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LBCS 96C: Labor Relations in the Modern American Workplace: SF H&R History Assignment

This guide provides starting points for conducting research for assignments in LBCS 96C.

Assignment Overview

ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS:  Write a  report focused on an historic San Francisco hotel or  restaurant. Preferably, the establishment should have opened in the 1920’s or earlier and it must still be operating today. You will  need to describe what your hotel or restaurant was like when it opened and what it’s like now. Please include information on working conditions, ownership, location, architecture, and ambience and, for restaurants, cuisine. Also,  report on San Francisco’s population and demographics then and now to put  your report in context. This report requires a site visit.

Union Documents 1903-1913

Copies of historical union documents for the restaurant industry of San Francisco are available in the Statler Library.  Students may ask for them at the reference desk.  Documents include:

  • Cooks' Union Local No. 44 - Cconstitution and By-Laws, 1903
  • Cooks' Union Local No. 44 - Book of Membership and Constitution, 1903
  • Cooks' Union Local No. 44 - Synopsis of Wage Scale and Trade Regulations 1914
  • Cooks' Helpers Union Local No. 110 - Cponstitution and By-Laws 1913
  • Cooks' Helpers Union Local No. 110 -  Wage Scale, 1906
  • Bartenders' International League of America Local No. 41  of San Francisco - Constitution and By-Laws, 1901
  • Waiters' Union Local 30 - Constitution and By-Laws, 1911
  • Waiters' Union Local 30 -  Wage Scales, 1911
  • Waitresses' Union Local 48 - Constitution 1914
  • Waitresses' Union Local 48 - Wage Scale

* Current union documents are also available.

Finding Books

Search CityCat to find books, e-books, DVDs, CDs and more. There are many ways to search, such as by Title, Author and Keyword.

      Find CCSF Library books, textbooks and other materials:

Broad subjects for San Francisco historical hotels and hospitality.

You may also conduct a SUBJECT search using the NAME of a particular hotel or restaurant.

Books on Historic San Francisco Restaurants & Hotels

Old San Francisco : The biography of a city from early days to the earthquake
Doris Muscatine | New York : Putnam, 1975 | F869.S3 M88

Lights and shades in San Francisco
B.E. Lloyd | Berkeley, Calif. : Berkeley Hills Books, 1999 | F869.S34 L58

The city at the end of the rainbow : San Francisco and its grand hotels
David Siefkin | New York : Putnam, 1976 | TX909 .S53
The fabulous Fior
Francine Brevetti | Nevada City, CA : San Francisco Bay Books, 2004 | TX945.5.F56 B74

A cook's tour of San Francisco; the best restaurants and their recipes
Doris Muscatine | New York, Scribner,1963 | TX945 .M88

History of western hotels
City College of San Francisco. Hotel and Restaurant Dept. | San Francisco, CA, 1941 | TX909 .S23


Books on SF Labor History

Making San Francisco American : cultural frontiers in the urban West, 1846-1906 Barbara Berglund | Lawrence, KS.: University of Kansas Press, 2007.

The Restaurant Industry in San Francisco: Occupational Study San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Board of Education, 1932

Dishing it out : waitresses and their unions in the twentieth century Dorothy Sue Cobble | Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 1991

A history of the labor movement in California Ira B. Cross | Berkeley, CA: Univ. of Cal Press, 1935

Arbitration in the San Francisco Hotel and Restaurant Industries Van Dusen Kennedy | Berkeley, Ca: Univ of Cal., 1952

Articles on Historical Labor Issues in SF

Korshak, S. R. (2000, April). A Labor--Management Partnership: San Francisco's Hotels and the Employees' Union Try a New Approach. Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 41(2), 14. Retrieved from

Cobble, D.S.  (1991, April). Organizing the Postindustrial Work Force: Lessons from the History of Waitress Unionism. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 44(3),  419-36. [Statler reserve].

Cobble, D.S. (1995). Dishing it out! Waitresses and the making of their unions in San Francisco, 1900-1941. In D. Cornford (Ed.) Working People of California. Berkeley: University of California Press,  Retrieved from

Hsia, .L. (2003). Eating the Exotic: The Growing Acceptability of Chinese cuisine in San Francisco, 1848-1915, Retrieved from

Page, T.W. (1902, December). The San Francisco Labor Movement in 1901.  Political Science Quarterly 17(4), 664-688.  [Statler Reserve].

Spence, M.L.  (1983, January). They Also Serve Who Wait. The Western Historical Quarterly. 14(1), 4-28.  [Statler Reserve].

San Francisco Chronicle Index 1865-1922

San Francisco Chronicle Historical (1865-1922) | (ProQuest)

Offers  full page and article images with searchable full text back to the  first issue in 1865. The collection includes digital reproductions providing  access to every page from every available issue.  


SF Historical Photograph Collection

The San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, located in the San Francisco History Center on the 6th floor, contains photographs and works on paper of San Francisco and California views from 1850 to the present.


Purchasing Power of Money in the United States from 1774 to Present provides a way to determine the value of an amount of money in a particular ("original") year compared to another ("desired") year.

San Francisco Demographics

Bay Area Census
San Francisco City and County Census information 1860-

Data SF
DataSF is the City and County of San Francisco’s official open data portal.

San Francsico Statistics
Provides data for entire city, data for specific areas within the city and historical data

SF Geneology - Population
Population numbers and ethnic breakdown from 1794-

Historical Census Browser - University of Virginia Library
1790-1960 data: University of Virginia Library Geostat Data--search by County Level Data to view San Francisco statistics (entire city only).

American FactFinder
Find popular facts (population, income, etc.) and frequently requested data about communities.  Search by state, county, city, town, or zip code.  Great for SF neighborhood searches.

Library & Learning Resources, City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112 (415) 452-5541