Help finally arrives as the Army rides into town on horseback after the earthquake

After the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, help arrived in 1906.  This film, made by Thomas A. Edison Company highlights the role of the United States Army in transporting supplies following the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco. The Army’s relief operations headquarters was at their base, the Presidio, outside the burned part of the city. The closeups on the soldiers faces are so clear.

The Army played a major role in relief and refugee operations. In the first weeks after the fire, food, water, tents, blankets, medical supplies, and hay for horses, were the principal needs. To pay for these supplies, Congress appropriated nearly $2.5 million in emergency aid for San Francisco.

In this photograph by Arnold Genthe, taken in 1906, spectators are sitting on the hillside watching fires consume the city of San FranciscoPhotograph of people watching fires 1906


An estimated 300,000 people were camped out in late April, but the number had dropped to 25,000 by July, and emergency relief switched to long-term care in the substantial camps of “earthquake cottages.”

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