photo vault

10

Last week the onceuponatown tumblr featured a post on photographer Arnold Genthe that mentioned his pre-earthquake photography in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  Above is an assortment of those photos, taken between 1896 and 1906.  The photos come from the Library of Congress, although most of these copies come from a Mashable article, as does this info: 

The Chinatown area of San Francisco was well documented by photographer Arnold Genthe. Genthe emigrated from Germany to San Francisco as a tutor to a wealthy German family. When his contract expired, he stayed in San Francisco and opened a photo studio.

Genthe was fascinated by Chinatown and took hundreds of photographs of the area and its inhabitants. He used a small camera and sometimes captured his subjects covertly. He later cropped some of his images to remove western references.

These images are some of the few that remain of Chinatown prior to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Stored in a bank vault, Genthe’s photos had survived the disaster.

The photographer rebuilt his studio and continued to work in and around San Francisco until 1911, when he moved to New York.