Monday, May 3, 2010

The Good Old Days Before Stoplights....

From one of those forwarded e-mails we all get. The note said this was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car in San Francisco -- in 1906, just before the Great Earthquake. What happened to all the fixed gears?


skiffrun said...

Anarchy. Or the start of any large cycling ride.

A lot of autos. Most with the steering wheel on the right, but some with steering on the left -- which I thought didn't become prevalent until Ford did that (no earlier than 1906). Maybe an auto historian could approximate a date for the video based on the autos.

Maybe a San Francisco historian, expert on before and after the quake buildings / architecture could approximate the date based on the buildings, light fixtures, and company names on some of the buildings.

Technology is interesting. When we were all younger, an authentic movie from that era would almost certainly have shown in that herky-jerky, everyone looks to be doing everything really fast, WW I style that we used to see. (I assume this has been slowed or adjusted using technology to give the appearance of normal speed.)

Did you notice how few women were on the street?


Lin said...

Nice find! (from another Air fan).

sag said...

Very neat.

After a little time on Google Maps Street View, I vote for the length of Market St, heading northeast. The old tower at the very end of the film still appears to be standing (or rebuilt) at the waterfront. Ferry terminal maybe?

Link to Street View image

YungFalbz said...

The quality of the video is amazing.

Interesting that cars, pedestrians, street cars, bikes, horse-n-buggy could all use the same space. No designated lanes for anything. Wonder how often people were hit. Seems like well organized chaos.

Very cool.

Rierson Photography said...

The info attached to the video on YouTube says Market St. 1905 before the quake of 1906. Anybody else notice that the only near collisions all involved automobiles?