Streetcar Ride to Berkeley in 1906

This is a cool video of a streetcar ride to Berkeley in 1906.

Below is the excerpt describing the footage.

This film, shot from a moving streetcar, shows portions of north Berkeley and the adjacent University of California campus, circa 1906. (A 1905 photo-panorama of Berkeley shows a virtually identical view of the area seen in the film.) The Oakland and Berkeley Rapid Transit Company began operating in 1891 and was a major factor in the development of Berkeley. Unincorporated until 1878, a decade after the foundation of the University of California, Berkeley was somewhat remote from the east-bay urban center of Oakland to the south. The apparent abundance of undeveloped land seen in the film is a bit deceptive; trees, hills and the narrow viewpoint of the camera hide much of the neighborhood, which was fairly well built-up by 1906, although much room remained for further growth. Over the following decades even the Berkeley Hills were covered with homes, as the University matured into a world-class institution. A large portion of north Berkeley burned in the 1923 fire, but the area was quickly rebuilt. (The major 1991 fire was in the Oakland Hills, just south of the university campus.) The streetcar route shown is most of the final portion of the #4 line (built in 1901) originating in downtown Oakland. The #3 Oxford Street line, seen at the start of the film, also originated in Oakland. In 1903 the Berkeley streetcar system had become part of Oakland Transit Consolidated, basis of the Key Route system that linked east bay transit lines to its Oakland/San Francisco ferries. The #3 line closed in 1932. Later-model streetcars on the #4 line were replaced by buses in 1948. The Hearst/Euclid avenues portion of that line is now part of the #65 Grizzly Peak bus line.

More from Cool Old Photos