On or about April 14, 1906, 108 years ago this week, pioneering professional filmmakers the Miles Brothers bolted a hand-cranked camera onto the front of a cable car and rode down Market Street from Eighth Street to the Ferry Building. The film they shot has gained new interest in the past few years, since film historian David Kiehn demonstrated that it was made just a few days before the great earthquake and fire destroyed almost everything you see. (Previously, the film was thought to have been made in the summer of 1905.)
San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) mounted the latest Sunday Streets celebration March 10, 2013, along The Embarcadero. We thought what better way to see it than from Muni’s 1934 boat tram from Blackpool, England. Come along for the ride in this video we put together!
The GLBT Historical Society has a video on YouTube showing nine minutes of San Francisco scenes filmed by “gay filmmaker Harold T. O’Neal.” It opens with great night shots of Chinatown, then skips around the city before settling on a two-minute sequence on Market Street starting around five minutes in. That’s followed by a minute of cable car footage, including rare film of the O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde line, which disappeared in 1954. All well worth a look.
On this Thanksgiving weekend, we’d like to shout out thanks to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Muni’s parent, for their continuing support of historic transit. There are few agencies in the country that meaningfully support their own legacies, and none that do so in four distinct vehicle modes. (Of course, no one else HAS four vehicle modes like Muni: streetcar/light rail, motor coach, trolley coach, and cable car).
Muni’s current vendor for streetcar restoration, Brookville Equipment Corporation of Pennsylvania, has produced a promotional video about its services. It’s got several shots of newly restored PCC No. 1006 (or is it 1008? – they’re identical and not numbered in the shots) on the shop floor (starting at 0:47 on the video), along with a peek at their mate No. 1009, partially painted in its Dallas & Terminal Railway livery (at 1:38).
Another great travelogue posted to the web. San Francisco, 1940. Well worth watching all the way through. Streetcars, Bay Bridge trains, cable cars, oh my!
Muni has just implemented all-door boarding, the first system in the country to do so. That includes F-line streetcars. People with cash must board at the front door, but those with Clipper cards, Muni Passports, or valid transfers (any proof of payment) can board (legally) at the back doors.
No sooner did we post a story about a man, apparently curled up on a boarding island on mid-Market rolling under an F-Market & Wharves streetcar, did we see this post from SFist pop up, showing a disturbed woman attacking an F-line streetcar (No. 1079) at Fifth and Market, and then herself being attacked viciously by another woman. Here’s one of the two eyewitness cellphone videos that appears on the SFist post.
Cover art from the DVD box for "Municipal Railway Vintage Scrapbook". Click to enlarge.
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