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J. M. Williamson M.D. Board of Health Photograph Album of Chinatown, San Francisco
SFP 83  
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The photograph album of 178 albumen photographic prints documents the campaign of Dr. Rupert Blue, the assistant surgeon of the U. S. Marine Hospital Service in San Francisco, to cleanse Chinatown in 1903 of the third great pandemic of bubonic plague outbreak.
The Department of Public Health (DPH) originated in 1865 as the Health Office, by an Order of the Board of Supervisors. In 1872, a five-member Board of Health was established and its authority extended over both the Health Office and the public hospitals, which at that time consisted of the City and County Hospital and the Smallpox Isolation Hospital (est. at Laguna Honda in 1868); together with the Almshouse (est. at Laguna Honda in 1867) and Harbor Quarantine. The Board was also charged more generally with responsibility for public sanitation, including that of the Jail, the Prison, and the Industrial School. A Health Inspector and a Market Inspector indicate the beginnings of what would later become a full-fledged Division of Inspections. A new City Charter, adopted in 1898 and put into effect in 1900, more fully codified the structure of the Department of Public Health, as it did for other City departments. In addition to the institutions listed above, the Department administered the Emergency Hospital, Detention Hospital for the Insane, and the Twenty-sixth Street Hospital (also known as the Leper Hospital). Dr. John M. Williamson served as President of the Board of Health 1900 – December 1902.
1 photograph album
No copyright clearance needed as photographs in the J. M. Williamson M.D. Board of Health Photograph Album of Chinatown, San Francisco are in the Public Domain.
The collection is available for use during Photo Desk hours.