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Look at all the horses in this rare film fromSan Francisco

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  • Look at all the horses in this rare film fromSan Francisco

    It's easy to forget the life horses had in earlier times in America:
    This is fantastic!! Note most vehicles are right hand drive !!!,

    Henry Ford had not yet released the Model 'T'

    HISTORIC FILM 104 YEARS AGO. (Link at the end).

    "You are there" for a cable car ride in San Francisco "

    This film was "lost" for many years. It was the first 35mm film ever that
    has come to light.

    It was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car as it`s
    travelling down the street.

    You feel as if your really there, standing at the front looking down the
    street, amazing piece of historic film.

    The number of automobiles is staggering for 1906. Absolutely amazing!

    The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is
    still there. ...

    How many "street cleaning" people were employed to pick up after the

    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

    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 Great California Earthquake of
    April 18th 1906 and shipped by train to NY for processing. Amazing, but

    No wonder there had to be laws created to regulate driving habits. This is
    insane. Good thing they couldn't go very fast.

    This is a fascinating movie. A camera on the front of a street car 104 years
    ago. Look at the hats the ladies were wearing and the long dresses.

    See the bullock team on the right near the start.

    Some of the cars had the steering wheels on the right side, I wonder when
    they standardized on the left?

    Sure was still a lot of horse drawn vehicles in use. Mass transit looked
    like the way to get around. Looks like everybody had the right of way.

    Perhaps the oldest home movie that you will ever see! Look beyond & around.
    Much to see & observe.

    Danger everywhere in a busy city

    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

  • #2
    So cool!

    Thank you for posting, as I type, I am sitting just a few hundred feet from where this was shot... hum, time for lunch, I think I will head down to the Ferry Building (SAME as in the movie).

    I will be imagining the chaos on Market street back then... full of horses. We still have the cable trolleys and riders on bikes, but obviously many more cars today (although less chaos!)

    Imagine to be that guy CANTERING the grey horse up the street @3:25
    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


    • #3
      Look how the people and horses are walking. It appears to be shown at about 75% real time.

      Imagine it with today's incompetent drivers!
      The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
      Winston Churchill


      • #4
        That is so cool! Thanks for sharing.


        • #5
          WOW, did you catch the 4 in hand!!


          • #6
            Wow! Fascinating, and kind of bittersweet. I love this kind of stuff, thanks for posting!


            • #7
              Did anyone notice that there were relatively few women shown? Until lady with big hat boards the street car at 6:46, I didn't realize that almost all of the people shown are men. I'll have to watch again for the 4-in-hand, but I really dug that kid galloping up the street on the Percheron-type horse.

              It's amazing that anyone survived the traffic chaos - there were a lot of seeming near-misses. It reminded me of those old screwball comedies - hallway with everyone popping back and forth through various doors. This movie was exactly the same - only outdoors!
              "I couldn't fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder."


              • #8
                Can you imagine if a horse bolted in that chaos? And surely that must have happened all the time.

                I just can't imagine my horse coping in that environment. I'm not sure what would have become of him, but I don't think it would have been good. He would have been the horse bolting in the chaos.
                I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                • #9
                  I struck pay dirt when I searched for post-quake Market St. photos.


                  This shows the movie from above, plus additional footage, and side by side, the same trip post-quake.
                  "I couldn't fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder."


                  • #10
                    What a heart breaker!
                    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                    • #11
                      And sadly it is the earthquake where the heartbreak begins for the horses. In one museum in SF, afraid I can't remember where, there is a heartbreaking tribute to the thousands and thousands of horses that were pulled in from ranches and small farms to help rebuild the city.

                      Most had never been broken to harness, some had not been broken even to ride, but they were quickly hauling massively heavy loads of rubble - and then later, building supplies up and down the streets of the city. Their lifespan was measured in months at most before they collapsed and died from exhaustion.

                      Yes, it probably did have to be done, but standing, reading that story in downtown SF, I was bawling like a baby at how those horses lived and died.

                      According to this article 15,000 horses were worked to death in the months following the quake (bottom of first page). I can't find anything on the internet that goes into the detail that was in the museum. I shall never complain about smelly, dirty trucks again, if only they had been available in '06.


                      • #12
                        This is what happened to some of the horses during the SF earthquake. Warning: graphic photo.

                        "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier


                        • #13
                          Wow at around 6:13 a car whips in front of the trolley, almost hitting the one coming at it!!
                          I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                          Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


                          • #14
                            wow, thanks for sharing.

                            Wonder how severe the restrictions were and if a woman wearing pants was just considered eccentric, or if it was punished.

                            The fate of the horses wasn't easy. But imagine, there was space for wildlife and there were forests still untouched. California human population, lots smaller. The rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake caused massive logging all the down the coast to Santa Cruz.

                            Legends say, there were so many salmon in the river one could cross by stepping on their backs! Last year, they had to close the salmon fishing, there were so few of them. This year is better they hope.

                            SF is still a wonderful city!


                            • Original Poster

                              make that VERY GRAPHIC1

                              put that in CAPS; if possible, color1 VERY GRAPHIC! PG ONLY1only!
                              Originally posted by Mike Matson View Post
                              This is what happened to some of the horses during the SF earthquake. Warning: graphic photo.

                              breeder of Mercury!

                              remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                              • #16
                                Thank you Carol !
                                My great grandmother was born in the same year as the great quake in San Fransisco. I sent the images on to my Mom today for her 79th birthday. What an amazing piece of history. We are 4th and 5th generation CA so this was really fun to watch.


                                • #17
                                  Don't have time to watch this second, but I've opened all the links so I can read later! I actually grew up in Northern CA (3 hours north of SF),,,so made many many trips down there. I'm really excited and interested to read/watch everything.

                                  So thanks for posting all your finds everyone!!
                                  Horse Drawings!