combined issue. 

  1. Λ Peter E. Palmquist, 1983, Carleton E. Watkins: photographer of the American West, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press) 
  2. Λ A copy of this photograph is in the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. 
  3. Λ Arnold Genthe, 1936, As I Remember (Reynal & Hitchcock)


HomeContents > Further research

Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
Ogawa Kazumasa 
Milne, John, Burton, W.K. & Ogawa Kazumasa, 1892(ca), The Great Earthquake of Japan, 1891, (Yokohama: Lane, Crawford & Co) [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

Alphonse Bernoud  (1820-1889) • Arnold Genthe  (1869-1942) • C.C. Jones • George R. Lawrence  (1868-1938) • W.C. Mendenhall • Ogawa Kazumasa • Arthur Clarence Pillsbury  (1870-1946) •  Elizabeth Simmons • Carleton E. Watkins  (1829-1916)
HomeThemesDocumentaryCatastrophes > Earthquakes 
A wider gaze

HomeVisual indexes > Earthquakes

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailArnold Genthe: San Francisco: Earthquake and fire (1906) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailCarleton E. Watkins: #985 Effects of the Earthquake, Oct. 21, 1868, Market and First Streets 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailOgawa Kazumasa: The Great Earthquake of Japan, 1891 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailDocumentary: Earthquakes 
ThumbnailDocumentary: Earthquakes: San Francisco earthquake (1868) 
ThumbnailDocumentary: Earthquakes: San Francisco earthquake and fire (1906) 
ThumbnailDocumentary: Earthquakes: San Francisco, Howard St. 
Refreshed: 17 January 2015, 22:09
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