April 18, 1906, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the city of San Francisco. The earthquake was followed by major fires that destroyed 80% of the city and killed over 3,000 people.

Luckily, Edwin Jr’s Pacific Avenue home was spared. The H.M Newhall and Co was not so lucky as it burned to the ground so Edwin put up a sign that the company would be run from his home. However, before it burned an employee was able to secure all the records. Within just a few months the company was back up and running in temporary headquarters. Edwin also housed other employees and friends who had lost their homes in the fire.