Early video from Ampex Corp collection at SF History Expo this weekend

February 27, 2014
Hannah Frost
Ampex VR3000

The San Francisco History Expo is this weekend (March 1-2, 2014) at the Old Mint. Some very early video footage from the Ampex Corp collection at Stanford will be on view there.

This footage -- preserved through the state-wide California Audiovisual Preservation Project -- is special because it demonstrates Ampex's first portable video recorder, the VR-3000. It depicts scenes recorded on a San Francisco cable car going steeply down (probably) California Street in 1967!

Other cool things on view, from other libraries, museums, and archives across the state that participate in CAVPP include:

  • Earthquake Scenes (1906). Film footage of the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake and fire. From California Historical Society.
  • Film footage of the Panama Pacific Exposition (1915). Equestrian events, stunt flying, wrestling, dancing, boating, pageantry and other events. Vistas of the Exposition, and close-ups of many individual buildingsFrom The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Film footage of California scenes (1930s). Aerial shots of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge. From The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Golden Gate Bridge Celebration (1937). Film footage of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. From California Historical Society.
  • Golden Gate International Exposition, Treasure Island (1939). Home movie of the world's fair. From University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.
  • Go Western Pacific to San Francisco (1949) A trip on the California Zephyr to San Francisco along the Feather River Route.  From the California State Railroad Museum.
  • Our Trip North (1960). Home movie of San Francisco tourist scenes. From Ontario City Public Library.
  • High School Rising (1969). Students from Mission High School tell it like it is. By California Newsreel. From University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.
  • Mission District Murals (1982-1983). Neighborhood kids appreciate the murals they see every day. From University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Department of Special Collections.
  • Do You Know Your Bay Area? (1973). A brief history and potential future of the city's infrastructure, environment and community, produced by the League of Women Voters for KQED's Open Studio. From The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
  • San Francisco Police Department vs. Gay Community Softball League (1974). Play ball! The team that has the most fun, wins. From California Historical Society. 
  • Harvey Milk Interview at Castro Camera (1978). Media collective Optic Nerve interviews San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk at his camera shop. From University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

If you are in SF this weekend, definitely check it out!