Throwback Thursday: Cable Car exhibit opens

Cable Car
Mark Prado

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has announced the opening of a history exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library, as part of the ongoing celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the cable cars.

The “Innovation to Icon: 150 Years of Cable Cars” exhibit runs until Sept. 30 on the 6th floor of the public library’s main branch library at 100 Larkin St.

The exhibit takes a visual journey through time that brings the history of San Francisco’s cable cars to life. It combines photographs, original documents, and unique memorabilia from the San Francisco History Center and the SFMTA Photo Archive.

Invented in 1873 to conquer the city’s challenging topography, cable cars evolved from a transportation mode to a symbol of San Francisco and a tourist attraction. 

Years of use and deferred maintenance in the 1970s left the system battered and unsafe. From 1982-1984, the entire system was shut down and rebuilt from the ground up, re-engineered for improved safety and structural integrity.

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