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Photos of San Francisco in 1951, Snapped Through a Navy Submarine Periscope

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In 1951, a diesel-powered US Navy submarine called the U.S.S. Catfish passed under the Golden Gate Bridge and did a short tour of San Francisco Bay. While there, the crew decided to snap some photographs of San Francisco… through its periscope.

The USS Catfish in 1956

The USS Catfish in 1956

The photographs were recently rediscovered by Bill Van Niekerken, the library director at the San Francisco Chronicle, in the newspaper’s photo morgue. Writer Peter Hartlaub then gathered the photographs together and posted them to an online gallery.

The USS Catfish had been stationed in San Diego, but came up to Northern California on this occasion to pick up a couple of reservists for a training exercise. It spent roughly an hour traveling from a point five miles out from the Golden Gate Bridge to a berth at Treasure Island, snapping photos of sights along the way.

The photographs show the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco skyline, and various well-known landmarks (the photograph above shows Coit Tower and the Bay Bridge). Oh — and all the photographs feature crosshairs:

Alcatraz Island framed by the Golden Gate Bridge

Alcatraz Island framed by the Golden Gate Bridge

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A photograph showing the Palace of Fine Arts

A photograph showing the Palace of Fine Arts

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The well-known factory sign in Ghirardelli Square

The well-known factory sign in Ghirardelli Square

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The water tower on Alcatraz Island

The water tower on Alcatraz Island

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(via SFGate via Gizmodo)


Image credits: Photographs by the United States Navy


 
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  • Tim

    Wouldn’t it have been more interesting if we got to see the Sovjet submarine pictures of the same subject from the same time period?