Collection Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916

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  • The Paper Print Film Collection at the Library of Congress - Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 - Collections

    Most of the films featured in the American Memory presentations are from the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. Because the copyright law did not cover motion pictures until 1912, early film producers who desired protection for their work sent paper contact prints of their motion pictures to the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library ...

    • Date: 1897
  • The Actuality Film - Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 - Collections

    The earliest popular venues for motion pictures were nickelodeons -- peep show parlors where machines played short film loops, or films on flip cards called mutoscopes, for individual viewers on demand. By the turn of the century, films were being shown in store-front theaters and traveling carnivals. Significantly, movies also began to be projected in vaudeville and burlesque theaters, sharing the bill with a ...

    • Date: 1897
  • Early San Francisco - Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 - Collections

    The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire rivalled the Chicago fire of 1871 in the annals of urban disasters in America. Large conflagrations were common in cities of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which were often crowded and lacked the sophisticated safety consciousness of today. However, the totality of destruction caused by these two disasters was extraordinary, comparable only to that of the ...

    • Date: 1897
  • Troops embarking at San Francisco /

    This film shows troops of the First Regiment, California Volunteers, boarding the Pacific Mail steamer City of Peking to serve in the Philippine theater of the Spanish-American War. The film was shot at the Pacific Mail Steamship Company dock between 10:50am and 1:50pm on Friday, May 13, 1898. The dock was located at First Street between Brannan and Townsend streets, and is now a ...

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Arrest in Chinatown, San Francisco, Cal. /

    This film shows the arrest and conveyance of a Chinese man in Chinatown, watched by a crowd of onlookers. The precise date of this film and the arrest charge are uncertain. It is possible that the arrest was connected with the smuggling of illegal immigrants from China. By mutual agreement between China and the United States, a small quota of merchants and students was ...

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Hotel Vendome, San Jose, Cal. /

    This brief film shows an excursion party passing in the carriage drive of the Vendome Hotel, a major resort hotel in San Jose, south of San Francisco. The exact date of the film is unknown, but may be in October 1897. The camera faces north-northwest in the carriage drive, toward the main (east) entrance of the hotel. Two excursion stages, a surrey, and three ...

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • About this Collection - Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 - Collections

    This collection consists of twenty-six films of San Francisco from before and after the Great Earthquake and Fire, 1897-1916. Seventeen of the films depict San Francisco and its environs before the 1906 disaster. Seven films describe the great earthquake and fire. The two later films include a 1915 travelogue that shows scenes of the rebuilt city and a tour of the Panama Pacific Exposition ...

    • Date: 1897
  • Mount Tamalpais R.R.

    The following is a scene-by-scene description of the film: The first segment of the film was probably shot from the back of a passenger car being pushed up the grade by a locomotive (as was standard practice). The unseen locomotive is probably the 30-ton Heiser steam locomotive S.B. Cushing. The camera swings from east to north-northeast as the train approaches the summit station. [Frame: ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • America at the Turn of the Century: A Look at the Historical Context - Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 - Collections

    The National Setting By 1900 the American nation had established itself as a world power. The West was won. The frontier -- the great fact of 300 years of American history -- was no more. The continent was settled from coast to coast. Apache war chief Geronimo had surrendered in 1886. Defeat of the Sioux at the battle of Wounded Knee in 1891 had ...

    • Date: 1897
  • Launch of Japanese man-of-war "Chitosa" [i.e., "Chitose"] /

    This film shows the launching of the Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser Chitose at the Union Iron Works shipyard, San Francisco, on Saturday, January 22, 1898. The camera view is east, across a small inlet of Central Basin, to slipway #1. Four additional slipways lay beyond to the west. The inlet and slipway remain today, now covered with chunks of abandoned piers, adjacent to the ...

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898