Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tram Tuesday - San Francisco at Night

Looking at this postcard, you might think this is a cable car rather than a streetcar, but it's hard to tell since any overhead wires are invisible. It's even hard to read the printing at the top: Market Street and Palace Hotel at Night. San Francisco, California. 

There were cable cars on Market Street until the 1906 earthquake and fire; after that, there were streetcars. This card was sent in 1912, and the picture shows the new Palace Hotel, built in 1909. The original 1887 Palace Hotel was destroyed by a fire following the earthquake. That means these would be the new trolley cars not cable cars.

This reminds me of that wonderful film footage of a trip down Market Street on a cable car, just days before the earthquake. In case you haven't seen it, it's a great ride.

And here are some pictures of the original Palace Hotel and the new Palace Hotel.

Here's the back of the first card, sent to Jack Keegan in Portland, Oregon.:

Frisco 11/3 -12

Dear Jack
Regards to you and yours from me and mine. Best remembrances to "Chubby" and rest of bunch. always be sure your eggs are hard boiled. Tell C. Johnson that the D. & R. G. have grand offices in Frisco. The cubs (?) at Garibaldi Hall were asking for you

(Note: I think the D. & R. G. refers to the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad)


  1. The 'at night' cards are better than the modern ones which are just dark with nothing to see. Lovely vintage film. That card looks to have the same cancellation as yesterday's one from Norway, so they were promoting the Exposition 3 years in advance!

  2. A fascinating glimpse into history.

  3. Always enjoy the San Francisco cards, it being the only "big" city I'm close to. I think the card says 'the crabs' rather than 'the cubs'. I'm not sure about the Hall he's referring to, but there is a ton of crab to had down at Fisherman's Wharf.

  4. Simply enjoyed that movie.
    I think it is run a bit slowly as the movement of the people are a fraction of a sec slow.
    One gets to see everything, paper boys, cyclists, man holding on to his hat and running, cars crossing, the policeman on the beat (reminded me of Mr Goon from famous five)
    The person with the camera had a smooth movement considering the fact that he/she was sitting on a cable car which is running on rails.

  5. My town! Love that crazy moon on the first postcard - so funny.

  6. Kind of a wicked moon that looks over the busy scene. That is a great note Tip wrote Jack. I mean, 'best remembrances to Chubby' and keeping your eggs hard boiled is very endearing!

  7. Du hast ein tolles Filmchen ausgegraben.
    Der ist wirklich super.
    Ich bin beeindruckt von den vielen Männern, die tollkühn vor den heraneilenden Gefährten die Strasse in letzter Minute überqueren.

  8. As always, fascinating cards. But it is that last card that, to me, is so typically American : the colours, the lines, the perspective : wonderful.

  9. The lighting effects on the night card are very attractive, and the moon is amusing.



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