A Flea Market Find Uncovers the Destruction of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

The footage remained hidden for a century.

When a century-old film turned up at a California flea market in 2017, photo editor Jason Wright bought it on a hunch. His intuition proved valuable, as the film revealed scenes from San Francisco just a couple weeks after the devastating 1906 earthquake.

According to Wright, “We have known about this film for over 100 years, but it’s more of a rediscovery. It’s been lost all this time. What it actually is, is about one day two weeks after the earthquake actually hit. It’s basically a trip down Market Street done by the Miles Brothers, and there’s a famous tape that most people have already seen which went down Market Street just a couple days before the earthquake hit.”

You can watch the footage courtesy of PBS here.