Who knew such a thing ever existed! So modern and so cool!
Check out the moving walkway – called a “trottoir” – that was apparently used as early mass transit in Paris in the late 19th century. It appears at the 4:49 mark of this fascinating late 1890s Lumière film of Paris.
via Parisian Fields:
The Paris trottoir was a two-mile-long, electric, three-tiered sidewalk. One trackway was stationary, the next moved at two-and-a-half miles per hour, the third at five miles her hour. The moving boardwalk moved bodies to see the grounds from new points of view at new speeds of movement. And the walkway itself was an exhibit, as patrons could sit and watch fellow fair-goers mechanically stroll. (It seemed to have a faster outer lane, for those who want to hop on and then proceed apace.)
The rest of the film is equally fascinating, offering a rare glimpse into ordinary street life of the times. via boingboing:
No cars in sight – just horse-drawn carriages, pedestrians, and the rare bicycle (why not more bikes?). People are dressed in elaborate outfits – how long did it take them to dress up in the morning? The horse-drawn fire trucks at 3:35 are a highlight.
Sound has been added to give it a more realistic feel, although it’s not necessary. I’m happy just to watch all the fabulous outfits, the mutton sleeves, the bustles, and those crazy hats. Can you IMAGINE?