The F&CH Cable Railway, which opened in 1887, was designed and built by civil engineer Howard C. Holmes (1852-1921). The line is an amalgamation of the Powell Street Railway and the Park and Cliff House Railway. It was one of the most complicated cable-car systems to run from a single station and had been under construction two years prior to its opening. Andrew Hallidie, a wire rope manufacturer, devised the first operating cable car in the United States in 1873, which ran on Clay Street hill. By the 1890s, several cable lines had produced some six hundred cars and equipment, most of which were destroyed in the earthquake and fire of 1906. Only ten miles of the single-cable line have survived.
Courtesy Wikipedia/Caroline Culler (CC BY-SA 3.0)