The automobile, still a rather new contrivance, played a major role during the aftermath of the Great Quake of 1906.  With railroad and street car service destroyed with one swift blow, and the city stretching out for miles, there had to be a means of conquering space.  The auto was used to take the dead to the morgue, speed wounded to hospitals, and transport nurses, doctors, city officials, and military officers to varied destinations around San Francisco.