Bird’s eye (aerial) view of city of San Francisco looking south west. Major landmarks identified in margin under image.
IIn August of 1848, The New York Herald printed news of the discovery of gold in California. San Francisco, a small town of 79 buildings, grew quickly and by the next year the population neared 100,000 people. By 1870, the city had become the tenth largest in the United States and was a flourishing urban center with hotels, schools, parks, churches, synagogues and libraries. The residents received mail, quantities of New York City newspapers and supplies from the East Coast via steamship or overland travel. Communication between the two coasts of the United States took about 21 days. Currier & Ives capitalized on civic pride by publishing several bird’s-eye views of the sprawling city. Each print always noted the bustling harbor, busy with the sailing vessels and steamboats that provided supplies and information to and from the rest of the country.