It Came From the (Photo) Morgue: Where Neptune Struck and Failed

April 4, 1928
Karl Bersnak, Seaman and mascot aboard storm battered lumber schooner, Nettleton.

The Jane Nettleton, a steamer loaded with lumber entered the San Francisco Bay on April 4, 1928. It had been caught for four days in a wild storm after setting off from Oregon. While the ship's captain refused to comment, the ship's radio operator, Dewey H. Olsen, filled the local papers in with a dramatic tale of damage done to the ship. But the story behind this photo came from another crew member: "The two most scared on the ship were 'Bullets' and 'Buckshot', the ship's cats," said Frank Lundstrom, one of the crew. "All the time the ship was listed they were running about the decks screeching and howling. It's a wonder they didn't go overboard, but they're pretty good sailors and they know how to hang on."

The Jane Nettleton was built at Wilmington, California in 1917.

The photo above is from the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin Photo Morgue, but here is the headline to an article about the storm battered ship from the San Francisco Chronicle (downloaded from San Francisco Chronicle Current & Historical Newsbank - free with your library card):

San Francisco Chronicle, April 5, 1928

The San Francisco Public Library owns the photo morgue of the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin, a daily newspaper that covered the time period from the 1920s to 1965. Much of the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection comes from the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin Photo Morgue. However, the morgue also includes statewide, national, and international subjects and people that have not been digitized or cataloged. When researchers order scans from the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin Photo Morgue,selections are cataloged and added to the online database.

Looking for a historical photograph of San Francisco? Try our online database first. Not there? Come visit us at the Photo Desk of the San Francisco History Center, located on the sixth floor at the Main Library. The Photo Desk hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. You may also request photographs from the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin Photo Morgue.


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