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Tag Archives: 1905

clam chowder – 1905 – New York



Shorpy Historic Photographs - New York, 1905 "Clam Chowder"


Click on the photo to enlarge and view the “Clam Chowder” sign on building.

“Clam Chowder Today”

“Clam Chowder Every Friday”

“Wm Inwood Choice Groceries”

“We Give S&H Green Stamps”

San Francisco 1905, 1906, 1941

This fascinating bit of film was shot from the San Francisco Market Street car estimated taken just a few days before the ’06 earthquake. Amazing to see the casual way the early cars just wove in an out of traffic and  the pedestrians seemingly taking their lives in their hands as they walked in front of anything on wheels.

Notice the heavy goods wagons running on tracks on the right as they get close to the Ferry Building. The wagons appear to have extra large steel wheels with a standard track width. And what about the fat cop with his truncheon ready to deal with any civil disturbances. Wonder what he did during the earthquake.

Some comments from a local historian:-

This was identified as 1905 to 1909, but recent research by some transit experts concludes that it was done possibly on Monday, April 16, 1906 or Tuesday, April 17! Yep a day or two before the earthquake that would greatly alter this landscape.

The other interesting thing is to watch the traffic and the chances people took when crossing the street. Street accidents were endemic throughout the US as the country changed with the advent of the horseless carriage. The cable cars that are visible were running at a predictable 9.2 MPH. Horses moved slowly on city streets too. But the automobile could reach speeds of 20 MPH! Early autos had the steering wheel on the right, then we standardized it to the left. The rules of the road were evolving. Major train crossing had crossing lights, but rural crossing were only marked with a sign and you were responsible for your own safety in crossing the tracks and looking for the train ‘acoming. Even signal lights in cities didn’t evolve until the 1920s. The cop directing traffic was about the only traffic control in use until then. As life sped up, we devised ways to protect the public, but it evolved slowly and unfortunately a lot of people died getting where we have some civility on city streets.

One observer noted that it appears some of the same people and the same automobiles are seen various times and suggests that the photographer may have ‘doctored’ the film to make Market Street look busier than it actually was.  Whether this is true or not, it is a fascinating film.