I had a great birthday yesterday and enjoyed going to the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Annual Big Book Sale. It was a fine day by the Bay — about 80 degrees and no fog, even at 6:30 p.m., when I left to go home. The sale had even more books than my favorite monthly sale, and the rows upon rows of books made it more of a hunt to find books than usual, and therefore more fun than usual. That said, I did not walk away with a shopping cart of books. I purchased about 10 different titles. I found some good reference books that will help me when I catalogue. I also found a few Western Americana and Pioneer Women titles.
My best find was In Remembrance of the Midwinter International Exposition, San Francisco, 1894. Most people who live near San Francisco know about the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915 and there a a few who collect books written about that. Millions of people came from all over the world to see San Francisco, beautifully rebuilt from its ruin in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.
I did not know there was another Exposition in 1894. It appears to have been a smaller, mid-winter fair. The interesting thing about this book, aside from its bold red and gilt cover, is that it has sixteen accordion-style fold-out pages that show drawings of the Exposition grounds and surrounding San Francisco in 1894. I need to research this further, but my instinct tells me that pictures, even if they’re illustrations rather than photos, of pre-1906-earthquake San Francisco are uncommon. So are books printed in San Francisco before 1906.
As I said, I’ll have to see if research supports my hunch. It may be incorrect. I’ll let you know what I discover. In any case, it’s a beautiful book, one I can live with for a while.