Friday, October 24, 2008

A Roundup of Very Early Films of Cities

Check this out--London, 1904:

This is a fragment of a film made by an American, Charles Urban, and was just recently discovered in an Australian archive. I learned about the film from this post on Metafilter. And the great thing about Metafilter is how when someone posts something cool, other members add their own related links in the comments. So courtesy of Metafilter let's take a tour of turn-of-the-last-century cities around the world, through film:

Here is another Charles Urban film, of the Indian holy city of Varanasi. The quality is much lower than that of the London footage:

These reminded me of this 1906 film of San Francisco, taken soon after the earthquake:

(You can also see a film of San Francisco made just months before the earthquake at the Library of Congress.)

If you like these old films the British Film Institute has a generous collection of British films posted at YouTube. The Library of Congress has several excellent collections of very early American films online.

I had hoped to finish off this post with a very early film from the Pacific Northwest, but I have come up blank. If you know of any email me.

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