Need I say more?? So much fun to ride up and down those huge hills! Here is some history:
Andrew Smith Hallidie tested the first cable car at 4 o’clock in the morning, August 2nd, 1873, on Clay Street, in San Francisco. His idea for a steam engine powered – cable driven – rail system was conceived in 1869, after witnessing horses being whipped while they struggled on the wet cobblestones to pull a horsecar up Jackson Street. As the story goes, the horses slipped and were dragged to their death.
Hallidie’s father was an inventor who had a patent in Great Britain for “wire rope” cable. Hallidie immigrated to the U.S. in 1852 during the Gold Rush. He began using cable in a system he had developed to haul ore from mines and in building suspension bridges.
Hallidie entered into a partnership to form the Clay Street Hill Railroad, which began construction of a cable line on Clay Street in May of 1873. The contract to operate on city streets stated the line must be operational by August 1st. They launched on the 2nd. Even though they were a day late the cable car trials received great approval. Clay Street Hill Railroad began public service on September 1st, 1873. It was a tremendous success.
The best form of public transport anywhere. Nothing beats getting the “lead” position and hanging off the front of the car as it hurtles down the hill. You might be interested in my blog article on the wonderful woman who saved the cable cars from being closed down: http:www.tonyquarrington.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/great-san-franciscan-characters-5-friedel-klussmann/