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San Francisco Agents of Lost Liner Without News of Disaster

Provided by The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco

The office of the White Star line in San Francisco was dark and deserted last night, although many persons went there in the hope of learning something about the fate of relatives or friends on the Titanic.

These callers and those who happened to walk by the offices, which are in the Gunst building in Geary street, near Powell, saw a weird sight–weird in the light of what had happened or was happening in the Atlantic.

In one of the windows of the offices was a large picture of the giant steamship of which everyone in the company was so proud. It showed the ship plunging through the waves in all the glory of man’s highest achievement over water. It looked like a living monster.

The frame was illuminated with an automatic electric switch which turned it from red to white alternatively. When it flashed white the ship was shown in full outline. In the red glow it looked ghostly.

Above it the illuminated letters T-I-T-A-N-I-C flashed and faded and flashed again, throbbing, it seemed, with life, calling someone, speaking a message of some sort–“Titanic, Titanic, Titanic”–and so on all night.

No advices were received at the local offices concerning the disaster. General Agent Larke said that he knew no more about it than what he had read in the papers.

San Francisco Examiner
April 16, 1912


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