historic 1906 film captures san

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Historic 1906 film captures San Francisco’s Market Street…

A Cable Car in San Francisco

I happened to tune into sixty minutes last Sunday, specifically to watch a different segment, when it was followed by a piece about the Miles Brothers’ Market Street movie.  Originally thought to have been filmed in late 1905, due to the dogged perseverance of an amateur historian, its true date was later found to be in April 1906… about a week (or so) before the disastrous Great Earthquake of 1906.

The above is actually a re-digitized (and cleaned up) version of the original, with a very nice soundtrack added.  After watching main piece on the television, I recalled one commenter making an interesting observation – that many of the people in this video actually only had one more week to enjoy before the Great Quake hit the city – a bit foreboding to realize when one watches this video.  Still, there are many unique little things to watch for (as listed on the main piece below), such as the newsboys waving at the cable car at the turnaround, the eye-opening traffic (some of the vehicles was actually the same autocar, paid to circle around the cable car – identifiable by its license plate), or the preponderance of hats worn by everyone!

The Sixty Minutes article on the 1906 movie
A great historical find, placed in the context of a great city in what could be called the “Late Steampunk Age”, before it suffers a great amount of devastation.  Beautiful to watch, and if only there were a few airships…
To see the original website producing the above work, please turn to:
San Fran 1906 Film documentary…

The 1906 Miles Brothers’ Market Street Movie…

and a bit more information, at:

SF Gate

Market Street Railway

1 comment:


I shared this footage with my beloved, who delved a bit further and found this, a link to footage of the same route, but immediately after the earthquake. The film is not of any great quality, but the damage is astounding in its scale, and you get to see some military uniforms of the time.