Found Slides on Tiffany Street

SF Memory

The Story So Far... January 14, 2024

All the Tiffany Cabinet images are online.

Sometime early in the pandemic (Spring 2020) this cabinet and others like it were abandoned somewhere around Tiffany and Duncan streets in San Francisco. This cabinet was found to contain 920 photographic slides by an unknown photographer. Photos of early Bart construction, city agencies, and family photos

The cabinet was brought to me by Donnie Weaver who found it and others on the street, he was only able to carry one cabinet home.

After Steven Pitsenbarger identified an event at the Japanese Tea Garden & Peter Hartlaub found photos the San Francisco Chronicle Archive, tips came in identifying the photographer as James A. Martin, a San Francisco Schoolteacher.

After searching online sources, I contacted Ted Martin and told him of the discovery and the slides. James Martin had passed away in 2019 and a distraught family member had disposed of his slides on the street. The family thought his work was gone forever.

Two different Television news stories followed. on on the NBC Nightly News and one on NBC Bayarea

Other Cabinets Found! I received a tip that a neighbor might have picked up the other cabinets back in 2020. I found three rusting (and empty) cabinets on a nearby porch. I left a note and was contacted a few days later.

I tried to impress upon the person the importance of the slides to local history, suggested they return them to the Martin Family or donate them to the Library, and even offered to buy them. The person says they want to keep them.

Working with the San Francisco Public Library's History Center and Photo Curator Christina Moretta, I brokered an agreement between the library, Ted Martin, Donnie Weaver, and myself to donate the slides, scans, copyright, and metadata to the library, so that the public will have a greater opportunity to see and access the material.

I am extremely happy to be able to share what we have of James Martin's work but I doubt the public will ever see the rest of it.


Inside the Cabinet

Bart Construction - 297 images
General Views, City Government - 334 images
Muir Woods, SF Airport, Fire, Police - 287 images