July 16, 2011

Take a Cable Car Down Market Street, ca. 1906

Four days before the 1906 quake.

Two observations:

  • The yield-to-pedestrians laws were as effective then as they are now.

  • I must obtain a black suit with a 1900s cut, and above all, a bowler hat.

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Blogger First Sea Lord said...

What an absolute treasure of a piece of film. It never ceases to amaze me: in this film S.F. is barely 5 decades old as a city; San Francisco became itself instantly, recognizable forever in its particular form and dynamism.

Personally, film of this nature - long, lingering, simple shots of particular places, especially ones transformed in time, are often much more interesting to me than narrative features.

Also, what a sad reminder of the tremendous loss of life.

July 16, 2011 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger First Sea Lord said...

Notice though - everyone is sharing their cars.

July 16, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

I loved that, and the shocking thing for me is that it's still recognizably San Francisco.

Here is a 1927 color film of London that I believe is as close as you can come to time travel.

Also, the silent film Picadilly (excerpt here) starring the incandescent Anna May Wong has very high-quality footage of London nightlife of that time, some staged and some real.

July 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM  

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