The great earthquake that leveled San Francisco struck early in the morning of April 18, 1906. As most people know, the quake–which itself did plenty of damage–led to a catastrophic fire that nearly wiped the city off the map.

Here’s some contemporary footage taken shortly after the disaster. The beginning of this clip features a ride through the streets on an automobile, but because this was done with a hand-cranked movie camera when it’s played back it appears much faster than it did in real life–meaning that it looks like a crazy, out-of-control chase through the streets of 1906 San Francisco!

Some awesome stuff here. I love old footage like this.