Rare film showing San Francisco two weeks after 1906 earthquake discovered at flea market

A long-lost film reel with nine minutes of footage capturing San Francisco two weeks after the deadly 1906 earthquake surfaced at a flea market in the city.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday that the rare find portrays the city’s post-quake devastation, including City Hall with its dome nearly destroyed.

The “great quake” and ensuing fire on April 18, 1906, killed thousands.

The newspaper says the nitrate film reel was shot by early filmmakers the Miles brothers. The footage is a bookend to their most famous work, “A Trip Down Market Street,” a 13-minute silent film shot from a cable car days before the earthquake.


The public will be able to view the film April 14 at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont.