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1967 Bob Chan Pictorial Map of San Francisco's Chinatown

Souvenir Map of San Francisco Chinatown.

1967 Bob Chan Pictorial Map of San Francisco's Chinatown


Rare pictorial map of San Francisco Chinatown by Chinese-American artist.



Souvenir Map of San Francisco Chinatown.
  1967 (undated)    20.5 x 26 in (52.07 x 66.04 cm)     1 : 1000


A rare and exceptional map of San Francisco's Chinatown, dating to the Summer of Love, 1967. Drawn by the Chinese-American artist, Bob Chan, the map is oriented to the East and centers on the intersection of Grant Avenue and Washington Street, extending from Powell Street (unlabeled) to Kearny Street, and from California Street to Pacific Avenue. The map aptly illustrates the density of the population, particularly on Grant Avenue. Cartoonish illustrations of prominent local business and historic buildings are noted throughout. A large Chinese dragon sprawls along the bottom of the map.
San Francisco Chinatown
Covering roughly 24 blocks, San Francisco's Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in the North America and the densest chines enclave outside of Asia. It was established in 1848, but did not grow significantly until the influx of Chinese immigrants following the California Gold Rush between 1849 and 1955. The area was official designated as the only part of San Francisco that allowed Chinese persons to own, inherit, and inhabit property. The area quickly developed a reputation as a den of vice, with countless houses of prostitution and gambling. Nonetheless, despite, or perhaps because of this reputation, it became a popular tourist destination for those seeking the 'mystery of the orient.' During the San Francisco Earthquake and fires of 1906, Chinatown was particularly hard hit due to the density of wooden structures and completely destroyed. Although some city officials saw this as an opportunity to move Chinatown out of downtown San Francisco - this did not happen. Instead the Chinese quickly rebuilt, hiring architects to construct Chinese-inspired buildings in the hopes of attracting tourists. Unfortunately lack of adequate housing led to a period of decline for San Francisco's Chinatown until immigration reform in the 1960s precipitated a second enormous wave of Chinese immigration - roughly corresponding to the creation of this map. The area went through a revival, attracting tourists once again, but retained its reputation as a hub of vice and seedy nightlife. Today Chinatown celebrates its Chinese heritage and remains a center of Chinese culture in San Francisco.
Publication History and Census
The map was drawn by Bob Chan, a San Francisco Chinese-America illustrator working for the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. It was published by Jin-a-Graphics of San Jose, whose owner Robert Jayne, may have been related by marriage to the Chan clan. There are no examples noted on the OCLC and only one other example known (private collection). The map is undated, but Drag'on A' Go Go, a teen-focused rock venue and nightclub on Wentworth Street firmly dates the map between 1965 and 1967. The Jin-A-Graphics imprint further refines the date to 1967, when the company began operations.


Bob Chan (fl. c. 1964 - 1968) was a Chinese-American San Francisco based illustrator active in the 1960s. Chan produced illustrations for private firms and for the San Francisco Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. Chan is listed in the San Francisco directory in 1967 as working out of 842 Washington Street, which was then the Chan Family Benevolent Association and Temple. He may have been related to Robert Jayne, owner of Jin-A-Graphics Printing Company of San Jose and Santa Clara. We have identified a Po Dah Chan of San Francisco, who became a U.S. citizen in 1964, changing his name to Bob Chan. It unclear whether or not they are one and the same.

Jin-A-Graphics Printing Company (1967 - 1969) was a printing firm specializing in color lithography that operated an open printing shop in San Jose from about 1967, when an advertisement for a 'pressman' position appears in The San Francisco Examiner . The owner and president of the firm was Robert Jayne, a Canadian-born Chinese-American Korean War veteran and businessman. Their offices moved to at 430 Martin Avenue, Santa Clara, around 1968. In 1969 they were acquired by the Berkeley firm Computer Dynamics. After the acquisition Jayne continued on a general manager.


Very good Some light foxing and creasing. Edge wear with archival verso reinforcement.
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