Monday, May 17, 2010

Vintage Transit (Video)

In more transportation "news"...

Via a friend's Facebook post, I found this adorable (that's right, history is cute to me) video. The YouTube posting includes this information:

[S]cenes from a video shot from a streetcar traveling down Market Street in San Francisco in 1905. Before the earthquake/fire of 1906 destroyed the area.

It's so great! See the road back when cars, horse-drawn carriages, pedestrians and cyclists could go anywhere in the road... at a snails pace. Really demonstrates what people mean when they say we have a fast-paced lifestyle these days, huh?

It also shows how we've significantly shifted from a largely pedestrian/public transit society to the car-centric lifestyle currently en vogue.

Plus, I LOVE that everyone used to wear hats That's one of the neatest things about the past IMO (and yes, I know I'm a dork).

What catches your eye in this film?

Related posts:
Urban Planning for Pedestrians
How I Fell In Love with Alternative Transportation
Light Rail Will Be an Epic FAIL

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Joe Pontillo said...

Things definitely moved at a slower pace back then... but this film was also clearly overcranked. It's subtle, but we're definitely seeing slow motion here. You can especially tell when people start to "run" and they still aren't going very fast.

May said...

Good to know. I thought there was something a bit odd about it

PFL0W said...

you asked--things I noticed:

--the trolley didn't stop. It was going slowly enough that people got on safely without it;

--there was LOTS of other options for mass transit--trolleys on wheels instead of tracks, etc. No doubt forerunners to buses;

--it's the way a city should be--dense. Dense w/ people and buildings, etc., so it's more efficient, quite unlike the US today, for the most part;

--the videographer and no doubt his camera got a lot of attention from the passersby. Interesting;

--I loved seeing the horseback rider on the right, galloping down the street (about 3:22). My grandfather rightly pointed out that his generation likely saw more change in his generation than any other on Earth at any time. They literally went from horseback and dirt streets to cars, paved streets, flight and the moon, all while he was alive. That's pretty incredible--and fascinating;

--I loved the two young guys hanging on to the back of the car as it raced along, at about 5:00. Apparently they did that to either speed things up or for fun--or both;

--the big, lumbering wagons were great, too. How we've changed. They're the equivalent of our big trucks today;

--I'd love to know how truly close the car passing in front of the trolley was at 6:04. It looks darn close;

--Check out the wood scaffolding at 6:27 on the right. Nice construction work, no doubt;

--I loved the music they put with this. Wonderfully smooth.

Great post.

Mo Rage

May said...

Love your observations! Thanks for sharing :)

Radioman KC said...

Great video, watched it with fascination, and then another one shot on Market Street in 2005. Didn't know SF had so many streetcars even now.

Great to see the mixture of cars and horses, and that 'sightseeing car' was a hoot.