At a glance


Milton Marks Auditorium
Hiram Johnson State Office Building
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94103


Free for SFMHS Members
$10 Admission for Non-Members
$5 Seniors and Students


7:00 - 9:30 PM

Contact info

(415) 537-1105 ext 0




  • Near BART
  • Near MUNI

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The Unique Fillmore Street Cable Car System

San Francisco Museum and Historical Society
Oct 13, 07:00PM – 09:30PM

In the early 1890s, people walking up Fillmore Street were greeted by an unusual sight: the construction of a cable counterbalance system whereby one cable car could pull another up the steep Fillmore Street grade between Green and Broadway.  Both the general public and many transit professionals scoffed at such an idea. “You may rest assured that the theory is sound and the System will work,” said W. H. Lynch, superintendent of the Market Street Railway Co.  History proved him correct, for work it did for over 40 years, from the late 1800’s to 1941.  Mike Phipps and Don Holmgren Directors of the San Francisco Cable Car Museum will describe this unique cable-car system. They will also discuss Bion J. Arnold, the “father of the third rail,” and his proposals for a post-1906 cable car system designed to transport people to the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, and connect the northern area (known as “Harbor View”) to the downtown district.

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