Big batch of SF archival films new on YouTube, featuring 'Hello Girls' of Chinatown, bay swimming 'Frog Man', city-stopping strikes, and more!

Image courtesy of British Pathe

Media company British Pathé uploaded thousands of archival films to its Youtube channel, and in the batch are hundreds of vintage newsreels showcasing San Francisco history as far back as the 1906 earthquake.

The films cover milestones in Baghdad by the Bay's history, but more obscure films like "Hello Girls" of Chinatown (1929) and Frog Man Swims Under Golden Gate Bridge (1954) offer a look at quirky San Franciscans of the past. 

The news-radio style announcers on film vary from droll and monotone to Kentucky Derby levels of excitement: 

"San Francisco's rail commerce is at a virtual stand still, warehouses are full!" 

"San Francisco's ever smoldering railway war breaks out anew. Twenty-seven department store operators have united to squelch union demands for a 35 hour week!"

"After five years of work the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge is completed."

"San Francisco lies under a blanket of snow, its heaviest in 75 years."

"Alcatraz... it doesn't seem possible that they'd close it down."

A nod to Curbed for the great find. Below we've embedded some of our favorites, but there are hundreds more at British Pathé's YouTube channel, here

San Francisco Cable Cars Threatened (1954)
San Francisco Strike(1938)
Golden Gate Bridge Open (1937)
Fine Arts Palace Demolished (1964)
Frog Man Swims Under Golden Gate Bridge (1954)
"Hello Girls" Of Chinatown (1929)
San Francisco Earthquake (1906)
Alcatraz - Everybody Out! (1963)