Colour photographs of 'Great SF Quake' unearthed

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The first, and perhaps only, colour photographs of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire that nearly flattened the city have been unearthed.

The six never-published images were snapped by photography innovator Frederick Eugene Ives several months after the April 1906 "Great Quake".

Most were taken from the roof of the hotel where Ives stayed during an October 1906 visit.

They were stowed amid other items donated by Ives' son, Herbert, and discovered in 2009 by National Museum of American History volunteer Anthony Brooks while he was cataloguing the collection.

Although hand-coloured photographs of the quake's destruction have surfaced before, Ives' work is probably the only true colour documentary evidence, Shannon Perich, associate curator of the Smithsonian's photography history collection, told the San Francisco Chronicle....

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