Science and Health Survived the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

  • Webster Lithgow
Leather-bound copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, that survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire and was sent to Mrs. Eddy. Longyear Museum collection.

This pocket edition of the Christian Science textbook happened to be stored in an office safe, as the building burned around it. It emerged weeks later, when the safe had cooled. Although the leather cover was shriveled by the heat, not a single page had been burned. Impressed, the book’s owner sent it to Mrs. Eddy. In her thank you note for a similar gift, Mrs. Eddy said:

“…I have received several other volumes of this sacred book with the covers burned to a crisp … and their texts unharmed…. Before and after the aforesaid incident relative to that book I have held the clear and calm consciousness that its contents are immortal.”1


  1. Mary Baker Eddy to Delia Brown Wood, October 19, 1907, L05529, The Mary Baker Eddy Collection, The Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston, Massachusetts.

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