Historic Market Street Video Shot A Week Before 1906 Quake

Most of our readers have probably already watched the amazing historic film of Market Street in the early 1900s, but you probably didn’t realize the video was shot in April, 1906, merely a week before the 1906 earthquake and fires destroyed most of the buildings that lined the street in the film. 60 Minutes aired an excellent story about the video on Sunday, which you can watch above. One point worth noting: Some of those cars driving in and out of the picture were staged by the filmmakers, likely as an example of the technological innovation represented by those earlier vehicles. How times change.

  • We at Market Street Railway are proud that we were first — four years ago — to create a narrated video of this great 12-minute historic film that credited film historian David Kiehn and his research proving that the film was shot only a few days before the 1906 earthquake and fire. We’ve now updated that narration and put it to the latest, highest quality transfer ever of this film, by San Francisco film archivist Rick Prelinger. Responding to the demand we’ve gotten from visitors to our San Francisco Railway Museum (77 Steuart Street, across from the Ferry Building), we’re now offering this DVD for sale, with all proceeds going to our mission of preserving historic transit in San Francisco (the F-line streetcars and the cable cars). Visit streetcar.org to learn more.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Peru’s Traffic Menagerie

|
Our daily urban lives shape our imaginations in so many ways. Few things box us in like our everyday transit options, and the patterns of traffic that shape our sense of public space. These patterns themselves are historical of course. A quick look back at the famous Market Street film shot a few days before […]

Reclaim Market Street! Plaza Intervention

|
From SPUR: Can plazas be made more dynamic by serving different age groups and interests over the course of a day? Can children be better integrated into the life of the street, learning to become citizens through their participation in the city and protected by the watchful eyes of neighbors? UN Plaza will be transformed […]

Will We Ever Get Market Street Right?

|
“Rebuilding Market Street has become a civic obsession in San Francisco. The city’s main street has been torn up and rebuilt completely at least once in every generation since the Civil War.” —Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, July 5, 1988 Apparently it’s time again. San Francisco faces another massive effort to remake Market Street, trying […]

“This Is Market Street” Film Screening

|
From Walk SF: As the Better Market Street project readies new designs for a street where a quarter-million people walk each day, take an evocative stroll down San Francisco’s “grand boulevard” with a thought-provoking film: This Is Market Street  (hosted by Walk SF and the Better Market Street project) Wed, June 26 6 – 7:30 p.m. San Francisco […]