This excellent silent film entitled “A Trip Down Market Street” allows us to step back in time and experience the city of San Francisco as it was just a week before the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fire that destroyed almost every building we see on film. It’s a bit haunting to realize a large number of the people we see only had a few short days to live.
The architecture, the fashion, the technology and the American spirit are on full display as we take the 3 mile trip down market street. I think the most glaring observation is the complete lack of traffic laws. Early motor vehicles, street cars, carriages and bicyclists dart back and forth across the frame narrowly missing passing pedestrians as the town bussles with activity.
Also included is a 60 Minutes piece about the film. Morley Safer fills in the gaps about the mystery of who created this and why. It’s worth a watch and certainly a “don’t miss” if you’re a fan of American history.