The Law of Contact

A Streetcar Ride Down Market Street (1906)

Ella Cinders

Filmed in 1906: One reel motion picture showing Market Street, San Francisco from the front of a streetcar before the earthquake destroyed much of the city in April, 1906.

Produced by Miles Brothers


Free Download of the old movie A Streetcar Ride Down Market Street
RIGHT-Click for PC, Control key + click for mac, Tap and hold for touch screen

Trip-Down-Mkt-Street-San-Francisco-pre-quake.mp4 (79mb - 720x540)
Trip-Down-Mkt-Street-San-Francisco-pre-quake-720p.mp4 (177mb - 960x720)

Historic Film of San Francisco

A standard 'reel' of motion picture film has always been 300 meters long, and the first motion picture cameras were operated by the cameraman turning a crank at a steady speed to advance the film one frame at a time past the lens. Depending on how fast the cameraman turned the crank, the motion picture was between 9 and 12 minutes long. The great San Francisco earthquake happened at 5am Wednesday April 18, 1906, changing the face of San Francisco forever. In 1902, as the motion picture industry was being created four brothers in San Francisco set up a film exchange. Harry, Herbert, Joseph, and Earle C. Miles ran the company and in addition to bringing movies from the east coast to San Francisco they also produced films that were sent to the East Coast. In those early days of film the motto was, 'If it moves, film it' and on a sunny day in the spring of 1906 the Miles brothers filmed the journey down Market Street from 8th street down to the Embarcadero from the front of a street car, where the streetcar ends it's journey, and is turned around for the return trip up Market Street again. On the day before the earthquake the brothers put copies of this film aboard a train headed for the East coast, unaware that the very next morning the landscape of downtown San Francisco would be changed forever, with this one film that would show us a hundred years later what that streetcar ride was like. Pop a little bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the ride.