Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 252

"[Map in Book] San Francisco Burned District [in] The Doomed City - A Thrilling Tale",

Subject: San Francisco, California

Period: 1906 (published)


Color: Printed Color

13.2 x 10.1 inches
33.5 x 25.7 cm
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This fascinating and dramatic map was produced by William H. Lee and published by Laird & Lee in Chicago. It vividly depicts large red flames consuming a huge swath of San Francisco - a devastating fire that burned for three days and consuming buildings in more than 500 blocks in today's financial district. An inset at bottom left underscores the magnitude of the fire, comparing it to the smaller fires in Baltimore and Chicago. Despite the alarming map and inset, the "Plain Facts" intended to reassure the audience: "The public must not conclude, from the graphic descriptions and many scenes of the burned district, that the beautiful Golden Gate city has been entirely destroyed…The new San Francisco will be grander and more beautiful.”

The map is still bound to the front of The Doomed City by Frank Thompson Searight, including 186 pages and numerous full-page illustrations. Laid in the book is a postcard of the Burning of the Wholesale District postmarked San Francisco May 10, 1906 [the earthquake occurred on April 18] and a set of folding photographic illustrations of the destruction.


Condition: A

The folding map is clean and bright. Text has a hint of toning along the sheet edges and one photographic plate is loose. Binding has light shelf wear.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $110

Closed on 2/8/2023