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  • Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, Cal. /

    "The background of this picture is the Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton, Cal. This observatory, the gift of James Lick, of Pennsylvania, was constructed at a cost of $700,000, being equipped with one of the most powerful telescopes that has ever been produced, and is famous the world over. The view of the Observatory is very complete, showing the style of architecture, including the glass ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • San Francisco's future /

    By mid-1916, after viewing the carnage in Europe, the United States saw itself poised with great reluctance on the edge of participation in World War I. Isolationism and anti-preparedness feeling remained strong in San Francisco, not only among radicals such as the International Workers of the Worlds ("the Wobblies"), but also among responsible labor leaders. At the same time, with the rise of Bolshevism ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1916
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • TR at Sagamore Hill [1916] /

    On May 27, 1916, shortly before the Republican Party and Progressive Party conventions, the newly formed Roosevelt Non-Partisan League sponsors a demonstration of support for TR at Sagamore Hill. Many prominent men are included in the over 2,000 people who traveled from New York City to Oyster Bay to see TR and hear him speak on "Americanism." Panning shots of crowd gathered around porch; ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1915
  • 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
  • South Spring Street, Los Angeles, Cal. /

    From Edison films catalog: Various equipages pass, including a tally-ho and six white horses. A peculiar, open-end trolley car comes along; bicycle riders and pedestrians. 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 extreme cold of ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • A trip to Berkeley, Cal. /

    Shot from a moving streetcar, this film shows portions of north Berkeley and the adjacent University of California campus, circa 1906. The Oakland and Berkeley Rapid Transit Company began operating in 1891 and was a major factor in the development of Berkeley. The streetcar route shown is most of the final portion of the #4 line, built in 1901, originating in downtown Oakland. The ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • 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
  • 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
  • Procession of floats /

    From Edison films catalog: Taken at San Francisco, Cal., at the Golden Jubilee. In the foreground are seen crowds of people, all being very close to the camera. The first float is drawn by four white horses and is at least twenty feet long. It carries a full load of little school girls, who sit along its full length facing the sides of the ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898
  • Sutro Baths /

    From Edison films catalog: Another view in which the figures show larger. A springboard furnishes the bathers with much amusement; also a toboggan slide. 50 feet. $7.50. "A large indoor swimming pool is shown, as well as the walkways that separate the varying depths of the water, and a sign identifying the locale on the wall farthest from the camera position. In the immediate ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • 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
  • 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
  • A trip down Market Street before the fire /

    The following is a scene-by-scene description of the film: [Frame: 0300 (part 1)] The film begins looking northeast on Market Street just west of the intersection of Hyde, Grove and 8th streets. The dark building at right is the Odd Fellows Hall and the grey building beyond (across 8th St.) is the Grant Building (1905). A white postal service automobile is at left center. ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • 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
  • 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
  • Stanford University, California /

    "Taken at the above University, noted the world over, being the personal gift of the late Senator Leland Stanford. The view shows an immense arch in the background through which are seen coming groups of students, some walking, others on bicycles. The figures show life size, clear and distinct. The ivy covered walls of the building form the background to a pleasing picture"--F.Z. Maguire ...

    • 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 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • TR and Mrs. Roosevelt [at the Panama-California Exposition, 1915] /

    At the Panama-California Exposition, San Diego, California, on July 27, 1915, Theodore Roosevelt and Edith Roosevelt speak with officials on the steps of what is probably the United States Government Building. Close view of group smiling and talking.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1915
  • Capsize of lifeboat /

    "Daily practise [sic] of life boat crew, showing boat being upset purposely by the men. As these boats are self-righting and self-bailing, the scene is particularly interesting. 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 ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1897
  • 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
  • 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
  • Freight train /

    From Edison films catalog: The long train is just coming out of the tunnel. An engine and a header, nineteen freight cars, a caboose and a pusher engine creep slowly round the curve and up the steep grade. Fine smoke effects. Magnificent scenery. 100 feet. $15.00. Advertised as part of the "Southern Pacific Company Series" (Edison films catalog): The Southern Pacific Company ("Sunset Route") ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1898