Amazing photos of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake then and now (23 HQ Photos)

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After reading San Francisco is Burning by Dennis Smith, photographer Shawn Clover sifted through countless photographs of the destruction from the great 1906 earthquake of San Francisco. Clover had the idea of lining up the photographs precisely to show the destruction of 1906 that destroyed 90% of the city with the present day. The resulting photographs are astounding.

Check out more of Shawn Clover's work here.

Check out more of Shawn Clover’s work here.

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  • elliott

    Mother nature gets the last at bat

  • Ahrash

    These are amazing.

  • Derpin

    Amazing stuff.

  • dave

    did someone dose my lunch?

  • james

    Crazy.. S.F. kicks ass!

    • leroy

      don't you mean dicks ass?

      • mick0311


  • temujin1234
  • Unfkngblvbl

    That is amazing. The difficulty with lining everything up perfectly, especially using a tilt-shift lens or a large 4×5 format camera, in order to correct converging lines, makes this absolutely incredible. Way to go!

    • Boomer Sooner


  • Woody

    West coast is due for a big quake…i can feel it in my bones (boner).

  • Gun_guy

    Thanks for my new background!

  • Ned_Z

    Wow that is seriously mind blowing.

  • jefftavolieri

    Unrelated, I refuse to click another one of Bob's posts until he changes his god damned avatar to something that doesn't make me want to kick him in the throat.

  • ESAD

    Still looks like that ….. Damn hippies and homos

    • spaceace

      So much anger! You should chill out, smoke a joint, maybe have some butt sex. You'll feel better.

      • ESAD

        Hmmmm….. Maybe ……. Yes ……. Maybe indeed

  • @lackofabetter

    Awesome Pictures, Would love to see them side by side

  • negative nancy

    #14 love the ghostly figures.

    • The Woim

      And the bonus chick with the flbp.

  • Rachel :)


  • freddy boy

    #15 It was not the Army's brightest moment. Blowing up buildings to stop the burning; now there's some logic. Nice post, Chive.

    • Euroranger

      How, pray tell, do you figure they'd put out the fires so they didn't spread to the rest of the block or buildings further down the street? Earthquake destroyed the buried water lines and broke most of the gas lines. Can't fight fires without water and they had none. Leave the buildings to burn and let the cinders and ashes carry to the next building and so on?

      It was 1906. They needed to set a firebreak somehow to provide shelter for all the folks who were homeless. If you let 20 more buildings burn because you didn't demolish a few, how smart would that be?

    • Ryan

      Yeah, blowing up flammable materials to prevent potentially worse damage is terrible. What an antiquated and illogical practice…oh wait, this is what modern Explosive Ordinance Disposal teams do every day to IED's in Iraq in Afghanistan. Nice try Freddy.

  • 6_Crack_rocks

    #6 ghosts… If the women in the pic ever sees this she is always going to be looking behind her thinking there are ghosts following her.

  • NorCal420

    Those are some of the most breathtaking photos of the city i have ever seen. <3 SF. So happy to live here. Mad props to the person who made this!

  • echogeo

    And this, one of the very first "motion pictures" shot just 3 days before the earthquake. Check it out. You see the same kids darting in and out of the way of traffic.
    Very cool!

  • Ben

    posted on reddit 2 days ago.

  • Djz

    absolutely amazing work!

  • Lutzboater

    #15—are there palm trees in S.F.?

    • Chowder


    • Bunny on nite shift

      On the Embarcadero, across from the Ferry Building.

  • Kodos

    And just think… it's all going to happen again someday!

    I can't wait!

  • SkinnyFatman

    Thank you. I live in Christchurch NZ and we had several massive earthquakes 2 years ago (we have just had the 2nd anniversery of the 1st one) and seeing this and having just been to San Fran does give me hope. At the moment our CDB doesn't exist, not everyone has flushing toilets still, everything is covered in dust, and the roads are smashed. But we KCCO (altho at the time I didn't know of this site).

    • Tara

      I remember reading all the articles about how everybody was helping each other out. It was really inspirational and of course makes me ashamed of where I live. Where people use natural disasters to rape and pillage. Love NZ!

  • Canadastani

    I'm pretty sure #4 is shopped.

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