Footage of San Francisco’s Market Street During Era of Wiley’s Pure Food Law

The Prelinger Archives house what some have called “the first 35 mm film ever that has come to light.” Cable Car Ride on Market Street, 1905-1906, Before and After Earth Quake shows what San Francisco, California looked like while Dr. Harvey Wiley was preparing to enforce the Pure Food and Drug Act that President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law on June 30, 1906. Notice the variety of transportation in use. Cable cars and new fangled automobiles zip by, but so do horses and bicycles, and pedestrians who seem to have no fear of darting between moving vehicles with reckless abandon. No road rules, no worries.

This upload by Ron Wininger featuring a fitting soundtrack is my favorite version to watch:


Interestingly enough, back on the East Coast, Wiley was only the third person to own and drive an automobile in Washington, D.C. a few years later. “This car had the distinction of being the victim of the first automobile accident in the city of Washington,” wrote Wiley in his autobiography.

Harvey Wiley in his automobile

“I had started to cross Pennsylvania Avenue at Thirteenth Street, when I stopped to allow a street-car to go by. Coming down the Avenue from the east was a delivery wagon, the driver of which was looking back, talking with someone behind him, and did not see me there in my automobile. He was driving along with great speed and struck me amidships. Before he stopped his horses the wagon-tongue had passed between my right arm and my body, fortunately not seriously injuring either, but bruising both to some extent. But the car was fairly well demolished. He was the first ‘hit and run’ driver in Washington. He backed his horses away and never said: ‘I am sorry,’ ‘Are you hurt?’ or ‘Good-by,’ but drove away at the same furious speed. All the papers in the city the next morning had head-lines and articles about the accident. One of the articles described me as trying to climb a horse.”

The San Francisco imagery in the aforementioned footage makes this scene quite imaginable!

It was at that time when Wiley, ever the renaissance man, wrote a poem about his appreciation for automobiles:


O talk not to me of the strident musk

With the scent that never dies;

And tell me not of the odors, at dusk,

Which from new-mown fields arise.

I have found an aroma far more divine

Than all in the world, I ween;

And one for which I shall always pine,

‘Tis the fragrant gasoline.

I love, for aye, the whiz of the wheels

And the whir of the dashing car;

My postulant heart in its pulses feels

The joy of the jolt and jar.

I love the honk of the chauffeur’s horn,

It is music to my soul.

And the dash up the road at early morn,

With a breakfast as its goal.

The odors that rise with the morning sun

From the roses so rarely seen,

Are sweet, but of joys there is only one;

‘Tis the scent of the gasoline.

I have heard the praises of attar rose,

Of the perfume of Eau de Cologne;

Of the breeze which from redolent Cathay blows,

Of the spices of fragrant Ceylon.

But the sweetest of all, I can truly say,

(Can you doubt, after this, what I mean?)

Is the fragrance which follows the horseless shay,

The Glory of Gasoline.




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  1. November 13

    This is a pretty gaeernl question. As a PGA Teaching professional most players come to me because they slice the ball. If you are chronic slicer of the ball here are a few things to consider. Make sure your grip is perfect. As a gaeernl guideline, assuming you are right handed, make sure you can see at least two knuckles on your left hand with the grip in your fingers and your right hand should come into the club from a natural hanging position. If you extend your right index finger it should be on the right side of the shaft. not on top and not under the shaft. Make sure the face is not closed at address. 99% of slicers close the face at address. To check if your face is closed hold your club straight out in front of you with your hands directly in front of your sternum. If the leading edge of the club is not vertical your face is not square. A slicer needs to fix face problems before plane problems. All slicers have a clubface that is wide open at impact. to get the sensation of what your forearms and hands should feel like as you swing through the ball hold the club in front of you with the toe of the club vertical and rotate the club around your body (basebalish style) letting the face of the club open on the back swing. As you turn to the left close the face of the club as soon as you start this motion. the face should feel like it’s completely closed as it passes in front of you. the rotation continues until your club has swung around your body. take this same motion and try to hit a ball of a short tee (with irons). Most players don’t shut the face soon enough on the downswing and they wait until they are about a foot from the ball to do so.You have no chance of closing the face if you don’t start it much sooner in the downswing. If you are doing it correctly the ball should start to curve to the left. Owen

  2. Corine:Je ne comprends pas bien ou vous voulez en venir avec ce post.Le message est-il qu’ils sont un peu jeunes pour une ville aussi tourmentée que D.C.?

  3. Pas faux sur l’échec du parti unique de droite mais N.Sarkozy n’était pas encore candidat en 2002 lorsque Chirac et Juppé ont décidé de fonder l’UMP en profitant du tremblement de terre du 1er tour de la présidentielle. Ce n’est qu’ensuite que 1)Sarkozy a pris le parti à la hussarde, 2) en a changé le logiciel pour les présidentielles de 2007 sur la base d’un « mix » économiquement (néo-)libéral et politiquement/socialement autoritaire.

  4. I thought the garage sale question was especially hilarious, and it would have totally taken me off guard. I might have either– A: told them that we were about to do some performance art and try to charger her money to be in the audience (tips would be good too) or—- B: I would say that we don’t have anything to see in this garage, yet, but if you wait 5 minutes, we can make something for you. . .

  5. Thanks for that Laura.Yea – I feel that same resistance to doing the series.But, so what.Resistance is just in the air sometimes – but it doesn’t mean very much.Thanks for committing to The Series so fully – even when you felt resistant to it.Have funnJosh

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    That’s way the besstet answer so far!

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