A Look Into San Francisco's Past: A Trip Down Market Street 1906

Just like the story of Vivian Maiers, every now and then a discovery is made that not only brings a smile to your face but also sends a chill down your spine. Such is the story of the famous 1906 black and white film A Trip Down Market Street. For almost a century, historians have been trying to accurately date the short 13 minute film, and up until recently it was thought to have been shot in Sept 1905. When historian David Kiehn unveiled the truth about the film's date, everyone was shocked to learn that it was filmed in San Francisco just days before the devastating earthquake and sequential fire of 1906. The behind the scenes story on how the origin of the film was created is quite remarkable.

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6 Comments

Lee Morris's picture

Anyone else laugh at how he was handling that "extremely fragile" film? (3:50)

Andreas Feustel's picture

Yes! This was also my first thought when I saw this guy touching the film without wearing cotton gloves.
Maybe it was just a workprint.

That was fascinating. 
Thank you.

Andreas Feustel's picture

I really love to see historic films like this one! I was even happy to see a film made in the early 60th of my hometown Hamburg (Germany) a few months ago. So many things changed and there was no fire, no earthquake and it was just 50 years ago.

This historic film here is very special because of the fact that just a couple of days later a lot of people we can see in the film were killed by the destruction of the earthquake and by the fire. It also shows us that nobody knows what will happen in the next seconds of our life and that it ist so important to enjoy your life now.

Thank you for showing the movie!

Andreas
(Germany)

What hits you most, was the realisation that in only a weeks time from when the film was shot, ALL lives of those seen in the film would be forever effected in some way.

What hits you most, was the realisation that in only a weeks time from when the film was shot, ALL lives of those seen in the film would be forever effected in some way.