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By Anne Evers Hitz

The Emporium--"California's greatest, America's Grandest Store"--was a tremendous purchasing vacation spot on San Francisco's industry road for a century, from 1896 to 1996. consumers flocked to the mid-price shop with its attractive dome and bandstand. buyers may perhaps locate something on the Emporium, from jewellery to stoves, and it used to be a gathering position for acquaintances to get pleasure from tea whereas hearing the Emporium Orchestra. based because the Emporium and Golden Rule Bazaar, the shop flourished until eventually the disastrous 1906 earthquake. as soon as it reopened in 1908, it ruled procuring downtown till mid-century. Many San Franciscans bear in mind with nice nostalgia the Christmas Carnival at the roof, whole with slides, a skating rink, and a teach. Santa constantly arrived in grand sort with an immense parade down industry road. After international battle II, the Emporium, which had merged with H.C. Capwell & Co. within the overdue Twenties, all started its push and opened department shops during the San Francisco Bay sector. besides the fact that, as pageant elevated, the company's monetary state of affairs worsened, and the Emporium identify was once not more in 1996.

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I would like to get out of right here or [I will] be blown up. ” (Right, courtesy of Pam Gibson; less than, courtesy of the nationwide documents. ) 37 The city was once lower than martial legislation. Mayor Eugene Schmitz proclaimed, “The Federal Troops, the individuals of the usual Police strength, and all designated law enforcement officials were approved through me to KILL any and all individuals discovered engaged in Looting or within the fee of the other Crime. i've got directed the entire fuel and electrical lighting fixtures businesses to not activate fuel or electrical energy till I organize them to take action. you could for that reason count on the town to stay in darkness for an indefinite time. I request all voters to stay at domestic from darkness until eventually sunlight each evening till order is restored. I WARN all electorate of the risk of fireplace from broken or Destroyed Chimneys, damaged or Leaking gasoline Pipes or furniture, or any like reason. ” (Above, photo via Arnold Genthe, courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling the United States; lower than, courtesy of the nationwide files. ) 38 After the surprise shattered the imperative water mains, the hearth division used to be virtually helpless. Overturned stoves, electrical wires, and gasoline leaks fueled the hearth. The firemen became on their hose. there has been one rush of water; then the stream stopped. The water major, which carried the city’s leader water offer, ran during the ruined district. It were damaged, and the lifeless water was once spurting up throughout the ruins in ratings of locations. in the meantime, thieves burgled wrecked shops and abandoned houses, and rowdies broke into saloons and helped themselves to liquor. Troops begun patrolling the streets, and Mayor Schmitz issued his “shoot to kill” order. (Both pictures by means of Detroit Publishing Co. ; courtesy of the Library of Congress. ) 39 Again, from eyewitness Charles Sedgwick, watching the earthquake’s aftermath on industry road, “Now the grand previous highway used to be scarcely recognizable—a unhappy scene of destruction. constructions by way of the dozen have been part down; nice pillars, copings, cornices and ornamentations have been wrenched from the mightiest buildings and dashed to the floor in fragments; the large shop home windows were shattered and dear screens of products have been with a lot clutter at the flooring . . . the large Emporium frontage was once scarred in a dozen areas. ” (Left, author’s assortment; lower than, photo by way of Underwood & Underwood, 1906, courtesy of the California historical past Room, California nation Library, Sacramento, California. ) forty All of the Emporium’s files have been destroyed or misplaced, except for the bills payable, which confirmed how a lot the shop owed, yet no longer how a lot used to be owed to it. for you to acquire their striking debts, the shop marketed within the newspapers inviting shoppers to pay what they owed. it's a tribute to the loyalty of its clients that many shoppers voluntarily paid their accounts, although there has been no written checklist of transactions. What files have been salvaged have been mailed to the shop by means of the USA publish workplace, simply because numerous quick-thinking staff had filled the documents in a US mail bag ahead of fleeing the hearth.

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