Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
George T. Bowen Photographs
SFP 77  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
Collection of over 1,000 images (340 glass plate negatives, 600 film negatives and approximately 150 photographic prints) taken by amateur photographer George T. Bowen between 1900 and 1934 of mostly San Francisco, California. A significant portion of the collection documents San Francisco and the Bay Area prior to and just following the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. The photo documentation includes ruins of City Hall, San Francisco Chronicle building, San Mateo County Courthouse in ruins, the Sweeney Cyclorama in Golden Gate Park both before and after the earthquake. There are views of the Sunset District, Mission Dolores; streetcars; motoring in Saratoga in 1909; and tunnel and road building in San Francisco.
George Thomas Bowen was born on March 29, 1880 to Mary Jane and George S. Bowen in Monterey, California. Bowen married Cornelia Henrietta Hobron and the couple had four children between 1904 and 1914. In 1898 Bowen had begun his career as a journeyman painter and the couple lived in San Jose, California. By 1902, the family moved to San Francisco, Bowen began photographing San Francisco soon after moving to the city and he was employed as a foreman for H. Maundrell in San Francisco. In 1919 the company became Maundrell and Bowen. By 1924, Bown became the sole owner of the painting contracting business and was also president of the Master Painters and Decorators Association of California. Starting in 1910, the family lived in Noe Valley at 2104 Castro Street for twenty years and then moved to 384 San Benito Way in St. Francis Woods by 1930. George Thomas Bowen died in Napa, California on January 1, 1957.
8 boxes of approximately 1,000 images (340 glass plate negatives, 600 film negatives and approximately 150 photographic prints)
All requests for permission to publish from photographs must be submitted in writing to the Photo Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.
The collection is currently unprocessed but available for research. Please contact the Photo Curator. The collection is available for use during Photo Desk hours.