Transport & exhibits at Golden Gate Exposition

About This Item

Silent, color footage from the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in San Francisco (1939/40), produced by Orville C. Goldner. Includes views of architectual exhibits, the Bay Bridge and crowds catching a ferry from the Ferry Building to the island. Also features scenes of visitors riding the elephant train, enjoying a wild west exhibition, strolling along the Gayway and watching a highwire/diving display. Ends with a brief glimpse of  people leaving from the flying boat terminal.

Originally aired on
Orville C. Goldner
Date aired
Recording medium
16mm color silent film
Type of material
Kodachrome amateur film
Goldner 5

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Filmmaker Sandra Nichols used footage from this film to make a documentary about the GGIE in 1989 (the 50th anniversary). I was one of her chief informants . . . among other things, we went to Grace Cathedral and filmed the carillon there, which was forged in England, and intended ultimately for the cathedral, but rung from the top of the Tower of the Sun at the GGIE for two years. The bronze is inscribed with the name of the expo. Her documentary--probably the best of a bunch of them that came out for the 50th anniversary--was entitled "The Once and Future Fair."  To anyone interested in the fair--please visit my blog or We have a very excellent monthly lecture series!

These are wonderful films, and I thank you for making them available. It's unfortunate, though, that they have been transferred - or at least are showing up in the online player - at an incorrect aspect ratio. The 16mm frame's proportions are 1.33 x 1, but the images as seen are about 1.5 x 1. This isn't the result of cropping, but of stretching the image horizontally. This results in buildings not appearing as tall as they should be, people appearing squatter - in other words, the proportions of everything depicted are distorted. Among other things, this compromises the monumental aspect of much of the architecture of the Exposition.

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