Who invented San Francisco’s cable cars?

Andrew S. Hallidie invented the cable car in 1873.  They run on rails and are pulled by an endless steel cable.

Cable cars are a popular way of traveling up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco, California.

Cable cars were invented in 1873 by Andrew S. Hallidie, an American manufacturer of wire cables.  At that time, most American cities had horse-drawn buses.  But the streets of San Francisco were too steep for horses to climb with heavy loads.

Endless Steel Cable

Hallidie placed an endless steel cable in a slot under the street.  Large underground motion turned wheels that pulled the cable along the slot.

A car could be moved by means of a grip which extended down through the slot to the moving cable.  When the grip man pulled back on a lever the grip seized the cable and the car was pulled along on steel tracks.

These little cars still rattle over the crest of Nob Hill and other streets as a reminder at earlier times. – Dick Rogers

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1 Comment

  1. Marivel Clemmer

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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