At a time when steam power was finding its first uses in America, Philadelphia opened two steam pumping stations, January 1801, to lift water from the Schuylkill River and distribute it through the city's wooden pipes and mains. By 1811 a new water power works was begun on the river near Morris Hill, and the Fairmount Water Works opened September 7, 1815. These water works represented the first large-scale application of steam pumping to water service in the country.
Designed by Sam Diescher, son-in-law of the Monongahela's designer John Endres, the Duquesne Incline opened May 20, 1877, as the second of seventeen built and operated in the Pittsburgh area. It has operated with only minor interruptions for the last one hundred years. A preservation group from Duquesne Heights and Mount Washington interceded in 1962 to refurbish this incline to working order. Like the Monongahela, the Duquesne was steam powered and then converted to electric and updated with modern safety devices.