Tag Archives: History

Film of Steam Locomotives on the Embarcadero, San Francisco, circa 1920s-30s

Came across this file randomly while browsing the Prelinger Archive, which I haven’t done in a while. The footage of longshoremen jockeying cargo on and off ships is a swift check on romanticism and a concrete reminder that, even long ago, industry on a mass scale was what drove almost all of our activity.

I logged a few of the bits that really stood out to me:

  • 3:00 – Steam locomotives navigating Market Street, and cruising along the Embarcardero.
  • 5:00 – Cool aerial footage; Ferry Building with street cars on a circular track in front and a heavy rail locomotive waiting (loading?) on the left; Golden Gate Ferries.
  • 6:50 – I believe this is a quick shot of Dolores Street.
  • 7:40 – Funky, animated relief maps of the area and trade routes, points of interest.
  • 8:55 – Aerial footage of downtown, City Hall and Golden Gate Park.
  • 10:45 – Aerial of the western side of the city; Golden Gate Park, including the bandshell area.

Related book: Historic Photos of San Francisco
From Amazon
From Powell’s

Fantastic 1958 Film Footage of San Francisco

San Francisco 1958 from Jeff Altman on Vimeo.

A film colorist at a local Chicago production house inherited a bunch of 16mm Kodachrome film shot in the late ’50s by his grandparents.

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Cars driving down Lombard Street. The silhouette of the guy smoking the cigar in the window is classic. I also like the moody accompanying music.

UPDATE: A commenter at Boing Boing informs that the song is “Alone in Kyoto” by Air.

Related book: Historic Photos of San Francisco
From Amazon
From Powell’s