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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Navigation chart,

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Navigation chart, "Entrance to San Francisco Bay," 1969
National Ocean Service

San Francisco waterfront

Oakland aerial view

Port of Oakland aerial, 1935

Port of Oakland aerial, 1968

Chart of San Francisco Bay
Currently on display
Not a part of the official Smithsonian Collection
This navigation chart shows the entrance to San Francisco Bay. Its role in "America on the Move" is to locate the "Transforming the Waterfront" story and to illustrate how the Bay area's two major ports--San Francisco and Oakland--relate to each other geographically.
Physical Description
Navigation chart
Date Made:
Dates Used:
1969 - 1969

San Francisco is built on one of the world's best natural harbors. Its deep waters and protected location inside the Golden Gate made it an important port of call for ships traveling the globe from the 1850s onward. The city's history is indeed a maritime history, filled with the arrivals and departures of ships carrying people and goods from around the world. San Francisco's status as the West Coast's major port and Asian gateway grew strained when the container revolution began in the late 1950s. For various geographic and political reasons, the city did not develop the kind of sprawling intermodal facilities needed to serve containerships and to store and transfer containers. Across the bay in Oakland, however, civic and business leaders saw the opportunity to develop new container-friendly facilities. With plenty of flat land and easy access to major highways and railroads, Oakland embraced the container revolution and, for most of the 1980s, was the Pacific Coast's largest container port.

Related People, Places, and Events
Chart maker
National Ocean Service

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