Great Video Profile of a Cable Car Operator, Carpenter, and Mechanic

The fantastic footage (with ambient-only sound) and trivia, combined with an infusion of pride for San Francisco’s past and present, make this segment, called simply, “Cable Cars,” a great way to spend 5 minutes of computer time. Along the way, you’ll meet: Ken Lunardi, operator; Norm Feyling, mechanic; and Bob Harris, carpenter.

Produced by Greg Burk for SFGTV‘s award-wining magazine series “City In Focus.”

Related book: Historic Photos of San Francisco
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1962: SAVE the BAY AREA from CHOKING to DEATH (with BART)!

BART Proposition A 1962, courtesy Prelinger Library

My favorite bit from this scan of an original flyer in support of Proposition “A”: “All statements in this leaflet are accurate and factual.” That reassuring disclaimer apparently made this passage adequately persuasive:

Who endorsed Proposition “A”? Taxpayer’s groups… labor… doctors, lawyers, merchants, housewives, educators, Republicans, Democrats – everybody who wants a prosperous Bay Area. Opposition? Scattered, local, self-interested.

Indeeeed. The proposition required a district-wide 60% “yes” to pass; it got 61.2%, with the help of folks who cynically voted for it even though they wanted, and expected, it to fail. More after the jump…
Continue reading 1962: SAVE the BAY AREA from CHOKING to DEATH (with BART)!

Simply Hilarious (and Infuriating): BART Imaginings, 1957

BART plans, 1957

That’s right, the original plans recommended “first stage” service past Palo Alto to the south, and across the Bay to San Rafael to the north! I wonder how many stages ago that was?

Maybe they should have drafted up some counterfeit money with which to pay for this pipe dream. (Even a tiny fraction of this fantastical scheme is itself worth much higher fares year after year, it seems.)


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