San Francisco’s first cable car line opened in 1873. The successful development of the electric streetcar by Frank Sprague in 1888 plus the 1906 San Francisco earthquake resulted in the decline of the cable car system. Concerned that the cable car system would vanish, San Francisco resident Friedel Klussmann rallied public support to save the cars. The 1982 shutdown of the cable car lines for their rebuilding led to Trolley Festivals beginning in 1983 until 1987 using a variety of historic streetcars on Market Street.
Those successful festivals resulted in rebuilding the streetcar track on Market Street and the establishment of the F streetcar line in 1995 using Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcars purchased from Philadelphia and refurbished in a variety of paint schemes that represented cities that once had streetcar service. In addition, the line features vintage Peter Witt streetcars from Milan, Italy; a boat like streetcar from England; and other unique cars. During 2000, the F line was extended to Fisherman’s wharf and has become one of the most successful streetcar lines in the United States. This book is a photographic essay of “San Francisco’s Magnificent Streetcars” along with its historic cable cars and hill climbing trolley coaches.
Kenneth Springirth, with a lifelong interest in rail transportation, since 1963 has made numerous trips to San Francisco to ride, research, walk, and photograph the streetcar lines. Born and raised in the United States, he commuted to Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia by trolley car, subway, and sometimes commuter train. His father was a trolley car motorman in Philadelphia, and his grandfather was a trolley car motorman in Washington D.C. A detailed researcher, Ken’s interest in rail transportation by 2015 has culminated in writing 26 books on streetcar systems and railroads covering a variety of locations.He lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Dimensions: 275 x 215 mm
Extent: 128 pages
Illustrations: 235 colour photographs