A Trip Down Market Street

NEW FOOTAGE AND SOUND! ENJOY!!

Many of us by now have seen this short film of a trip down San Francisco's Market Street in 1906. Four days after the film was made, San Francisco was rocked by an earthquake. The ensuing three-day firestorm destroyed three-quarters of the city, certainly, everything shown in this film. Mike Upchurch has recently done an excellent job of adding sounds to the film. Here is more information about the film with a link to the audio-enhanced version.

The origin of the film was an enigma for many decades, and it was long thought to have been shot in September of 1905, after being dated as such by the Library of Congress based on the state of construction of several buildings. However, in 2009 and 2010, film historian David Kiehn, co-founder of Niles Film Museum in Niles, California, dated the film to the spring of 1906 from automobile registrations and weather records. Kiehn eventually found promotional materials from the film's original release and dated the film to April 14th, 1906, and finally gave credit to the filmmakers, the Miles Brothers.

Restoration: This version was transferred from a new 35mm print made from a restored 35mm negative, taken from the 1906-era 35mm print owned by the Prelinger Archives. This version does not appear to have any digital restoration, except minimal contrast and brightness adjustments.

Post Effects: This version of the film has been digitally stabilized to remove jitter.

Resources: Sounddogs, Youtube, Horseless.com, Wikipedia, Archive.org, Streetcar.org, earlyamericalautomobiles.com, Prelinger Archives.

Accuracy: Automobile sounds are all either Ford Model T, or Model A, which came out later, but which have similarly designed engines, and sound quite close to the various cars shown in the film. The horns are slightly inaccurate as mostly bulb horns were used at the time, but were substituted by the far more recognizable electric "oogaa" horns, which came out a couple years later. The streetcar sounds are actual San Francisco streetcars. Doppler effect was used to align the sounds.

Produced by: The Miles Brothers Photographed by: Harry J Miles Sound Design by: Mike Upchurch

And to learn more about the historic film, here's a clip from 60 Minutes with Morley Safer.