Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fun award and an amazing 1906 video

John Sankovich at A little bit of... has awarded me with the "Creative Writer" award in his current post: WiP Wednesday

Thanks, John!

Here are the rules of the blog award:
1) Thank the person who tagged me. √
2) Copy and Paste the award on my blog. √
3) Link to the person who nominated me. √
4) Tell up to 6 lies and 1 truth about myself.
5) Tag at least 7 people for this award.
6) Post links to their blogs.
7) Comment on each of their blogs to inform them of the nomination.

Hmmm. I need to think up some lies.

But for now I want to share a fantastic link to a video made in San Francisco in 1906.

Thank you, Linda Bryan, for sharing this on the 19th Century Women list!!!

This is the text with the email she received.

Frisco Street 7-minute Car Ride 1906 - No lights, no traffic direction, all at the pace of a horse or bicycle. Thought the young people might not believe what life was like 100 years ago!Even some cars with right hand drive!

This fascinating bit of film was shot from the San FranciscoMarket Street cable car estimated taken just a few days before the '06 earthquake. Ntre [sic] the cable "rail" between the tracks. The cable cars currently in use have not changed since these pictures.

Amazing to see the casual way the early cars just wove in an outof traffic and the pedestrians seemingly taking their lives in theirhands as they walked in front of anything on wheels. Notice the heavy goods wagons running on tracks on the right as they get close to the Ferry Building. The wagons appear to have extra large steel wheels with a standard track width.

And what about the fat cop with his truncheon ready to deal withany civil disturbances. Wonder what he did during the earthquake.

Some comment from a local historian:
-This gets identified as 1905 to 1909, but recent research by some transitexperts concludes that it was done possibly on Monday, April 16, 1906 orTuesday, April 17! Yep a day or two before the earthquake that wouldgreatly alter this landscape.

The other interesting thing is to watch the traffic and the chances peopletook when crossing the street. Street accidents were endemic throughoutthe US as the country changed with the advent of the horseless carriage.

The cable cars that are visible were running at a predictable 9.2 MPH.Horses moved slowly on city streets too. But the automobile could reachspeeds of 20 MPH! Early autos had the steering wheel on the right, thenwe standardized it to the left. The rules of the road were evolving. Major train crossing had crossing lights, but rural crossing were only marked with a sign and you were responsible for your own safety in crossing the tracks and looking for the train a'coming. Even signal lights in cities didn't evolve until the 1920s. The cop directing traffic was about the only traffic control in use until then. As life sped up, we devised ways to protect the public, but it evolved slowly and unfortunately a lot of people died getting where we have some civility on city streets.

No comments:

Post a Comment