Cable Car Museum


Mechanical engineer Andrew Smith Hallidie, "father" of San Francisco's cable cars, came from England in 1852 to try his luck in the California goldfields. Although he never hit pay dirt, he built a reputation for his wire-rope tramways. In 1871, he got financial backing to build a wire cable system to propel streetcars up the hills of the city. At the time, four or five horses were used to haul the streetcars, and there were many incidents of horses, cars, and people sliding back down. The museum has preserved Hallidie's original cable car, along with many other relics from the past 150 years of the city's cable car system.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing, Mechanical
Topic(s):Simple Machines
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:In the early morning of August 1, 1873, Andrew Smith Hallidie successfully tested the world's first cable car. It was based on his earlier invention, the ""Hallidie Ropeway,"" which he had devised to transport ore and other material in the mining districts of California.