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  • San Francisco disaster /

    This film shows the partial burning of a small-scale model of downtown San Francisco in an early attempt at simulating the 1906 disaster. The model is seen in aerial view from above the South-of-Market district, looking northwest toward Market Street and the downtown area. Russian Hill (left) and Telegraph Hill (right) are shown in a painted background. The Call Building at 3rd and Market ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • S.S. "Coptic" in the harbor /

    From F.Z. Maguire catalogue: Shows the vessel away from the dock and slowly turning. The vessel is seen to good advantage, the four masts, smokestack and hull being faithfully reproduced. Clouds of smoke pour out of the funnel, and volumes of steam out of the exhaust pipe. In the foreground is a dense crowd, among which are numerous Chinamen. Clear and sharp with figures ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Panorama, Union Square, San Francisco /

    This film shows the crowd gathered in San Francisco for the dedication of the Dewey Monument in Union Square, on Thursday, May 14, 1903, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. The Monument, which is still in place, commemorates the victory of Admiral George Dewey and the American fleet over Spanish forces at Manila Bay, the Philippines, on May 1, 1898, during the Spanish-American War. ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Leander Sisters /

    The Leander Sisters perform a clever, characteristic dance called the "Yellow Kid." Stage is in the Sutro Baths, San Francisco, Cal., and the audience is composed largely of bathers. One sister appears to be dressed as Richard Outcault's Yellow Kid comic strip character.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Mabel and Fatty viewing the World's Fair at San Francisco, Cal. /

    The 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition was San Francisco's second fair (following the 1894 Mid-Winter Fair) and her first major exposition. The 1915 fair celebrated both the opening of the newly-completed Panama Canal -- a triumph of Franco-American engineering -- and the newly-rebuilt San Francisco, vital and vigorous after recovering from the 1906 earthquake and fire. The fair opened on February 20, 1915, and closed December ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1915
  • 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 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • S.S. "Coptic" at dock /

    From F.Z. Maguire catalogue: Taken at the docks of the Pacific Steamship Co., San Francisco, Cal., which is operated in connection with the Southern Pacific Railroad Co. The "Coptic" is one of the best appointed, largest and fastest vessels that traverse the Pacific Ocean, and this view was taken as she was leaving for a voyage to the Sandwich Islands, Japan and China. The ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Bird's-eye view of San Francisco, Cal., from a balloon /

    As early as 1874, passenger balloon flights were being made over San Francisco. San Franciscans - and Americans in general - were fascinated with the thrills and dangers of flight. Although balloon technology had not advanced greatly by the turn of the century, attempts at man-powered flight were sustaining public interest. The era of powered flight arrived in 1903 with the Wright brothers' flight ...

    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Panoramic view of the Golden Gate /

    This film, photographed from the front of a moving steam engine, shows the scenic portion of the Ferries and Cliff House Railroad route along the bluffs and cliffs of Lands End (at the northwest corner of San Francisco) overlooking the Golden Gate and the Marin headlands. The line gave access to the famed Cliff House and Sutro Baths, previously accessed by the Point Lobos ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • 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 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Scene in Chinatown /

    This film was shot in an alley of San Francisco's Chinatown on Saturday, September 15, 1900, at midday. The topography of the site (sloping down to the far street), the width of the alley, the location of utility poles [Frame: 0255], and the location of buildings across the far street suggest that the view is north from Washington Street down Washington Place (today's Wentworth ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • After launching /

    From Edison films catalog: Taken near the Union Works, San Francisco, Cal., immediately after the launching of the Japanese Man-of-war "Chitose." The scene opens with the pleasure yacht "Unadilla" passing in the immediate foreground, her decks loaded with passengers. The boat slowly passes, until the stern is directly to the audience. The water in the wake of the yacht is churned by her screw ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Parade of Chinese /

    From Edison films catalog: Taken at San Francisco, Cal., at the Golden Jubilee. This picture shows a procession of the resident Chinese of San Francisco, carrying banners, flags, etc. They are followed by an immense float drawn by four white horses. In the background is seen a beautiful arch, while across the street are hung numerous flags, which wave in the wind. Probably part ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Army pack train bringing supplies. /

    This film highlights the role of the United States Army in transporting supplies following the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco. The Army's relief operations headquarters was at their base, the Presidio, outside the burned part of the city. The Army played a major role in relief and refugee operations. In the first weeks after the fire, food, water, tents, blankets, medical supplies, ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • San Francisco Chinese funeral /

    This film shows most of the ceremonial portion of the funeral procession of Tom Kim Yung (1858-1903), military attache to the Chinese Legation to the United States. The funeral procession took place at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, September 23, 1903, and was probably the largest ever seen in Chinatown. Tom's death (note that Tom is the family name) was the tragic consequence of a ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Exploded gas tanks, U.S. Mint, Emporium and Spreckels Bld'g /

    This film is a spectacular pan of the downtown area of San Francisco as seen from south of Market Street. The location among low ruins was ideal to view the tall ruined buildings along and north of Market Street. Since the facade of St. Patrick's Church is not visible in the pan, the film is probably later than May 9, the date the facade ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • Launch of life boat /

    "Pacific Coast Life Saving Service series: These subjects are illustrative of the work performed by the Life Saving Corps of the United States Government, and show the methods in vogue at one of the most important stations on either side of our Continent. The exact routine pursued in actual practice is clearly illustrated. We are particularly indebted to Major T.J. Blakeney, Superintendent of the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Feeding sea gulls /

    From Edison films catalog: A fine view of San Francisco Bay, from an Oakland ferryboat. Tug towing a scow passes by. Sea gulls sail through the air and dive into the seething wake of the boat. 40 feet. $6.00. Advertised as part of the "Southern Pacific Company Series" (Edison films catalog): The Southern Pacific Company ("Sunset Route") offers special inducements to winter travelers, by ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Tenderloin at night /

    A man walks into a bar in the Tenderloin, where he is greeted enthusiastically by the patrons. The bartender brings a round of drinks for everyone. While one of the women distracts the newcomer, one of the men spikes his drink and he soon passes out. While he is unconscious, one of the women takes his watch. Another takes his wallet and slips it ...

    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1899
  • Troop ships for the Philippines /

    Shows the departure from San Francisco of two troop ships, the S.S. Australia and the S.S. City of Sydney, bound for Manila during the Spanish-American War. The first ship shown is the Australia with many troops on deck, some waving. The ship's name is visible on the hull at the end of the sequence. The second ship, the City of Sydney, is shown being ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • TR in San Francisco, 1903 /

    The following is a scene-by-scene description of the film: The camera was positioned on the southeast corner of O'Farrell Street and Van Ness Avenue, and pans from north to west to south, and then back to west. [Frame: 0100] The view is north on Van Ness Avenue toward the approaching band and cavalry. Students of Whittier School are in the foreground. [0604] The band ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Union Iron Works /

    From Edison films catalog: Here was built the peerless battleship "Oregon." The scene is taken at lunch hour, and shows a great throng of employees leaving the shop. 50 feet. 7.50. Advertised as part of the "Southern Pacific Company Series" (Edison films catalog): The Southern Pacific Company ("Sunset Route") offers special inducements to winter travelers, by reason of its southern route, thereby avoiding the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Over route of Roosevelt parade in an automobile /

    This film is a review by automobile of the arrival parade route of President Theodore Roosevelt, on Tuesday, May 12, 1903. The film was shot from about 2:10 pm to 2:15 pm (shortly before the 3 pm parade) and shows street and building decorations and excited crowds. The portion of the route shown is in the heart of the downtown business district. The later ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1903
  • Lurline Baths /

    "A large indoor swimming pool can be seen. The camera was directed toward a slide from which people can be seen entering the pool in rapid succession"--Early motion pictures. "At San Francisco. The main feature is the toboggan slide which the bathers use, some sitting, others lying down, head first or feet first. 50 feet"--Edison films catalog.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • Return of lifeboat /

    "Shows a life boat coming through the breakers. The surf is high and the stout boat is tossed about like a cork. 50 feet"--Edison films catalog. "Pacific Coast Life Saving Service series: These subjects are illustrative of the work performed by the Life Saving Corps of the United States Government, and show the methods in vogue at one of the most important stations on ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897