The Great Shake: San Francisco 1906 1906


By mid-afternoon, the Palace Hotel was burning, and fires were visible from every vantage point in the city (and from across the Bay in Oakland). Towers of smoke could be seen from as far as 100 miles away. On every block of the city, smoke filled the sky and obscured the sun. Journalist Henry Lafler, writing for McClure's Magazine, had set up his typewriter on an abandoned table in Portsmouth Plaza, and described the effect of the fires:
 

Click here for a larger image of the fire.

a moment, showed a pale, clear yellow, then again a fiery red. There were perfect blues, there was violet, green, and rose. Then would come dark, sinister, demonaic hues, hateful as hell."

 



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