Film, Video Mount Tamalpais R. R. No. 1 Mount Tamalpais R.R. / Mount Tamaltais R.R. / Mt. Tamalpais Railroad. / Mount Tamalpais Railroad.
About this Item
- Mount Tamalpais R. R. No. 1
- Mount Tamalpais R.R.
- Mount Tamaltais R.R.
- Mt. Tamalpais Railroad.
- Mount 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: 0300] The Joseph G. Eastman, called "The Bull," sister locomotive to the Cushing, is seen building up steam for the downhill run.  Visitors are seen entering the Tavern at right. The second scene in the film is the departure from the station. The view, off the back of the lead train, is of the locomotive "The Bull" following closely behind. There are two men on its cow-catcher for added visual interest. The camera swings east (right) past the south-facing Tavern. Some patrons are visible on the Tavern porch. The chaparral-covered south slope of the east peak of Mount Tamalpais comes into view, as well as hikers on the trail to Sunrise Point. (The trail now circles the peak and is named for park benefactor Vera Dunshee.) The camera swings further to the east-southeast but bright winter fog or haze obscures the view of the Bay area. The film ends when the camera swings back to "The Bull" as the train rounds the next curve.
- This film shows the summit portion of the Mill Valley and Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway, the Tamalpais Tavern resort, and part of the adjacent east peak of Mount Tamalpais. The film was probably made in February 1898 at mid-morning. Mount Tamalpais is a prominent east-west ridge in southern Marin County, just north of San Francisco. The summit was a popular excursion destination for San Franciscans after the completion of the railroad in 1896. The 2,571-foot east peak commands a sweeping view of the entire San Francisco Bay area and most of central California. Part of the Pacific Ocean is also visible and, on clear days, the distant crest of the Sierra Nevada can be seen. The idea for building the Mill Valley and Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway was first developed by William Graves, president of the North Pacific Coast Railroad. The Kent and Emmett families backed the idea, with Sidney B. Cushing as president of the corporation. The completed railroad climbed 2,436 feet from the town of Mill Valley, nestled at the south foot of the mountain, to the east summit ridge. Covering 8.25 miles and with 281 curves (including a mid-elevation "double bow knot"), the line was christened "the crookedest railroad in the world." A spur line was built in 1907 from the "bow knot" to nearby Muir Woods redwood grove, where passenger-braked "gravity cars" were a popular later feature. Both lines closed in 1929 after a major fire and years of declining patronage. The Tamalpais Tavern resort and hotel - the first of three on the site - was built at the summit station in 1897. The bridge seen in the film linked the Tavern (right) with the dance hall to the west (left). The last building on the site of the Tavern, an army barracks, was removed in 1950. A typical Saturday excursion from San Francisco at the turn of the century included a ferry ride to Sausalito on the Marin shore and a train ride to Mill Valley. There passengers switched to the Tamalpais train, had lunch at the Tavern, and hiked to the summit of the east peak. The day ended with the return to San Francisco by trains and ferry. Today the old Tavern site is a picnic area, a parking lot and road occupy the dance hall and railroad station sites, and the old railroad grade is a fire break road and hiking trail. The summit ridge of Mount Tamalpais is within the boundaries of Mt. Tamalpais State Park (1948) but most of the mountain is Marin Municipal Water District land. A disused fire lookout occupies the east summit.
- White, James H. (James Henry), production.
- Blechynden, Frederick, camera.
- Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
- Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
Created / Published
- United States : Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 1898.
- - Railroad trains--California--Marin County
- - Mill Valley and Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railway
- - Southern Pacific Railroad Company
- - Tamalpais, Mount (Calif.)
- Actualities (Motion pictures)
- Silent films
- Short films
- Nonfiction films
- - 16437 U.S. Copyright Office
- - Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 10Mar1898; 16437.
- - Camera, Frederick Blechynden.
- - Duration: 0:52 at 15 fps.
- - Filmed in January, 1898 in Marin County, California.
- - Paper print shelf number (LC 1257) was changed when paper prints were rehoused.
- - Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
- - Sources used: Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 214; Edison motion pictures, 1890-1900, p. 391; AFI catalog, film beginnings, 1893-1910, p. 701; Edison films catalog, no. 94, March 1900, p. 22.
- - Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.
- viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (29 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
- viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 70 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
- viewing print (copy 2) 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 70 ft) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
- dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (29 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
- dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 70 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
- master pos pic 1 film reel of 1 (29 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
- paper pos 1 roll of 1 (ca. 70 ft) : b&w ; 35 mm.
- paper pos (copy 2) 1 roll of 1 (ca. 70 ft) : b&w ; 35 mm.
Call Number/Physical Location
- FLA 4271 (viewing print)
- FEB 9663 (viewing print)
- FEB 9664 (viewing print, copy 2)
- FRA 1426 (dupe neg pic)
- FPE 5039 (dupe neg pic)
- FRB 1524 (master pos pic)
- Box 0553F (paper pos)
- Box 5071F (paper pos, copy 2)
- Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
- Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA dcu
Library of Congress Control Number
Additional Metadata Formats
- Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897 to 1916 (34)
- Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies (431)
- Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (1,646)
- Library of Congress Online Catalog (1,342,828)
- Blechynden, Frederick
- Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
- Thomas A. Edison, Inc
- White, James H. (James Henry)
Rights & Access
The contents of the Library of Congress Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897 to 1916 Collection are in the public domain and are free to use and reuse.
Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897 to 1916 Collection.
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Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Blechynden, Frederick, Camera, Inc Thomas A. Edison, and Paper Print Collection. Mount Tamalpais R. R. No. 1. produceds by White, James H. Uction United States: Thomas A. Edison, Inc, 1898. Video. https://www.loc.gov/item/00694422/.
APA citation style:
Blechynden, F., Thomas A. Edison, I. & Paper Print Collection. (1898) Mount Tamalpais R. R. No. 1. White, J. H. U., prod United States: Thomas A. Edison, Inc. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/00694422/.
MLA citation style:
Blechynden, Frederick, Camera, Inc Thomas A. Edison, and Paper Print Collection. Mount Tamalpais R. R. No. 1. prod by White, James H. Uction United States: Thomas A. Edison, Inc, 1898. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/00694422/>.