No Traffic Lights, No Rules!
This film clip is purported to have been shot on April 14th, 1906, just four days before the Great California Earthquake which devastated much of coastal California and flattened San Francisco. However the scene could have been shot at any time prior to the quake. Apparently, the celluloid survived only because it had been shipped by train to New York for processing.
It’s also refreshing to see kids were just as foolish and obnoxious back then as they are today! In old photographs, they always look so well-behaved and proper. This is a rare opportunity to see them behaving like – well – kids!
A camera was mounted on the front of a street car in San Francisco and is perhaps the oldest "home movie" you will ever see! The film shows wet streets from obviously recent heavy rainfall and the position of shadows indicate the time of year so it is possible to generally pinpoint the scene in time by referring to weather conditions in the historical record. Another interesting thing is the clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero Wharf is still there.
The number of automobiles is quite staggering for 1906. It looks like everybody had the right of way and it was a case of survival of the quickest. You’ll notice some of the flivvers have the steering wheel on the right-hand side. I wonder when the wheel’s location was standardized on the left – in much of the world. There were still a lot of horse drawn vehicles still in use and mass transit certainly seemed like the best way to get around. Wonder if they had street crews to clean up the horse puckey?
Fast Forward to 2011
I Just Learned How to Text, Talk on My Phone
and Set My Sat-Nav While Driving!
Seems like very little has changed since 1906!