Mailbox remnant from 1906 San Francisco earthquake
William F. Bolger, American, born 1923
metal (bronze); wood
Height x Width x Depth: 6 3/8 x 10 13/16 x 1 15/16 in. (16.2 x 27.5 x 5 cm) [mailbox] Height x Width x Depth: 9 1/16 x 13 3/4 x 2 in. (23 x 35 x 5.1 cm) [mailbox with frame]
Structures & Furnishings
Place of Use:
This cast bronze mailbox front, manufactured by Yale and Towne Manufacturing Company, was installed in the main post office in San Francisco, California. The mailbox remained in use until 1972. The front plate of the mailbox was then framed and given to Postmaster General William F. Bolger.
The San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906, and the subsequent three-day fire that destroyed much of the city, rank as one of the most significant natural disasters in US history. The main San Francisco post office, where this mailbox was located, suffered damage in the earthquake but survived the fire. The post office accepted letters without stamps until regular service could resume.
When the object was initially brought into the collection, it was in a wooden frame with the label: "This bronze antique box front was installed in the Main San Francisco / Post Office in 1905. It survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. / It was cast in about 1895 and retired from service in 1972". The frame and label were removed by the museum's conservation staff.
Ingram, Jane H. Post Office Lockbox Doors Illustrated Guide.
Greenville, South Carolina: Hardwick Printing Service, 1989.
14.43 cu. ft. (14 record storage boxes) (1 12x17 box)
Mixed archival materials
S. Stillman Berry (1887-1984) was both a scientist and a businessman. Born in Unity, Maine, in 1887, he spent many of his early years traveling back and forth between the family homes in Maine, Montana, and Redlands, California. He received a B.S. in Zoology from Stanford University in 1909, an M.S. from Harvard University in 1910, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1913. His field of special interest was malacology. He served as librarian and research assistant at Scripps Institution for Biological Research, 1913-1916. Although this was his first and last employment as a zoologist, he continued his malacological work the rest of his life, carrying out field investigations, being active in professional organizations, and publishing. His own personal publication, Leaflets in Malacology, appeared from 1946 until 1969. In 1917 Berry was elected President of the family business, the Winnecook Ranch Company, and held the position until his death. Berry was also a professional nurseryman. This began as a hobby because of his interest in genetics. His horticultural business centered on the hybridization of irises and daffodils, which provided Berry a welcome income during the years of the Great Depression.
The papers of S. Stillman Berry document his work in malacology, his brief career at Scripps, his horticultural business, his family relationships, and his college years. Much of the material consists of correspondence. Also included are diaries for parts of his life, as well as school notebooks, photographs, and memorabilia of his college years. Of special interest are photographs, clippings, and correspondence concerning the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, which caused a great deal of damage at Stanford while Berry was there.
Poster for announcing the San Francisco Embarcadero Competition. Recto: Two overlapping photographic reproductions; large one in blue tones showing view of San Francisco harbor with road, pier, and building on left side and second one showing aerial view of San Francisco Harbor in black and white with computer-generated segmented lines highlighting the shape of harbor. Poster organized by text boxes in style of flowchart. Imprinted in black rectangle, upper left: IDEAS COMPETITION, in red across top: Open to all who have vision toward the future; in black: San Francisco is one of the world's most beautiful cities. It is a city known for/ its fine-grained buldings covering the hillsides, as well/ as grand urban scaled planning elements which organize/ the city on a large scale./ [in smaller font] Yet, prominently visible to all who visit, the/ waterfront poorly represents San Francisco to the world in its/ current condition. With the decline of San Francisco as a major/ port, many of the old uses of the waterfront are gone, while new/ ones have yet to emerge. The recent demolition of the earthquake damaged Embarcaderos Freeway, the elevated roadway/ which severed the city from its waterfront, has created an historic moment of opportunity to develop a magnificent/ (new waterfront edge), reuniting city with the bag./ Seeking to act as a (catalyst) for the ongoing public planning and development/ effort, Center for Critical Architecture I(2 AES) is sponsoring this achitectural/urban/ design competition. It is a call for ideas that are at once visionary yet/ contain the seeds of implementation. The competition and subsequent exhibition/ are intended to generate enthusiasm, creative, and inspirational proposals, and/ and a spirit of optimism and collaboration that will carry San Francisco/ proudly into the next century; within text, key words written in large font such as: emerge; catalyst; enthusiasm; optimism; collaboration. Imprinted on right side: THE CHALLENGE/ 1. Develop a set of ideas which organize the waterfront zone--/ the Embaracao Boulevard and adjacent land and pier properties./ 2. Develop in detail the design of a specific site(s) within the/ competition area, illustrating how the overall design concept might manifest/ itself on a human scale. Imprinted in black, right side: SCHEDULE/ [in red:] January 30, 1993 / [in black:] Entry submissions due / March 1 - April 30/ Exhibition/ Competition Catalog. Imprinted in black, right and below: PRIZE/ 3 First Prize/ Awards/ of $10,000 (US) each/ 10 Certificates/ of Outstanding Merit/ Certificates of/ Honorable Mention/ Public Exhibition/ and Catalog...; imprinted in gray and white, vertically on right edge: Call for/ VISION San Francisco Embaracadero Waterfront Competition/ Fall 1992; imprinted in red vertically, below: JURORS/ Allan Colquhoun/ Francis Ford Coppola/ Harold Gilliam/ Fumihiko Maki/ James Stewart Polshek/ Stanley Saitowitz/ Jorge Silvetti. Verso: black and white photographic reproduction of San Francisco Bay with Golden Gate bridge on right and construction area on left; imprinted in various font size and parts overlapping image, in black: emergence/ of new city edge / sequence/ chronology / What is the nature of this suspended city?/ as the land submerges into the sea/ below the waterline/ inhabitation persist; (in black)/ Submergence (left of photo reproduction and in gray)/ life lines of circulation (in black)/ orchestration (in red)/ frontpiece (in red).
Smithsonian Participates in Panama-Pacific Exposition
Panama-Pacific Exposition (1915: San Francisco, California)
February 20 - December 4, 1915
Chronology of Smithsonian History
Image is a sketch of Smithsonian exhibits at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, Negative Number SIA2012-2862, Record Unit 45, Box 22, Folder: 11.
Smithsonian Institution Archives Record Unit 70, Finding Aid
The Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) was a World's Fair held in San Francisco, in the United States, between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. Its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and the 400th anniversary of Vasco Núñez de Balboa's discovery of the Pacific; but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase San Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake. The fair was constructed on a 635 acre (2.6 km²) site in San Francisco, along the northern shore now known as the Marina.
The Smithsonian participated in the exposition, focusing its exhibits on ethnology. William deC. Ravenel, an administrative assistant at the Smithsonian, served as the Smithsonian's official representative to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Other Smithsonian displays contained examples from the Institution's collections, publications, and many branches: pictures, publications, charts, photographs, instruments, a reproduction of the Langley experimental aeroplane, a group of taxidermy elk, four life-size ethnological models of family groups from around the world, and an immense exhibit of the stages of the "physical history of man."
Palace of Fine Arts Postcard from the Panama-Pacific Exposition
Panama-Pacific Exposition (1915: San Francisco, California)
Number of Images: 2 ; Color: Color ; Size: 3.5w x 5.5h ; Type of Image: Postcard; Medium: Paper
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
For other postcards from the Panama-Pacific Exposition, see: SIA2012-2560, SIA2012-2561, SIA2012-2840, SIA2012-2841, SIA2012-3554, SIA2012-3555, SIA2012-3556, SIA2012-3557, SIA2012-7599, SIA2012-7600, SIA2012-7601, SIA2012-7602, SIA2012-7603, SIA2012-7604, SIA2012-7605, SIA2012-7606, SIA2012-7607, SIA2012-7608, SIA2012-7609, SIA2012-7610, SIA2012-7611, SIA2012-7612, SIA2012-7613, SIA2012-7614.
The Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) was a World's Fair held in San Francisco, in the United States, between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. Its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery from the 1906 earthquake. The fair was constructed on a 635 acre (2.6 km²) site in San Francisco, along the northern shore now known as the Marina.
Postcard from the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, California. The postcard shows the Palace of Fine Arts. The exposition was intended to illustrate the function and administrative faculty of the Government of the United States and to demonstrate the nature and growth of its institutions, their adaptation to the wants of the people, and the progress of the nation in the arts of peace and war. The Smithsonian Institution contributed an exhibit focusing mainly on ethnology.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 70, Box 87, Folder: 9A