American History PBS show seeks historic homes and artifacts : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

I am doing research for a new PBS program about American history for which we seek homes, artifacts and industrial relics that may have a link to important local and national history - but whose full significance might not be entirely understood or realized. Do you have anything that might be of interest of can you refer me to owners of such items or organizations who might be involved in their preservation and documentation? Thanks. Please contact me directly through email:


-- Ross Tuttle (, November 13, 2002


Well, the very first thing that comes to mind is John Wilkes Booth who, as you know, assasinated Lincoln. He lived in San Francisco and performed theater in San Francisco along with his father. Was there something that he performed here that convinced him to immitate art? Perhaps there is something in San Francisco or somewhere else that remains of his.

San Francisco did have a lot of other firsts in the nation, the biggest hotel, Palace. Biggest department store, Emporium. Unusual foods like that ice cream sandwich whose name I can't remember right now and some oriental food that was named here whose name I can't remember now either. Wasn't the fortune cookie also invented here? There were also famous architects whose work was so fabulous that they were asked to build in other parts of the country as well.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy*, March 12, 2003.

You mean "It's It" -- an ice cream slab between two chocolate covered oatmeal cookies. Often imitated, never equaled.

I think the dish you're remembering is "chop suey," though I always thought that came from the gold fields.

We also invented Joe's Special, though none of the Joe's restaurants in San Francisco can decide which one of them did it. Joe's Special is sausage, olive oil, garlic, spinach, eggs and maybe some cheese. Gotta, absolutely gotta, be the sweet anise Italian sausage.

As for John Wilkes Booth leaving anything in San Francisco, he left me his birthday.

-- Rosa (, March 13, 2003.

Oh God, stop it, you're going to make me gain weight just thinking about all that incredible Italian food. I used to eat at Original Joe's for years and man did they ever have good food -- their cheeseburgers were magnificent. Their Baked Lasagna was the best in town. Their salmon and cornbeef and cabbage were hard to beat. And Ernesto, my regular waiter, used to sneak me extra food and bubbly too. And I always gave him a good $10 tip since I knew that extra food would have cost me a lot more anyway. I did the same thing at the Washington Square bar and grill and at Capps. And the amazing part of it all is that I ate like a horse and never gained any weight then.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy*, March 14, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ