San Francisco cable car cash cam, 1906


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I love this, but yeesh, what a free for all of haphazard maneuvers and reckless driving.


This is cool…but it’s been featured on a ton of blogs over the past year…not really a fresh posting.

Here’s an earlier post on this.

There are lots of cool links in the comments of that post.


It’s actually been out for something like a decade, and I’m sure it’s been on Boing Boing more than once. The post doesn’t even include the really cool story of how they figured out the date!

By the way, you can find that story here.

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Really amazing stuff. Eleven years before SF had traffic lights.

Good to know that drivers have always been dicks, even though a 5-10 mph crash only meant “Excuse me”.

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Looks like a slow motion third world country.

Yeah, some things just don’t change.


This may be apocryphal, but I’ve heard that a lot of the haphazard antics were staged for the camera.

Yes this is not exactly a new find. I think BB is just having a bit of fun framing it as a “dash cam”.

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Those young guns and their fancy auto-cars, racing up and down the street. They sure want to be seen. Especially the driver of License number 4867.

Not necessarily so.

In 1894, Bridget Driscoll became the first pedestrian fatality caused by an automobile. A bystander claimed the car to be moving at “a reckless pace, in fact, like a fire engine.” It was traveling about 4.5 miles an hour.

you mean, Mr. Jay Anway! i guess the researcher in the article @Ratel mentioned found his name as part of his work dating the film:

…“That would appear to confirm the date for the film but Kiehn dug deeper by dating the early license plates on cars in the film. The DMV told him that the records no longer existed but he found them in the California State Archives in Sacramento. He eventually found one of the plate numbers from the film, 4867, and traced it to a Jay Anway who registered his car in early 1906 which further verified his research.”

Does anyone know what the large cart with vertical bars might be at approx. 3:00-3:10?
Is that a horse trailer?

Hate to nitpick, but there is no cable car on Market St. This is clearly California St.

Nobody pointed out the typo of “cash” where “crash” was intended? (Or that the analogy is a bit strained, though we understand what was intended – why not just call it a POV camera?)

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