I recently shot a job for Wells Fargo Bank Historical Services. They’re publishing a book to document their incredible archive of historical artifacts from the last 200 years or so. It was rapid-fire photography all day for five days, but the Wells Fargo people and my crew (well, Emily Polar) were really great, and we had a lot of fun.
Emperor Norton money. I love Emperor Norton. That San Francisco not only accepted Norton, but let him print his own currency makes it my kind of town.
After I shot this coin, I kind of wanted to redo it, so I asked if we could leave it in the library (we were shooting in the library in their building) overnight. They said “No.” and returned it to the vault. Later I found out it’s worth two million dollars.
I love this thing. It’s a Fire Grenade. It’s loaded with chemicals, and you were to keep a set of them outside your house. If it caught fire, you’d toss these inside and they’d hopefully starve out the flames. I wished I’d had an hour with this piece, instead of 20 minutes.
This. This is hard to describe, but that’s uh, San Francisco. Apparently back then it was a hollow hill, with a beach. I think that might be a jet-black whale on the right. Somehow, this painting managed to creep into the future and inform that whole late 90′s Mission School thing.