San Francisco: Market Street, 1906

Photo: Prelinger Archives
Photo: Prelinger Archives

One of the coolest parts of traveling to new destinations is knowing that you’re experiencing a place the way it is in that moment only. Places change, and people change, and the city you visit today may not be the same city you remembered when you go back a decade later.

That’s why I love “traveling” vicariously through old footage. A Facebook friend posted this captivating video taken from a streetcar on Market Street in San Francisco in 1906, taken from the Prelinger Archives. I love it because it reminds me of footage I often take on my travels as I scramble to capture the excitement of daily life in whichever place I’m passing though.

This one has everything. Cars and horse-drawn carriages whizzing past in all directions, turn-of-the-century fashionistas, and a few tense moments involving risk-taking pedestrians. You don’t get the same action from a black-and-white photo, and it’s a treat to witness that life was lived at this maniacal pace even back then.

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