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View Full Version : Great film, must watch...........



Billy T
31-05-2010, 06:22 PM
This is a great historical film! (http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=NINOxRxze9k) It takes 7 minutes but is well worth watching.

A 1906 San Francisco film shot from a Street Car - It was the first 35mm film ever and was "lost" for many years. It was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car and you've just got to see the suicidal pedestrians, maniacal motorists, blind horse and cart drivers, and overall the almost unbelievably anarchical traffic chaos.

The number of cars is staggering for 1906. Absolutely amazing! The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there. (I'm also wondering ... how many "street cleaning" people were employed to pick up after the horses? Talk about going green!)

This film was originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn (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 weather and conditions on historical record. He checked when the cars were registered and even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!. It was filmed only four days before the quake.

Bet even SJ hasn't seen this one..........

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :thumbs:

CYaBro
31-05-2010, 06:45 PM
Everybody is wearing a hat!

WalOne
31-05-2010, 06:48 PM
you've just got to see the suicidal pedestrians, maniacal motorists, blind horse and cart drivers, and overall the almost unbelievably anarchical traffic chaos.


You said it! Good find, Billy. :D

rob_on_guitar
31-05-2010, 06:50 PM
Quite hypnotic to watch.

wainuitech
31-05-2010, 07:26 PM
Interesting to watch - good find Billy :thumbs:

Seems some things never change (dangerous driving) ;)

johcar
31-05-2010, 07:27 PM
Cool!

Hard to be a boy-racer in a Model T or a Hudson! ALthough the guy cutting across in front of the streetcar at around 6 minutes in could qualify... Maybe he has descendants living in Auckland... :)

Simpler times - the roads were a LOT less crowded than they are today, and ALL the traffic is going a LOT slower. Even though the film looked to be running at about 90-95% of real time, it still looked chaotic, but I'd bet that was a fairly typical run up the street for the streetcar driver.

Even now (well, in the 80's* when I visited) they don't move very quickly and are pretty predictable - you can be pretty damn sure that a streetcar isn't going to change lanes without the help of a big earthquake....

*That's the 1980's in case you were wondering.... :D

Sweep
31-05-2010, 08:26 PM
Thanks for that. I don't believe it was a waste of my time watching the video even though I never caught sight of a miniskirt. :-)

Jayess64
31-05-2010, 09:00 PM
It doesn't seem so crazy when you notice that the traffic is moving at about walking pace - plenty of time for everyone to get out of the way (though I did worry about that horse and cart).

It makes 30 kph through the middle of Wellington look totally suicidal. Maybe there is a lesson there!

R2x1
31-05-2010, 09:23 PM
Miniskirts were a bit more down-to-earth then. I notice cyclists were much better behaved than the modern ones. ;)

mikebartnz
31-05-2010, 09:33 PM
Jay walking like that isn't allowed now.

KarameaDave
31-05-2010, 10:01 PM
Very interesting, thank you Billy.

Sweep
31-05-2010, 10:04 PM
Jay walking like that isn't allowed now.

Agreed but until we can get pedestrians to wear number plates it's only another law that's not enforceable.

Just today I nearly took out a pedestrian. I stopped for three people at the crossing and after they left had to stop sharply for another some 20-30 metres down the road who was on their cellphone. Got close to being rear ended by the driver behind.

Yes I do know that the driver behind would have been at fault but it does not make me happy as the cause of any collision could be at least partially blamed on the pedestrian.

Jen
31-05-2010, 10:09 PM
People were deliberately playing "chicken" on foot and in vehicles with each other! :horrified

I wonder when traffic rules were introduced (or even guidelines!)?

Sweep
31-05-2010, 10:14 PM
People were deliberately playing "chicken" on foot and in vehicles with each other! :horrified

I wonder when traffic rules were introduced (or even guidelines!)?

They finally decided that vehicles should be in the right hand side to make them in the right I suppose?

Some 50 seconds into the video it would appear that the driver is in the right hand seat.

I further note that the Model T was not made until 1908. For some reason I remember films mentioning Flivver and that was a name that was used on a regular basis.

ubergeek85
31-05-2010, 11:53 PM
Quite a good watch.

I love the way all the cars bounce around, they remind me of clown cars for some reason.

Strommer
01-06-2010, 08:23 AM
Observations:

No overhead wires for the street cars, but a slot in the centre of the rails.

A boy on a bicycle rode right along the centre slot without the tyres catching.

Not as much horse sh*t on the road as I expected.

Street car did not stop for passengers getting on and off.

There is a boy at 4.35 who appears to see the movie camera,
then runs in front as if to 'show off'.

At 4.58 the boys are having fun being pulled by hanging on the the car.

No motorcycles.

Some of the wooden wheeled carts on the right place the wheels right on the track, apparently to ease the bumps of the road surface.


Thanks Billy !

Thomas01
02-06-2010, 12:20 PM
Fastest things on the road were pedestrians.
The day must have been cold or the people very hot - I noticed one man who not only had the regulation 3 piece suit but also a pullover under the waistcoat.
I was surprised by the way the tram rails were not so blatantly obvious as I remembered them in the UK etc in the 1930 to 1950s but then the war had stopped a great deal of maintenance. They were a terror to cyclists trying to cross them at a narrow angle.
The slot in the road would be for the cable cars and not an electrical pickup - one tram crossing the road clearly has its pole up for the overhead wires.
Blackpool I think was one town in the UK that tried roadway slots for the pickup but soon dropped the idea.
A great find - thank you.

mikebartnz
02-06-2010, 02:55 PM
Agreed but until we can get pedestrians to wear number plates it's only another law that's not enforceable.

Just today I nearly took out a pedestrian. I stopped for three people at the crossing and after they left had to stop sharply for another some 20-30 metres down the road who was on their cellphone. Got close to being rear ended by the driver behind.

Yes I do know that the driver behind would have been at fault but it does not make me happy as the cause of any collision could be at least partially blamed on the pedestrian.
Back in 78 they were quite strict on jay walking in the US of A. I have never seen a cop telling anyone off here.
Slacks me off when on a fine day people walk straight onto a pedestrian crossing when it is easier for them to stop and less polluting. When I was young we were taught not to cross until it was clear.

paulw
02-06-2010, 03:02 PM
Observations:

No overhead wires for the street cars, but a slot in the centre of the rails.

Thanks Billy !

San Francisco's famed cable cars. There unlike here in NZ (Dunedin) they kept them.

Another point. Every one in that film is dead..

Great film though..

Strommer
02-06-2010, 11:13 PM
There unlike here in NZ (Dunedin) they kept them.


Apparently the demise of streetcars in the USA came about when a certain company bought up streetcar runs, then junked the streetcars and replaced them with buses.

And the name of the company who did the dirt on the streetcar?

Yep, you got it....

General Motors

:groan:

Thomas01
03-06-2010, 05:09 PM
Apparently the demise of streetcars in the USA came about when a certain company bought up streetcar runs, then junked the streetcars and replaced them with buses.

And the name of the company who did the dirt on the streetcar?

Yep, you got it....

General Motors

:groan:

Sounds like one of those myths.
Highly unlikely.
Trams went out for many reasons, in many countries, certainly having nothing to do with General Motors.
1) They were restricted to the routes as laid out.
2) Some countries ie UK had regulations that made the tram companies responsible for the roadway between the rails and for some distance outside them - whereas most damage was caused by other traffic - so trams subsidized all other vehicles.
3) They were expensive to build - then compounded the problem by lasting virtually for ever. So customers complained about the old uncomfortable trams compared with buses - forgetting that the trams could be 50 years older than the buses.
4) Interference with other traffic. I believe Blackpool still has the last TRAM PINCH sign in the UK.

I'm just thankful that I am old enough to have traveled on the trams in many cities where they no longer exist, London, Leicester, Liverpool, Vienna etc.
Ditto for trolley buses.

paulw
03-06-2010, 07:36 PM
Actually no so much a myth. I first saw this info on a documentary a counple of years ago that GM in the US bought out trolley routes so that they they could kill them off and run GM sourced buses on the routes. I believe here in NZ the oil industry fans had a bit to do with demize of trams in our cities..

R2x1
03-06-2010, 08:40 PM
Common sense had a fair bit to do with it as well.

Thomas01
04-06-2010, 03:46 PM
I still find it hard to believe that any oil company or large motor manufacturer would be so daft as to put money into buying up trams simply to get rid of them. Ditto trolley buses.
Their time had obviously run out and they were unpopular all round. They were rapidly being phased out all over the world.
A great pity because now we realise just how good trams are at shifting large numbers of people.
But the new ones are faster, more comfortable and convenient.
My last serious tram ride - Blackpool to Fleetwood in 1999 just reinforced how brilliant the 1930s trams built for Blackpool were. So much more comfortable than any bus ever could be on that route.
Probably one of the most enjoyable I used was the tram route in Vienna from Schonbrunn to the city centre. Blimey it was slow - generally a 3 car tram which just managed to swerve and bend round a twisty route where the houses were VERY close together. I often wonder how they manage with buses.

paulw
04-06-2010, 08:23 PM
For what it's worth . The last Wellingtons trams were only 10 years old when the system was scraped..