Thursday, May 6, 2010

old, old film of SF

From my inbox/homeschool news group:

Hi -- My daughter and I just watched this -- it's a fascinating view of pre-quake SF. Those people didn't have any traffic rules! Watch for the woman who has to grab her skirts and run so as not to be mowed down by a Model T!


This is a real treasure! "You are there" for a cable car ride in San
Francisco . This film was "lost" for many years. It was the first 35 mm film ever. It was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car. The number of automobiles is staggering for 1906. Absolutely amazing! The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there. How many "street cleaning" people were employed to pick up after the horses? Who knows! Talk about going green.

Great historical film! Watch the scampering as "Joe Public" races away from autos, horses, cable cars and bicycles and the willy-nilly traffic pattern of visible autos, trucks, horse drawn carriages and bikes on Market Street.

This film, originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot. From New York trade papers announcing the film showing to the wet streets from recent heavy rainfall & shadows indicating time of year & actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!).

It was filmed only four days before the Great California Earthquake of April 18th 1906 and shipped by train to NY for processing.

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