Monumental wall map of San Francisco
By DENNY, Edward , 1919

Denny's Indexed Map of the City and County of San Francisco. Showing Official Grades and Subdivisions, compiled from the latest Public and Private Data.

America North America
  • Author: DENNY, Edward
  • Publication place: San Francisco
  • Publisher: Edward Denny & Co Map Publishers
  • Publication date: 1919.
  • Physical description: Lithographed wall map, printed in blue, with early colour wash in full, dissected and laid down on linen
  • Dimensions: 630 by 810mm. (24.75 by 32 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 14926


A monumental and attractive map of San Francisco. After the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906, San Francisco underwent an intense period of reconstruction and development, led by Chief engineer Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934), who modernised the infrastructure of the city, and is revered as one of the most important civil engineers in American history.
The city is limited by its natural boundaries with the Pacific Ocean, and San Francisco Bay on three sides, and the border with San Mateo County to the south.
In 1912, the then mayor of San Francisco, James Rolph, persuaded O’Shaughnessy to take the post of chief engineer for the city, a position which he held for the next twenty years. “The tasks he faced were challenging, the more so as he could have made much more money in the private sector. O’Shaughnessy, whose long-term view of the city’s infrastructure included much more than its water supply [which had been his previous concern], felt that San Francisco’s public transportation network should be a single system providing uniform service at a reasonable price throughout the city. The transportation system could be used to encourage growth in given areas through construction of new lines ahead of residential development. Careful design of the system would produce cost-effectiveness. O’Shaughnessy thus supervised the expansion of the city’s streetcar system by building new lines into areas with no previous service, using funds derived from operating income and by assessing properties along the right-of-way.
Between 1915 and 1927 O’Shaughnessy created the municipal streetcar system that formed the basis of San Francisco’s future public transportation network. In addition to modernizing the railway system, O’Shaughnessy supervised a new fire system, sewers, streets, highways, bridges, and tunnels. Much of this construction was done over the areas destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire. Under his leadership the city built a main sewer line under Golden Gate Park to the Pacific Ocean. All of these accomplishments, however, paled before the challenge of the construction of the city’s water-supply system from the Hetch Hetchy Valley” (Abraham Hoffman for ANB).
Edward Denny was a prominent publisher of maps, particularly of pocket maps, in San Francisco, from the about 1890-1935. He issued his first large-scale map of San Francisco in 1912, with new editions in 1914, 1918, and as here.