Old Images of Oakland, California

Old photo postcard of City Hall Square, Oakland, California circa 1903

Glimpse history through old images of Oakland, California, in the USA.

Established as a town in 1852, Oakland was selected to be the western terminus for the transcontinental railroad. Oakland’s first transcontinental railroad depot was at 7th and Broadway.

In the nineteenth century the Pullman Company required that all local Pullman employees lived West of Adeline street, even though they worked for tips rather than a salary. George Pullman, the chicago-based industrialist who founded the Pullman Company, employed exclusively African Americans to serve as Pullman porters and maids. Along with African Americans, West Oakland was home to Italian, Serbian, Jewish and Irish families.

Old Photos of Oakland

Vintage Postcards of Oakland

Old Maps of Oakland

Oakland in 1982

While the 3 minute footage doesn’t have any sound, there are lots of people, businesses and vehicles seen in these Berkeley street scenes from 1982.

1982 Berkeley, Oakland Street Scenes, California in HD from 16mm – Kinolibrary on YouTube

African American Oakland 1852-1940

This video, produced by the Oakland Public Library, covers the following topics:

  • Struggles for Employment and Recognition
  • Integration of the fire department
  • Pullman porters’ fight for recognition
  • Influence on other workers’ rights
  • African American entrepreneurship
  • Education and advocacy
  • Brooklyn Colored School and Jeremiah Sanderson
  • Civil rights and educational opportunities
  • Lydia Flood Jackson and her contributions
  • The impact of the transcontinental railroad
  • Western terminus in Oakland
  • Pullman porters and their significance
  • West Oakland as an African American enclave
  • Growth and development of Oakland
  • Geographic advantages
  • Industrial town and population growth
  • Challenges faced by the African American community
  • Civic and philanthropic leaders
  • William and Julia Shorey
  • Beth Eden Baptist Church
  • California Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs
  • African Americans in early Oakland
  • Arrival and misconceptions
  • Work and occupations
  • Community building and institutions

African American Oakland, 1852-1940 – Oakland Public Library on YouTube

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