The Pillsbury Picture Company was originally founded in 1906, just one month before the catastrophic Earthquake and Fire in San Francisco.
Arthur C Pillsbury started the company in San Francisco, after working as a photojournalist with the San Francisco Examiner.
The company was headquartered at his home in Oakland. He had outfitted the house with a full array of photographic equipment and darkrooms, which saw intense use during the aftermath of the Earthquake and Fire.
On the morning of April 18th, Arthur C. Pillsbury was thrown out of bed in by the great quake. He immediately made his way to the City with both his graflax and his circuit panorama camera. There, he took images that went all over the world showing people every where what had happened to the City on the Hill. These pictures show the magnitude of the disaster.
Pillsbury would use the profit from his photographs to buy the Studio of the Three Arrows in Yosemite.
The Pillsbury Picture Company became the largest distributor of postcards on the West Coast for many years, introducing many innovations especially in products offered through the Studio of the Three Arrows in Yosemite. Eventually, the Pillsbury Picture Company also produced movies of very unusual kinds, including the first lapse-time motion pictures and the first microscopic motion pictures, x-ray motion pictures and underwater motion pictures as well as motion pictures of all kinds of natural life.
Pillsbury also invented a number of new cameras.