in Cliff House?
Obscura adjacent to the present day Cliff House may have had a
predecessor. The blueprints clearly call out a "Camera Obscura Room"
in the NW tower...
Roof Page, NW
2nd Attic Page,
evidence comes from an advertising brochure by Taber Photography, published in
San Francisco in 1895, entitled "Sutro Baths, Cliff House, Sutro Heights"...
"The attic is used chiefly
as a means of approach to the rooms in the turrets, three of them fitted up as
private dining rooms, and the fourth containing the largest camera obscura west
of Chicago." (full
blueprints show the Camera Obscura in the NW tower, photographic
evidence suggests it may have resided in the SW tower instead...
appears in many photographs....a permanent fixture for cleaning and/or adjusting
the camera aperture?
photographs showing the SW tower...
Note: I do not
see the structure in the last two photos, possibly it was added or removed at
The above view
appears to show not only the ladder, but also a rope lassoed over the top.
Also note again the very distinct difference between the NW and SW towers.
So there you
have it. The evidence is before you. Thoughts?
Update 16 Jan 2014: John Martini located the below
receipt in the San Francisco Public Library History Center (link)...
"Placing Camera Obscura in the Gate House by the Lumber Yard & Same Lens to Mr
Mr. Harrison was Sutro’s foreman for much of the construction of Sutro Baths.
Likely the “Gate House by the Lumber Yard” referred to the construction site at
the Baths. - John Martini
Evidence suggesting there was not a Camera Obscura in the Cliff House
San Francisco Call - 24 Aug 1898
San Francisco Call - 18 July 1898