Scenes in San Francisco, [no. 2] /
Panoramas filmed in the ruins of downtown San Francisco and outlying refugee camps following the 1906 earthquake and fire. A scene-by-scene description of the film: [Frame: 0102] Begins with a long, pan of downtown ruins viewed from Natoma Street between 4th and 3rd streets. The pan is from left to right (west to northeast). Buildings of interest: The old San Francisco Mint, with classic facade and two smokestacks is in the middle background.  The Flood Building at Market and Powell streets is seen.  The unfinished frame of the Butler Building (now I. Magnin's department store) rises behind the ruined apse of St. Patrick's Church on Mission Street. Note that the church facade had been demolished.  In the far background is the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill. Closer at left is the tower frame of the Whittell Building, unfinished at the time of the earthquake.  The Call Building at left is obscured by the Aronson Building.  The white Monadnock Building is at left, the dark multi-bayed Palace Hotel is at right. Both stand west of 3rd Street, facing Market Street.  The arched facade  may be St. Patrick's School on Natoma Street. Next is a pan showing the ruins of San Francisco's City Hall , most of the visible damage being caused by the earthquake, not the subsequent fire. City Hall was located between Larkin and McAllister streets and set a block back from Market Street. The camera view is across Market Street from the west side of 8th Street. The pan is from northwest to northeast. In sequence are  the ruined southwest wing of City Hall,  Marshall Square with the 1894 Pioneer Monument in front of the central tower and cupola of City Hall,  the east wing,  and the domed Hall of Records (demolished 1916). Nob Hill is visible in the background, at right.  The camera pans to the left across one of the refugee camps located in public parks and undeveloped areas in the unburnt parts of the city. The umbrella and wall tents were army issue; the wooden shacks  were built on site. This may be camp #13 at Clinton Mound, at Market and Duboce streets.  The crowd at left may be passing through the main entrance to Market Street. [Frame: 0103] This is the start of a panorama of a well-organized camp, probably in the Presidio, the U.S. Army base.  These Chinese refugees are receiving their ration of food, and the distributor writes down each portion given out. Refugees from Chinatown were gathered at nearby Fort Mason, then moved to the Presidio Golf Links. Complaints of unpleasant cooking odors led to a third move to another Presidio location.  This left-to-right pan (north to southeast) was shot from the southwest corner of 3rd and Market streets.  People watch safecrackers at work (note the sign advertising their services).  A street clock stands before the entrance of the Mutual Savings Bank.  The camera looks part way up Kearny Street. The view is northeast toward Lotta's Fountain (1875) and the Chronicle Building.  Thick dust obscures Market Street and the distant Ferry Building.  The ruins of the opulent Palace Hotel (left) and its modern neighbor, the Monadnock Building (right) are visible.  Looking across 3rd Street, the camera shows the dynamited remains of the Hearst Building and the exposed interior of the Monadnock Building.  The camera looks down 3rd Street as a Keuffel Poster Company cart (drafting and surveying supplies) passes.
H77926 U.S. Copyright Office
Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Company; 19May1906; H77926.
Camera, Otis M. Gove.
Duration: ca. 5:30 at 15 fps.
According to Biograph bulletins 1896-1908, the original length of the 35 mm. print was 287 feet.
Biograph production no. 3172.
Paper print shelf number (LC 2181) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
Additional holdings for this title may be available. Contact reference librarian.
Photographed: May 9, 1906. Location: San Francisco, California.
Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
Sources used: Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 288; Biograph bulletins 1896-1908, p. 276; Biograph production logs, v. 2, p. 68.
Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.
35 mm viewing print renumbered: FEC 1633 to FYA 1553.