Shew's Daguerreian Saloon,
San Francisco, 1851
Half-plate attributed to William Shew

Collection of the Oakland Museum of California

(We also have a close-up view
    of just the saloon.)


William Shew's traveling studio sits next to the Alta California newspaper office in the midst of construction following the fire of 22 June 1851. The wagon's location no doubt drew the attention of the daily, which wrote, "A good deal of curiosity has been expressed in regard to the object and intention of the big wagon which fills up a large portion of the plaza, and which was yesterday being covered with a frame. Some suppose that 'the elephant' which so many people come here to see was to be caged up in it and exhibited to greenhorns at a quarter a sight. . .It seems, however, that it is to be a traveling daguerreotype establishment, with which the proprietor intends to travel around the city and country, taking views and portraits." (San Francisco Alta California, July 22, 1851.)
 

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