1905 Film Trip Down Market Street Before the Great Earthquake

“You are there” for a cable car ride in San Francisco.  This film was “lost” for many years. It was taken by a camera mounted on the front of a cable car.  The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there.

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.

From Prelinger Collection, Internet Archives

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