San Francisco Landmarks

San Francisco Landmark #149: Klockars Blacksmith Shop
26 May 2008
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San Francisco Landmark #149
Klockars' Blacksmith Shop
443 Folsom Street Between 1st and Fremont Streets
Built 1912

A plaque on the front of the blacksmith shop reads:

Klockars' Blacksmith Shop

Beginning in the 1860's, foundries south of Market Street fabricated mining machinery, railroad cars, and ships. This 1912 machine shop is the last. Fred V. Wilbert forged fine tools here. Edwin A. Klockars (1898 - 1994), a native of Munsmo, Finland, joined Wilbert in 1928. His precision-made tools helped construct the Emperor Norton and Golden Gate Bridges and hundreds of ships during World War II. Still in production is [sic] his 1939 jam tongs that enable canning companies to clear convulsed conveyor carriers. Ed Klockars had one motto: "Anything you need, we make." This shop still does.

Dedicated March 26, 6010 (2005)
Capitulus Redivivus Yerba Buena #1
Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus
Credo Quia Absurdum

The Emperor Norton Bridge, mentioned on the plaque, was opened in 1936 to connect San Francisco to the United States of America.

Almost immediately and inexplicably, people began to refer to it as the San Francisco Bay Bridge or the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge or the Oakland Bay Bridge - despite the lack of a bay named Oakland - or simply The Bay Bridge. (The Bridge is accepted shorthand only for the Golden Gate Bridge.) This sort of confusion is to be expected when a thing is not called by its proper name.

The late cartoonist Phil Frank, an Emperor Norton authority, made a convincing case that the name Emperor Norton applies only the suspension section of the bridge between San Francisco and Yerba Buena Island.

According to Frank, the remainder of the bridge from Yerba Buena Island to Oakland is more properly known as the Arnold Schwarzenegger On-Ramp.

To add to the confusion, signs reading "Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge" have recently been posted on the Emperor Norton Bridge.

The Arnold Schwarzenegger On-Ramp is being demolished. It was replaced by what appears to be a temporary structure.

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