Developing San Diego: The Images of Ralph P. Stineman, 1910-1915

The Journal of San Diego History
Spring 1997, Volume 43, Number 2
Richard W. Crawford, Editor

Cover photo: Lincoln School kindergarten class c. 1912

Journal of San Diego History article: The Images of Ralph P. Stineman

Prints can be ordered from the SDHC photographic archives.

Photo number:Transportation and the Harbor:
91:18564-494Glenn Curtiss, early aircraft designer, stands beside one of his airplanes at his flight school on North Island in about 1911. The pilot is reportedly Mohan Singh.
91:18564-2193Japanese Training Ship, Tai Sei Maru, stopped at San Diego on August 31, 1912, with 112 sea cadets on a round-the-world cruise. These cruises continued into the late 1930s.
91:18564-511The Glenn Curtiss hydroplane preparing to take off in San Diego Bay flew out to the USS Pennsylvania, landed on the water then later took off to fly back to San Diego. This event inaugurated naval aviation in February 1911.
91:18564-2169Sailors clinging to any available viewpoint watch a rowing competition between ship crews. The cruiser in the background is the USS Maryland.
91:18564-2192The yacht Xora stands anchored in a busy harbor. Cruising down to Panama became a fashionable adventure along the Pacific Coast before the Canal opening. In the background lies North Island with the Curtiss flight school and Point Loma.
91:18564-1806The harbor entrance viewed from Point Loma shows a sparsely covered North Island with San Diego in the background.
91:18564-948Devil’s Canyon Road was a tortuous trail across the mountains. Stineman’s roadster leads the group of wagons. His 1910 Brush Runabout, sporting one cylinder of eight-horse power, frequently appeared in his scenes.
91:18564-1567In April 1913, cars from San Diego met those from Imperial Valley to celebrate the new road that avoided the old Devils Canyon route from Mountain Springs down to Coyote Wells.
91:18564-1900A San Diego and Arizona train takes a tour group over a newly constructed bridge and track section.
91:18564-1899Engine number 50 of the San Diego and Arizona Rail line stands at a siding.
91:18564-1945Road racing was very popular at the time with many racetracks in the San Diego area. This Fiat belonged to the real estate develpers McFadden and Buxton who were one of Stineman’s largest employers. Joseph McFadden sits at the wheel.
91:18564-1805Looking west from Fort Rosecrans to the Pacific.
91:18564-2187The USS Oregon participated in the Spanish American War. In 1942, President Roosevelt chose to save Dewey’s flagship, Olympia as a museum instead of the Oregon, which was then destined for scrap. Towed to Guam during World War II she remained stranded on a coral reef until 1956 when she was sold to Japan for scrap.

Photo number:City Development:
91:18564-1130This lonely Arca streetcar No. 2 on the Mexico and San Diego Railway ran between Imperial Beach and Otay Junction. The sparse surroundings contrast strongly with present developed areas. Detail of streetcar
91:18564-863A new concrete rim adds to the height of Sweetwater Dam.
91:18564-2305Water line construction during these years was primitive compared with modern methods.
91:18564-198Arizona Girls, on the Del Mar Real Estate office porch were brought to San Diego to promote land sales and the coming Exposition.
91:18564-1778D.C. Collier real estate development on Point Loma used many photographs from Stineman for newspaper advertisements.
91:18564-994A typical Stineman advertising photograph shows a new home at an unknown location.
91:18564-1780Del Monte Ave., in Point Loma Heights, January 1913, looking west with Steinman’s car and possibly himself standing on the crest of the hill. He often was accompanied by ladies who could help on these photo expeditions.
91:18564-1804A new tree-lined street on Point Loma looks toward the bay and San Diego.
91:18564-1809A carefully posed car drives along present Catalina Blvd., toward the old “Spanish” lighthouse.

Photo number:City Views:
91:18564-658October 25, 1913, an acrobat named France LeFranc, attempted a headstand atop the statue of “Justice” on the old courthouse. Strong winds and the soft statue head interfered with the attempt.
91:18564-941The real estate partnership of McFadden and Buxton occupied an arcade running between Fourth and Fifth Ave. It included many types of stores predating the shopping mall.
91:18564-2056The Lowell School at 17th and H (Market St.) with the student body assembled in front. Frequently photographs of schools were employed to promote the merits of nearby real estate.
91:18564-1672September 25, 1913, parade on Broadway celebrated Balboa Day during the Carnival Cabrillo.
91:18564-2228The busy street corner captured at Fourth and D St. (Broadway).
91:18564-1963A popular skyline view of the city looking north along Fourth and Fifth Avenues toward the Grant Hotel.
91:18564-1401The Little Landers Colony, a utopian enterprise in San Ysidro sold their produce form horse drawn carts, then later from a store ant Sixth and B St.
91:18564-2234A rare night view of Fifth Avenue and the McFadden Buxton Arcade Building.
91:18564-647This publicity photograph for the Paris Dye Works on Logan Ave., highlights the transition from horsepower to gasoline power.
91:18564-148A large group of people gathered for an outing at Cardiff Beach in August 1912.
91:18564-2217A crowded stand of watchers all in hats observing an unnamed sporting event.
91:18564-96The new Watts Building at Fifth and F St. under construction in 1912 boasted two high-speed electric elevators. Various vehicles along the street reveal changes underway in transposrtation.

Photo number:Panama-California Exposition Construction:
91:18564-2613An interior view of the Botanical Building taken February 24, 1914.
91:18564-2556Progress of construction along the Prado can be seen in October 1913.
91:18564-1527The California Building, December 15, 1913, reveals a permanent concrete structure.
91:18564-2505The Cabrillo Bridge, February 12, 1914, provided the residents with a graphic measure of construction in the park.
91:18564-3050Three men float in a rowboat in a flooded pond below the Cabrillo Bridge.
91:18564-2810An easterly view along the Prado was taken from the top of a bridge construction tower. Hauling a large camera, tripod and film to the tower rop was a daring expedition.
91:18564-2770Two trucks in tandem tow a large palm past San Diego High School toward the park, January 30, 1914.
91:18564-2767Another large tree is moved with care and mule power along the Prado.

Photo number:San Diego Homes:
91:18564-1811Sefton residence, Point Loma
91:18564-1040Mission Hills home (remains today)
91:18564-64Burlingame home
91:18564-1037Mission Hills home
91:18564-1575Gordon Clark Residence, National City built 1888, demolished 1959

Photo number:San Diego People:
91:18564-2010Girl at aquarium
91:18564-2048Logan Heights School baseball team / Spaulding Trophy
91:18564-1747Woman with boy by garden
91:18564-2007Florence School physical education classcloseup
91:18564-2033Lincoln School kindergarten class

Photo number:San Diego Back Country:
91:18564-816Construction Campcloseup
91:18564-1209Water flume through mountains
91:18564-1211Horse-drawn sleighing in Julian

Photo number:Motor vehicles:
91:18564-1199Stineman & friends, 2 cars at Devil’s Canyon
91:18564-681Dupree’s Auto Livery
91:18564-665Gramm Truck
91:18564-666Swift & Co. Premium Hams & Bacon Truck / Old Mission Realty
91:18564-650Benbough Furniture Company truck at warehouse
91:18564-664Fitch’s Fast Freight truck
91:18564-1563All-female group of motorcyclists
91:18564-xxxFord Motor Co. & Bay City Market Delivery Trucksdriver closeup
91:18564-668Bay City Market & New England Creamery
Drivers pose in Ford Delivery Trucks on Fifth

Photo number:Commercial Buildings:
91:18564-647Paris Dye Works
91:18564-3010National City macaroni factory explosion
91:18564-1154Murray cotton gins, Imperial Valley
91:18564-712Buckman Bottling Co, interior
91:18564-671Mission Brewing Co.
91:18564-669San Diego Brewing Co.
91:18564-639Dudley Motion Picture Mf’g. Co.
91:18564-197Prospective home-buyers at Kaehler Brothers, home builders
91:18564-967Lobby of Florence Hotel, 320 Fir Street
91:18564-657Model train in window of Hartwell Electric 1911-15
closeup of model train

Photo number:Ships and San Diego Harbor:
91:18564-2166Isis Launch – sailors on deck
91:18564-2158Pacific Steamship Co. wharf / SS California
91:18564-2189Navy ship in harbor
91:18564-2199Gunboat “Vicksburg” in San Diego harbor
91:18564-xxxxShips in San Diego Harborcloseup

Photo number:San Diego Beaches:
91:18564-1529Mission Beach
91:18564-579Four young women diving from rocks
91:18564-179Pier under construction in Carlsbad
91:18564-1665Diving from pier at Pacific Beachcloseup

Photo number:More Park / Panama-California Exposition:
91:18564-1647Presidio Park – Serra Cross – Balboa Day, 1913
91:18564-914Exposition promotional sign – D.C. Collier
91:18564-2768Horse-drawn tree moving on El Prado (another view
91:18564-2599Ferris wheel and roller coaster on “The Isthmus”
91:18564-2604Palais de Dance on “The Isthmus”
91:18564-2603Panama Film Co., on “The Isthmus”
91:18564-702Dispensary, Administration Buiding, Balboa Park
91:18564-2394Foreign Arts Building construction (now House of Hospitality)
91:18564-2612Botanical Building under construction
91:18564-2823Man examining skull in Museum of Man (probably Ales Hrdlicka)
91:18564-2708Artisan carving seal for Home Economy Building, where Timken Museum now stands
91:18564-2735Indian in Electriquette during construction
91:18564-2503Cabrillo Bridge under construction
91:18564-2510Cabrillo Bridge under construction

Photo number:San Diegans at work:
91:18564-1170Imperial Water Co. tractor, Imperial Valley
91:18564-121Road construction in Cardiff
91:18564-642Harvesting salt, Western Salt Works
91:18564-2290Laying water pipe

Photo number:Flying high:
91:18564-499Mohan Singh at controls of the Curtiss pusher
91:18564-503Curtiss hydroplane being launched into bay
91:18564-xxxCurtiss hydroplane in baycloseup

Photo number:Riding the rails:
91:18564-1883Train “San Diego to greet Arizona and Imperial Valley”
91:18564-1876Train engine – Atchison, Topeka & Santa FeEngine closeup
91:18564-297Encinitas Train Station

Photo number:The Little Landers, San Ysidro:
91:18564-1464Small farmhouse
91:18564-1451Real estate office and San Ysidro Post Office
91:18564-1421Farmer with vegetable basket by windmill
91:18564-14222 people in front of Little Landers’ adobe

Photo number:Downtown San Diego Buildings:
91:18564-680San Diego Post Office
91:18564-2060Overview of San Diego High School from downtown: March 5, 1914panoramic closeup (85k)
91:18564-1965Downtown view: Oct 28, 1913closeup of Golden Lion Tavern

Photo number:Stineman and his “Stineman System”:
91:18564-1712Stineman self-portrait
91:18564-1474Stineman System film projector gear drive
91:18564-1472Stineman System film developing reel
91:18564-1746Stineman at right of group

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