Collection Items

  • Article
    The Actuality Film - Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 - Digital 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 ...
  • Article
    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 - Digital 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 ...
  • Film, Video
    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, ...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Kleine (George) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1906
  • Film, Video
    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)
    • Date: 1897
  • Collection
    Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 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 ...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress. Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division - Library of Congress. National Digital Library Program
    • Date: 1999

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  • Film, Video
    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)
    • Date: 1902
  • Article
    Early San Francisco - Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 - Digital 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 ...
  • Film, Video
    Exploded gas tanks, U.S. Mint, Emporium and Spreckels Bld'g
    Exploded gas tanks, U.S. Mint, Emporium and Spreckels Building
    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 ...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Kleine (George) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1906
  • Film, Video
    Hotel Vendome, San Jose, Cal.
    Vendome Hotel, San Jose, California
    "The world famous hotel, with crowded piazzas, which forms the background, is one of the best in the State of Califonia and is the principal stop for tourists en route to the famous Lick Observatory. The picture shows two four-horse coaches, two teams and two single horse carriages, loaded with tourists under the guidance of Mr. Ross, proprietor of the Mt. Hamilton Transportation Co., ...
    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1897
  • Film, Video
    Launch of Japanese man-of-war "Chitosa" [i.e., "Chitose"]
    Launch of Japanese man-of-war "Chitose" | Launching of Japanese man-of-war "Chitose" | Launch of the Japanese man-of-war "Chitosa"
    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) - White, James H. (James Henry) - Blechynden, Frederick
    • Date: 1898
  • Film, Video
    Mabel and Fatty viewing the World's Fair at San Francisco, Cal.
    Mabel and Fatty at the World's Fair | Frisco story
    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 ...
    • Contributor: Sennett, Mack - Normand, Mabel - Arbuckle, Roscoe - Keystone Film Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Mutual Film Company - Blackhawk Films - Afi/Meggers (William F.) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1915
  • Film, Video
    Market Street before parade
    Route of parade previous arrival of Pres. Roosevelt | Route of president's parade | Route of parade previous arrival of Pres. Roosevelt.
    This film is an automobile tour of a portion of the arrival parade route of President Theodore Roosevelt along Market Street, San Francisco, on Tuesday, May 12, 1903. The film was shot in the mid-afternoon, shortly before the parade, which traversed this portion of the route in the reverse direction shown here. The earlier portion of the route is seen in the film "Over ...
    • Contributor: Miles, Herbert J. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Mount Tamalpais R.R.
    Mount Tamalpais R.R. | Mount Tamaltais R.R. | Mount Tamalpais Railroad. | Mt. Tamalpais Railroad.
    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)
    • Date: 1898
  • Film, Video
    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 ...
    • Contributor: Miles, Herbert J. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Panorama of beach and Cliff House
    Panoramic view of beach and Cliff House
    This film is an afternoon panorama of weekend crowds at the north end of Ocean Beach, the western shore of San Francisco near the famed Cliff House. The film postdates the nearby Dutch Windmill (1902) and predates the burning of this Cliff House (1907). Until the 1920s much of western San Francisco was open sand dunes blown inland from Ocean Beach, the five-mile-long untamed ...
    • Contributor: Miles, Herbert J. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Panorama, Union Square, San Francisco
    Panorama of 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. ...
    • Contributor: Miles, Herbert J. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Panoramic view of the Golden Gate
    Panorama 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 ...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1902
  • Article
    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 - Digital 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 ...
  • Film, Video
    The President's carriage
    Pres. Roosevelt's carriage & escort | President Roosevelt's carriage
    This film shows President Roosevelt in San Francisco, passing in the arrival parade on Market Street on Tuesday, May 12, 1903. The camera view is from the north side of Market Street, just east of Grant Avenue. After leaving the Southern Pacific train station at Third and Townsend streets, the parade proceeded up Third Street and wound through downtown San Francisco before continuing up ...
    • Contributor: Miles, Herbert J. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Web Page
    Related Resources - Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 - Digital Collections Selected Annotated Bibliography General Beebe, Lucius, and Charles Clegg. San Francisco's Golden Era. Berkeley, CA: Howell-North Books, 1960. Excellent pictorial and graphic coverage of pre-1906 San Francisco. Cameron, Robert. Above San Francisco. San Francisco: Cameron and Company, 1986. One of a series, superb aerial coverage of San Francisco and the Bay Area, including
  • Web Page
    Rights and Access - Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 - Digital Collections Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. The ...
  • Film, Video
    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 ...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Kleine (George) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    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 ...
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1906
  • Film, Video
    San Francisco earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906 This film shows the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906, and the devastation resulting from the subsequent three-day fire. The 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck at 5:12am and was centered along the San Andreas Fault, which slices through coastal California. Most of the cities of central California were badly damaged. San Francisco, with thousands of unreinforced brick buildings - and thousands ...
    • Contributor: Afi/Adams (L. F.) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1906