San Francisco, 1906. Turn up the volume and travel back in time! This film was “lost” for many years. It was the first 35mm film ever. It was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car.
The number of automobiles is staggering for 1906. Notice that all the cars apparently have their steering wheels on the right side. The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there. (I’m also wondering … how many “street cleaning” people were employed to pick up after the horses? (Talk about going green!)
And no traffic lights, no cross walks, no painted lanes, no road signs, no cell phones – yet folks seemed to survive okay……….& obviously no pedestrian or driving rules or laws. Notice how much better dressed they were in 1906.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 quake and shipped by train to NY for processing. Amazing but true!