See 1906 for yourself; uncovered recently, this vintage film captures life in a bustling San Francisco just days before the big quake

While thousands of before-and-after photographs exist, little footage exists that captures life in motion before the quake. To get a real sense of the energy and atmosphere of the city just days before the disaster, take a few minutes to watch the film at

It’s moving and fascinating when you consider how everyone who’s captured in their daily lives is about to be forever changed by Mother Nature’s fury. In Blossom , when Austin describes the filmmakers on the front end of a cable car, he’s describing the real Miles brothers who recorded a ride that was the length of Market Street.

Within a few minutes of silent observation, you’ll visit the heart of San Francisco in 1906 and get a glimpse of a joyous city on the brink of a catastrophe. Nearly all of the buildings that you’ll see were destroyed by the disaster. Be sure to notice:

  • The Ferry Building at the end of the street, which is still there today on the San Francisco Bay
  • The chaotic traffic flow on this main thoroughfare with apparently no rules; pedestrians, cable cars and drays being hauled by horse teams all converge without colliding
  • The mix of vehicles, horse-drawn and horsepower in their engines
  • Everyone has a hat on
  • The youngster who emerges from behind the canvas flap of the wagon in front of the cable car
  • The boys known as “newspaper butchers” at the Ferry Building

So click the play button. And then simply sit back and witness life as it was.