SFMTA seems to have abandoned their old policy of locking away their collection of 4077 photos taken following the 1906 Earthquake and Fire and have begun scanning the photos and posting them to Flickr. According to the Chronicle, the photos were taken by John Henry Mentz, the photographer for United Railroads, the city's transportation operator at the time:
Most of Mentz's pictures were locked away in files for years, and many have never been published before. They show the destruction of the city - and particularly of its cable car and electric streetcar system - together with work to rebuild public transit.
Of course, most of these photos remain in a small room in MTA's office; however, they seem to be slowly changing their tune. Below are some of the highlights of what they've released thus far:
While there isn't anything particularly shocking about the above photo of Sutter and Steiner, it's interesting to compare this block in the Western Addition to what it looks like today: