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Andrew Smith Halladie

Born: March 16, 1836
Died: April 24, 1900
Famous For: Inventing the cable car

Andrew Halladie
In 1852, Andrew Halladie sailed from England to America with his dad, who first patented metal wire rope. Andrew tried his hand at gold mining unsuccessfully, but did make a name for himself building suspension bridges across Western rivers such as the American, Trinity and Tuolomne. The implementation of his Halladie Tramway, used for transporting ore across mountains with elevated endless traveling line, set the stage for his next invention. Having given up on the perilous and hardship-laden existence in mining country, he set to manufacturing metal wire rope in San Francisco, as his main occupation. He soon grew frustrated, watching accident upon accident, as horses lost their footing on the steep, slippery hillsides, laden with passengers and goods.

On August 1st, 1873, Andrew Halladie's ingenious invention, the climbing and descending cable car transport system was first tested on the Clay Street hill in San Francisco. The cars were propelled by cables underground and the successful trial-run was the beginning of a multiple-line transportation system which ushered in a more sophisticated era of life in the city.

There is nothing quite like it...the sound of cables rotating underground, clanging of bells, and the ride itself. For a deeper appreciation of this quintessential San Francisco transport system visit the Cable Car Barn and Museum. You can view the powerhouse in operation and 3 antique cable cars from the 1870's. Oh, and don't forget to buy a souvenir for your knick-knack collection.

Cable Car Barn and Museum
1201 Mason St.
San Francisco, 94108
Check website for hours and info:

San Francisco Cable Car
Clay Street Line 1873