Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Street scene time machines

Two amazing film clips, the first showing Market Street in San Francisco in 1905, shortly before the earthquake and fire that destroyed much of the city, and the second taken in Manchester, England, in 1901. Practically everything in every frame is fascinating, but in particular, notice the chaos. No lanes, no cross walks, no traffic lights, a bewildering variety of vehicles and pedestrians, and little indication that anybody looked either way, let alone both ways, before walking, biking, driving their horses, or backing their cars into the wild confusion of the traffic. You'll see at least three people who narrowly avoid getting run over in the San Francisco clip -- it's as if they didn't quite understand yet how cars worked, or that it takes them a little while to stop when pedestrians stroll right in front of them.

Hat tip: Gerard Vanderleun and his commenters.

1 comment:

Luke Murphy said...

It's amazingly impressive how much the simple fact that people don't want to die allows all that chaos to work out with no accidents. In my opinion, we should get rid of traffic lights and stop signs just about everywhere.