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Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, Aquatic Park, c. 1890


Domingo Ghirardelli, an Italian immigrant, began his chocolate operation in a tent during the Gold Rush, to provide luxuries for the exhausted miners. The waterfront location was opened in 1893, when the company expanded. It was converted into a marketplace in the early 1960s and designated as a landmark in 1965.

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Austin and Reuben Hills at the Tasting Table, No. 2 Harrison Street, c. 1930

Cup-testing for coffee quality was started by Reuben Hills in the late 1880's. This testing procedure continues today with highly qualified personnel using the most advanced equipment to augment their expertise in judging coffee quality by taste and smell.

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Hills Bros #2 Harrison Street vacuum packing plant under construction November 1924

In 1851, the shoreline of San Francisco Bay came close to the foot of Rincon Point. This resulted in extensive land-filling before this building could be constructed on the first block of Harrison Street in 1924.

This photograph is one of a series showing the progress of construction of the 2 Harrison Street plant and offices of Hills Bros. from ground-breaking August 12, 1924, until near completion at the end of 1925. The architect was George W. Kelham; builder was P. J. Walker Company.



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Allyne and White Oils & Paint Store, 112-114 Front Street, c. 1880

This store, an importer and dealer of oils and paints, was typical of the many flourishing businesses supporting the local market at his time. Typical lantern oils used were whale oil, imported from Alaska, and kerosene, coal oil.


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Samuel Kellet, Manufacturer of Plaster Decorations, 765 Market Street, c. 1865

This business producing plaster decorations was located in a building established in 1862. San Francisco experienced rapid growth after the Gold Rush, and businesses supporting building and interior decorating industries were important.


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