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The Aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake in Photos

At 5:12 AM on April 18th, 1906, one of the most devastating earthquakes ever recorded in the U.S. The quake was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles and put the city into ruins. The resulting series of fires burned huge sections of the city blocks at a time, leaving metal cages in the street where incinerated streetcars lay, and the city in complete chaos. The impact of these events is still felt today as many records and files were lost in the fire. 28,000 buildings were destroyed and around 3,000 lives were lost during the events that followed this infamous earthquake.

The Aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake in Photos

Houses still standing, although badly damaged. Via/ Flickr

The Aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake in Photos

People pick through the remains of homes and buildings, original caption calls them “souvenir hunters.” Via/ Flickr

The Aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake in Photos

After the extensive fire caused by the earthquake, cooking indoors was prohibited for a time and all cooking was done in the street. Via/ Flickr

The Aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake in Photos

Makeshift restaurants in the street made of fabric and tarp with humorous reference to fine hotels and eateries on cardboard signs. The cooking ban greatly impacted restaurants. Via/ NYPL

The Aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake in Photos

Two men clean rubble from the street. Via/ Library of Congress

The Aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake in Photos

Great clouds of smoke visible from the outskirts of the city. Via/ Library of Congress

Click “Next Page” for more of these historic photos of the 1906 earthquake!

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