Skip to main content

Ferries & Cliffhouse Cable Railway Power House

Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Date: 1887
Creator(s): Holmes, Howard
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.
Tags: Era: 1880-1889
Innovation designated by:
Courtesy Wikipedia/Caroline Culler (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Ferries & Cliffhouse Cable Railway Power House
San Francisco, CA, USA

37.794601, -122.411365

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support America's only magazine of the history of engineering and innovation, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to Invention & Technology.


Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.