Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The good old days may not have been all that good

{Editor’s note. This post is an oldie but goodie from my archives. It appeared on this blog in slightly different form on April 7, 2010. --RWP]

According to an e-mail I received, this nearly-nine-minutes-long film was made in San Francisco, California, just four days before the great earthquake and devastating fire of 1906 that destroyed most of the city. Apparently someone attached a camera to the front of a cable car. Sound was added much later, but if the film is genuine it is truly an amazing “slice of life” from more than one hundred years ago.

Kick back and enjoy a cable car ride in San Francisco in 1906 (8:49).

Somewhere, this man is singing:

(Photo of Tony Bennett by Dwight McCann, originally uploaded to Wikipedia in October 2006, used in accordance with Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License)

9 comments:

Katherine said...

Yep. I think this is a wonderful old piece of filming. Really precious! I didn't realise it was taken so shortly before the big quake, 'tho'.

rhymeswithplague said...

Katherine! I'm so glad to see you back in Blogland. Our Bay of Plenty was greatly diminished by your absence. I'm sure you looked at the film with an artist's eye, something I am incapable of doing.

Elephant's Child said...

I am pretty certain that the good old days were frequently brutal and very, very hard work.
It is the 'good old values' that I miss, rather than the times. I might be dreaming, but I think there was more respect, decency and persistence in those mythical good old days.
And that is a stunning piece of video.
Thanks.

rhymeswithplague said...

E.'s Child, I'm sure you are right about the brutality and hard work associated with the "good old days". I'm glad you enjoyed the video. (Full disclosure: I did not take the video myself.)

Helsie said...

Interesting video. Hope there is a way of preserving it with modern technology. I agree with E's Child about the loss of "good old values and respect".

rhymeswithplague said...

Helsie, I think they already preserved it by putting it on YouTube.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

The spooky thing about the film clip is that it confirms the obvious reality that back in 1906 there were real people, living their real lives, unaware of what the future might hold. In this sense, we are just the same as them.

rhymeswithplague said...

YP, you are right. Yes, we are exactly like them, except that we have cellphones and weather satellites and a few other things.

All Consuming said...

Thank you for this, it's awesome. That word doesn't work well enough description-wise actually. It's mega-awesome. Fascinating stuff.