The 18 April 906 San Francisco earthquake is the first seismic event in the nation's history to truly capture the attention and imagination of the broad citizenry of the United States. From the Complete Story of San Francisco's Terrible Calamity of Earthquake and Fire (Livingstone, 1906) to San Francisco's Horror of Earthquake and Fire (Wilson, 1906), numerous and varied popular works depicted the event through prose, photographs, verse, and even song. Several books took the opportunity to place the 1906 earthquake in the context of other world disasters, such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

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