Out of an agonizing American experience, the frail Scots author mined a treasure and carried it away with him
It’s more than just whimsy
How to get a drink or a meal or a night’s sleep before April 18, 1906
On the 100th anniversary of the 1906 calamity, a student of earthquakes seeks its traces in the city he loves most.
THIRTY YEARS AGO A HARD-FOUGHT gubernatorial campaign heralded the third great political upheaval of our century
The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery in 1865, but right on into this century sailors were routinely drugged, beaten, and kidnapped to man America’s mighty merchant marine
The nation’s first transcontinental motor route can still be experienced in all its obsolescent charm.
The urge to move documents as fast as possible has always been a national pre-occupation, because it has always been a necessity. Fax and Federal Express are just the latest among many innovations for getting the message across.
New Yorkers recall 1939 as the year of the great World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow. But that’s just more Eastern provincialism. Take a look at what was going on in San Francisco.
No city has more energetically obliterated the remnants of its past. And yet no city has a greater sense of its history.
From Fort Ticonderoga to the Plaza Hotel, from Appomattox Courthouse to Bugsy Siegel’s weird rose garden in Las Vegas, the present-day scene is enriched by knowledge of the American past
Magnificently impractical and obsolete almost as soon as they were built, the cable lines briefly dominated urban transportation throughout the country
A pioneer locomotive builder used pen and ink, watercolor, and near-total recall to re-create the birth of a titanic enterprise
California has always been as much a state of mind as a geographical entity. For the better part of two centuries, artists have been defining its splendid promise.
We built a merchant marine despite the opposition of the Royal Navy, went on to develop the most beautiful of all sailing ships, and held our supremacy for years. But how do we measure up today?
An all-but-forgotten San Francisco photographer has left us a grand and terrible record of the destruction and rebirth of an American city
For more than a century, the august members of this San Francisco body have enjoyed a unique, all-male midsummer night’s dream
Westward with the course of empire Colonel Jonathan Drake Stevenson took his way in 1846. With him went the denizens of New York’s Tammany wards, oyster cellars, and gin mills—the future leaders of California.
For hoboes, the West was the land of milk and honey, of adventure, scenery, and easy living. A “land stowaway” hopped the first transcontinental train, and for six more decades they rode the rails
One day San Franciscans suddenly learned that their city was the property of a Frenchman, one Monsieur Limantour
The wrecker’s ball swings in every city in the land, and memorable edifices of all kinds are coming down at a steady clip.
Curiosity motivated the first American who crossed Siberia. But he also made a handsome profit.
Granddaddy of all desert mining discoveries was the Comstock Lode, which sent the Far West on a silver stampede to Nevada’s Washoe country a century ago.
A corrupt lawyer and his complaisant ally ran San Francisco as their private preserve until a crusading editor toppled their plots and schemes, and sent one of them to jail