San Francisco: Cable Car Museum

A must see with all the essential museum requirements – education with easy to understand and enjoy exhibits, a reasonable gift shop, good hours, convenient location, much for children, and free, but give a donation if able.

The Mechanics

The heart and brains of the operation – The actual Cable Car Machine Shop is in the museum.
A Better View
The cable – little has changed in cable splicing in over 100 years.

The Grip, pictured above, controls the speed and control of the car by “gripping” the cable. It can support up to 10 tons. To operate this vital piece of machinery requires practice and strength. The operator must feel each position of the Grip as he/she operates it. Cars move at full speed 9.5 mph and this 327 pound piece of machinery is key.

Some Beauties From the Past

Conductor Uniform

Other Memorabilia

The Famous Earthquake of 1906

San Francisco sits on the San Andreas fault. Tremors occur daily due to this location. On April 18th 1906 in the wee hours of the morning the devastation began. With an explosive fury comparable to 6 million tons of TNT and 12,000 times the impact of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the City shook for 40 seconds, pausing for 10, then shaking for another 20. Upon completion devastation was 200 miles long and 20 to 40 miles wide. Many were injured and died. The pictures say it all.

Three days of terror continued as only one fire hydrant remained with all water mains broken. Firefighters were helpless. When the fires ceased 490 blocks of the City were destroyed.*

*Paraphrased information from the Cable Car Museum exhibit. They state it better than I ever could.

From this devastation the fate of the cable car was certain. It was over. However, due to an outpouring of love and endorsement from citizens government officials changed their minds, and to this day the cable car carries on.

So, on your visit to San Francisco make sure you

and view this captivating piece of San Francisco history.

You’ll be enchanted.

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