May 15, 1906
Jack London, Hit Hard by the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, Concentrates on Building His Famous Ketch, The Snark
The San Francisco earthquake, just three weeks before, has nearly wiped London out, and he hasn’t, he says here, the funds to invest in an improved gas stove; his priority is building the Snark, with which he will circumnavigate the globe.
… The earthquake has likewise eaten into my capital and I am busy hustling now in order to raise money with which to continue building the boat on which I sail next October for a seven-years' cruise round the world. From the foregoing you will see that my plans and finances will not permit me to go into the proposition which you mention.
A year later, London, his wife, and a small crew set out from San Francisco aboard the Snark – and for the next year and a half miraculously stayed afloat, calling at ports in the Pacific. The voyage, abandoned in Australia, was chronicled by London in The Cruise of the Snark (1911).
Typed Letter Signed. 1 page, quarto, Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, California, May 15, 1906. To “Comrade Rice," being Lawrence W. Rice of the United Gas Improvement Company of Philadelphia.
With a color postcard of London’s 41-foot ketch Snark, bearing the printing legend “Jack London’s ‘Snark’ on Alameda Estuary.”
Accompanied by a printed envelope from The United Gas Improvement Company, Philadelphia Gas Works, New Business Dept., 134-142 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA. Addressed in typescript to Mrs. Edith M. Lloyd, Director Home Economic Div., The United Gas Improvement Co., N.W. Cor. Broad & Arch Sts. Philadelphia, PA