JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Market Street: 1947

Market Street: 1947

"San Francisco 1947" is the notation on this latest Kodachrome from Don Cox. Who, given the choice of shooting pedestrians or running them over, chooses the former. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

But what about the wires?

I am just amazed at how many electric lines there are for the streetcars and how low they appear. And now I just noticed there are even some still showing in the modern day view. I guess not all the public transit was done with cable cars.

UPDATE: After doing a little more research, I see that San Francisco operates a number of vintage streetcars that utilize these electric wires.

The financial district grew upward

Here is the intersection today. All pedestrians appear safe.

Carpe snapshot

That Don sure kept at it -- this post was from 1947, and previous was from 1971. 24 years, at least, of doing something he loved. (Oh, yeah, and that Penske racing stuff, too.)

Many of us might have looked down our noses at the idea of a through-the-windshield snapshot -- how gauche! But there's a lesson here about spontaneity and seizing opportunity, capturing fleeting moments that are full of life and full of color (thanks, Kodachrome). This off-the-cuff image tells a million stories.

Memories, sort of

The prominent building on the right (south) side of the Market Street is the headquarters of Pacific Gas & Electric Company, my former employer long ago. It's been there since 1925 and still looks handsome. The building of similar height just beyond it was the headquarters of the Matson Navigation Line (steamships to beautiful Hawaii), and it survives, too. The smaller buildings closer to the camera have vanished and were replaced with steel and glass after 1970.

All the buildings on the left side of the street for about three blocks from the Ferry Building were swept away in the early-mid 1960s for the building of Embarcadero Center. Most of the others have since succumbed to further highrise development.

To bobzyerunkl: The octopus that ravaged San Francisco in the 1954 movie It Came From Beneath the Sea was actually a quintipus, since the producer couldn't afford eight tentacles! Still, animator Ray Harryhausen did an excellent job with what he had, and the movie is actually pretty fun to watch. However, you may never cross the Golden Gate Bridge again.

Mild surprise

When I see the Ferry Building, I expect it to be wrapped in tentacles.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2022 Shorpy Inc.