1930s San Francisco With Hella Streetcars

We found this amazing home movie from the 1930s on 10 Times One‘s twitter feed. Part of it (0:23-0:46, roughly) shows a bunch of streetcars and one of those old hubs you hear about every so often. We love this stuff! Maybe one of you can help tell us where (on Market, obv.) this is?

Also, as you’ll notice, the video has no sound. That was once the case with the now-ubiquitous “Trip Down Market Street” video, until some clever hands on You Tube got a hold of it. All good images can be made better with sound. What are you guys waiting for?


  • Anders

    Amazing video. Streetcars are turning around right in front of the Ferry Building with 1 Market and 250 Market (?) buildings clearly visible and still around today! Anyone know the history of the bridge seen at :33? Must have been a ped bridge from the 2nd floor of the Ferry Building.

  • Great footage of the old “Iron Monster” streetcars! That scene where the streetcars are on that roundabout track (starting at about 0:23) is “The Loop” — the once-famous streetcar turnaround that used to be in front of the Ferry Building. So that’s a view looking up Market Street, as seen from the Ferry Building. Notice also the elevated pedestrian walkways that used to carry folks to the bars and restaurants on the other side of the Embarcadero. Superb!

  • Yes I had read the people boarded the ferries from the 2nd floor — it was where all the waiting rooms were — so it makes sense that the pedestrian bridge would take people to that level and not the street level.

  • Greg, you’re right about where the pedestrian bridge ended. Take a looksee at this postcard, which also shows The Loop:


    The video was taken from the arched windows, on the second floor, right above the main entrance, it seems.

  • It is surprising the glaring lack of non-trolley vehicles on the streets. Would it be that we could have such a non-claustrophobic and stress free experience on the streets in the modern age. A pedestrian can dream, I suppose.

    Thanks for the nod, guys!

  • screamingviolet

    A lot of these films can be found at the Prelinger Archive. Really interesting stuff there is a film of the Tamalpais Gravity Train there.

  • James

    @10 Times Nico, that footage of all the trolleys looked pretty stressful and claustrophobic to me! That’s why they built the elevated walkway, we can assume: because the street with 4 streetcar tracks was so unfriendly to pedestrians.

  • Dexter Wong

    The pedestrian bridge to the Ferry Bldg. was torn down during World War II as part of a scrap metal drive.

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