Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, USA


Fairmont Hotel, on Nob Hill, San Francisco, Cal.
c.1920
Publisher: Pacific Novelty Co., San Francisco
Prnter: A.F. Broad, 48 3rd Street, San Francisco

The Fairmont San Francisco is an AAA Four-Diamond luxury hotel at 950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill in San Francisco, California. The hotel was named after mining magnate and U.S. Senator James Graham Fair (1831–94), by his daughters, Theresa Fair Oelrichs and Virginia Fair Vanderbilt, who built the hotel in his honor. . . . The hotel was nearly completed before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Although the structure survived, the interior was heavily damaged by fire, and opening was delayed until 1907. Architect and engineer Julia Morgan was hired to repair the building because of her then innovative use of reinforced concrete, which could produce buildings capable of withstanding earthquakes and other disasters.
Wikipedia.

Fairmont San Francisco is the city’s grande dame, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece where notable events happen — and have ever since it opened its venerable doors in 1907. The fabled history permeates the walls — you feel it as soon as you step into the sumptuous lobby. The hotel has hosted world leaders, diplomats, entertainment stars, cultural icons, and also staged star-studded galas and internationally impactful events. Fairmont San Francisco earned the moniker “White House of the West” for having welcomed every U.S. President visiting the city since the hotel’s inception. This flagship has also witnessed numerous historic firsts. A pioneer in the industry, Fairmont San Francisco introduced America to hotel concierge services, and was the first hotel in the city to house honey beehives on its rooftop garden to raise awareness of the world’s collapsing bee colony population.
Fairmont San Francisco


Ball Room, Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, Cal.
c.1910
Publisher: Newman Post Card Co., Los Angeles

Google Street View.

Fairmont floor plan

The Gold Room boasts some of the Hotel’s finest molding and detailing; it is truly a grand space. Elegant trim and gilded mirrors lines the walls and reflect some classic San Francisco views from the tall windows overlooking the Bay. The chandeliers add emphasis to the high ceilings without obscuring site line for presentations.
Fairmont San Francisco room information brochures

Mission San Francisco de Asis, San Francisco, USA


Mission Dolores, Founded 1776, San Francisco, Cal.
On the back:
SAN FRANCISCO DE ASIS (Dolores)
San Francisco de Asis (Dolores), the sixth Mission established was founded October 8, 1776. This Mission gave the name to the metropolis of California and was named in honour of the patron of the Fanciscan Fathers. The old adobe, tile roofed, structure is still in a fine state of preservation, andwhile less architecturally pretentions, is a most interesting link between the present and the past. At its side in the old cemtery rests the body of Luis Antonio Argüello, the first Mexican governor of California, and within the walls of the church is buried José Francisco Ortega, the discovered of the Golden Gate.

1910s
Publisher: Pacific Novelty Co, San Francisco.

Google Street View.

The Misión San Francisco de Asís was founded October 9, 1776. The settlement was named for St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order, but was also commonly known as “Mission Dolores” owing to the presence of a nearby creek named Arroyo de los Dolores, or “Creek of Sorrows.” Mission Dolores is the oldest intact building in the City of San Francisco and the only intact Mission Chapel in the chain of 21 established under the direction of Father Serra. The Mission has been a steadfast witness to the span of San Francisco’s history including the California Gold Rush and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The Mission Cemetery is the only cemetery that remains within the City limits. The Cemetery is the final resting place for numerous Ohlone, Miwok, and other First Californians as well as notable California pioneers.
Mission Dolores Parish

The present Mission church, near what is now the intersection of Dolores and 16th Streets, was dedicated in 1791. At the time of dedication, a mural painted by native labor adorned the focal wall of the chapel. The Mission was constructed of adobe and was part of a complex of buildings used for housing, agricultural, and manufacturing enterprises (see architecture of the California missions). Though most of the Mission complex, including the quadrangle and Convento, has either been altered or demolished outright during the intervening years, the façade of the Mission chapel has remained relatively unchanged since its construction in 1782–1791.
Wikipedia.

Chinese Telephone Excahgne, San Francisco, USA


Interior Chinese Telephone Excahgne, Chinatown, San Francisco, Calif.
On the back:
CHINATOWN’S TELEPHNE EXCHANGE BUILDING
San Franciscos’s quaint Chinatown Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co. building was erected in 1909 to conform with Chinese architectural traditions. It hours what is believe to be the only Chinese Telephone exchange outside of China itself.
1940s
Publisher: Stanley A. Plitz Company, San Francisco (1930s-1950s)

Google Street View.

In 1891, the first public telephone pay station was installed in Chinatown. In 1894, a small switchboard was set up to serve subscribers to the telephone system. Since people were often asked for by name rather than by number, telephone operators memorized and knew each subscriber by name. This made telephone numbers unnecessary. The Chinatown community felt it was rude to refer to people by numbers. Operators also knew the address and occupations of subscribers so they could distinguish between two people with the same name. In addition, they had to speak five Chinese dialects and English.

Although the offices of the exchange were destroyed by the 1906 earthquake, they were rebuilt afterwards, and remained in operation until 1949. The exchange was closed in 1949, when technology changed from switchboard-operator system to rotary-dial telephones. The Bank of Canton bought and restored the building in 1960.
Chinatown, San Franciso

One of the most Interesting features of the rebuilding of San Francisco’s famed Chinatown is the new telephone exchange building to handle’ tho largo -number of calls from that quarter. Tho building is designed on Oriental lines, and when completed will be ornamented with dragons and other symbolical Chinese characters. The Chinese are great users of the telephone. and their language is cumbersome, and they would rather talk over the phone than write letters. The. operators will be Chinese boys, Chinese girls being at a premium.
[Sydney] Sunday Times, 26 September 1909

The telephone exchange in Chinatown, San Francisco, is unique, being strikingly Oriental in both its exterior and interior details, and operated wholly by Chinese. The building has three pagodas, giving it the appearance of the hone of Chinaman of rank, and aside from the sign above the door and the telephone apparatus within, is entirely Chinese. The manager of the exchange is an American-born Chinaman and the switchboard operators are chine boys and girls. The exchanges now take care of 800 subscribers’ lines. The Chinese part of the San Francisco telephone directory is arranged by names of streets, instead of by numbers, and a caller gives the name of the firm or individual he wishes to reach.
[Sydney] Globe, 11 January 1913

Just around the corner from Grant at Washington was the venerable Chinese Telephone Exchange at 743 Washington (map). It opened in 1901 at which time, pre dialling, the operators had to know all of the Chinatown customers by name and address because it was considered rude to refer to a person by number. Each operator also had to speak the many dialects of Chinese spoken by the residents. It was no surprise perhaps that the original male operators were soon replaced by women, on account of their “good temper”.
Reel SF (has more pictures)

Oil Wells, Summerland, California


Oil wells in the sea, Summerland, near Satan Barbara, Calif
Postmarked 1924
Publisher: Western Publishing & Novelty Co., Los Angeles.

General location.

The Summerland Oil Field (and Summerland Offshore Oil Field) is an inactive oil field in Santa Barbara County, California, about four miles (6 km) east of the city of Santa Barbara, within and next to the unincorporated community of Summerland. First developed in the 1890s, and richly productive in the early 20th century, the Summerland Oil Field was the location of the world’s first offshore oil wells, drilled from piers in 1896. This field, which was the first significant field to be developed in Santa Barbara County, produced 3.18 million of barrels of oil during its 50-year lifespan, finally being abandoned in 1939-40.
Wikipedia

In California, Henry Williams by 1897 had successfully pursued the giant Summerland oilfield to the scenic cliff side beaches of Santa Barbara. With reports of “tar balls” on the beaches from natural offshore oil seeps, Williams recognized that the highly productive field extended into the Pacific Ocean. He and his associates constructed a 300 foot pier, mounted a cable-tool derrick, and began drilling. When California’s first offshore oil well proved successful, more than 20 petroleum companies rushed to Santa Barbara. They constructed 14 more piers, the longest extending 1,230 feet. Over the next five years more than 400 Summerland offshore wells were drilled.
American Oil & Gas Historical Society