Recently discovered footage of San Francisco in the wake of the destructive 1906 earthquake will soon be available to the public.
The 9-minute recording was likely shot by The Miles Brothers, San Francisco’s first movie company, one or two weeks after the 7.9-magnitude quake rocked the city. It traces the route featured in the 13-minute film “A Trip Down Market Street,” that was taken by the same company a few days before the quake. The two films offer a dramatic before-and-after contrast:
The rare footage was discovered at a flea market by film historian David Silver, who then sold it to photo collector Jason Wright. Now, the entire reel has been digitized for the purpose of posting online. Early viewings have already been presented at film festivals, and NBC in the Bay Area aired some of the 112-year-old scenes for the first time on TV on Sunday.
“Miles Brothers footage shot after the earthquake is extremely difficult to find,” film historian David Kiehn, who digitized the film, told The San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year. “They shot more footage than anyone else after the earthquake — almost two hours of footage, and practically none of it survived.”
Wright plans to post the film online soon.
“This is for the people of San Francisco,” he told NBC. “This film was saved for them, and they deserve to see it.”