History is at the center of our work at Compass Rose Design. Lately, we've had trains on the brain and have been making lots of men's accessories with Railroad date nails and antique uniform buttons dating between 1880 and 1950. A few finds relating to San Francisco railroad history have been a delight!
We've recently come across several antiques that have local historical significance. Notice the PPIE 1915 buttons in the above photo. These buttons commemorate the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exhibition - the Worlds Fair. Though the exhibition celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal, the event was perhaps more about showcasing San Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake.
This poster advertised the momentous event, which drew millions of visitors to San Francisco's Marina district - the Palace of Fine Arts buildings still remain, near the Exploratorium site.
Since the original buildings were made of plaster, wood and burlap for quick construction, the Palace of Fine Arts was reconstructed in the 1960s with more durable construction materials.
By 1876, it was clear that the hilly terrain in San Francisco made horse-car travel difficult and unprofitable. Thus began the conversion to cable cars. In 1902, the United Railways of San Francisco took over service and by 1909, SF Municipal Railway, known as SF Muni, was founded.