Through The Lens Of Charles Weidner

A San Francisco Retrospective

In 1880, 14 year old Charles Weidner left his home in Germany to come to the United States where he would eventually begin his career as a prolific photographer.

Charles’ curiosity of his new homeland prompted him to travel throughout California snapping shots of the majestic and interesting scenery along the way. When viewing his collection now, it’s obvious he especially loved to capture the sights of his home town of San Francisco.

Fortunate for Charles that the Golden Age of American Postcards began during his photographic career. He chose many of his images to be published as post cards that he had printed at the German printing press, Geoggel. Even though printing in Germany was banned following World War I, Weidner continued to print his own cards.

Many of Charles’ postcards are available today in private and public postcard collections. From those, we can trace his travels throughout California, as far north as Oregon, and south to Catalina Island. However, the most cherished of the collection are those of his beloved San Francisco.

While on one of his many expeditions, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck. Charles promptly returned home to capture the devastating and breathtaking images of the quake’s affect on the city by the bay. Charles Weidner died in 1940 leaving behind a visual history of California that is still appreciated today.

Charles Weidner is the great grandfather of Rick Weidner, Principal at WeidnerCA.

Photos from this collection currently on display at the SEGD Above the Fog Conference in San Francisco, CA.

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