Rare combination birdseye view and subdivision map for the City of Visitacion (now Brisbane), California, just south of San Francisco and overlooking San Francisco Bay.
The map shows hundreds of available lots, with those that have been sold apparently colored in red. The city's distinctive fan-shaped street grid is clearly evident, with north oriented toward the lower left corner, and the lush San Bruno mountains southwest of the city shown along the upper portion of the map. The streetcar line along San Bruno Avenue is clearly indicated, as is the route of a projected "single track electric road" along San Benito Road, Solano Street, and San Francisco Avenue. Brisbane grew rapidly in the years immediately following the San Francisco earthquake and fire, and this lovely map is fine evidence of that growth, and of the planning that took place.
The town was platted in 1908, and the Southern Pacific Railroad line to San Francisco (shown in the lower left corner of the map) had been built the year before. Visitacion changed its name to Brisbane in the 1920s so as to avoid confusion with the "Visitacion Valley" neighborhood in nearby San Francisco. There are pencil notes on the map and in the lower margin, though the name "Woodrow Wilson" does not appear to be indicative of previous presidential ownership.
The Schmidt Lithography Company was based in San Francisco. Max Schmidt, a German immigrant, founded his first printing business in 1873, and he was one of the first printers to use lithography on the West Coast. His plant burned twice, in 1884 and 1886, but by the 1890s he ran a factory in San Francisco, as well as branches in Portland and Seattle.
During the 1906 earthquake and fire the company’s premises were destroyed again. Schmidt quickly acquired a nearby paper factory and production continued practically uninterrupted. Within two years of the fire, Schmidt had rebuilt on the site of his former factory at the corner of Second and Bryant Streets.
Schmidt’s company was best known for its printed labels, but they also produced other items like separately-issued prints. The company was once the largest printing company on the West Coast and today they are remembered for the clock tower that still stands at Second and Bryant Streets.