August 06, 2008

"C"able Car -- it's ABC Wednesday !


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Hope everybody is having a great  ABC Wednesday.

In 1873 Andrew Smith Hallidie put his experience with wire-rope to good use pulling the now famous cable cars up and down the steep streets of San Francisco.   It is told that he witnessed the trouble horse-drawn street cars were having on fog moistened slippery streets, often resulting in terrible accidents.

Hallidie's father just happened to be the inventor of wire-rope, and before son Andrew put it to use pulling cable cars, he found new uses for his dad's invention in the California gold mines.   He also promoted wire-rope as an economic method for building suspension bridges.

In the late 1800's cable cars had to compete with the more economical electric street cars, but I suppose that by that time the cable cars had gained so much charm -- becoming an identifiable trademark -- that the City decided to keep them running.   And yes, I suppose the long-running television commercial for Rice-A-Roni helped too...

You can read more about the San Francisco cable cars over at Wikipedia.


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Your comments are invited and welcome.


26 comments:

Aileni said...

Excellet choice and very informative.
The picture is choice too.

kjpweb said...

Gorgeous shot and great postwork!
Cheers, Klaus

Tash said...

love the lines, the colors, the shine of the tracks, the angle, the tiny cable car ... but you planned it that way, didn't you. wonderful photo.

Denise said...

Great information! Progress? Was a shame when the older models are replaced with new technology. Sometimes we loose the authenticity!

Great post!

Nydia said...

Cable cars are charming, aren't thy? Here in Rio we still have them in one of our areas called St. Teresa, it's a must when visiting the city! :)
I didn't know about the Tuxedo cat, I thought he was simply a stray cat! LOL Thanks for the info, I'll visit your kitty blog asap! I'd love to potty-train my cat! heheheh But I doubt he would like it, weird cat....

Kisses from Nydia.

Bear Naked said...

Very artistic photo and also interesting information about cable cars.

Bear((( )))

Lake Lady said...

You're gonna get me fired, Donald! LOL. I just clicked over to your BIG site and I could spend DAYS there! Most of the places you shoot are high on my "as soon as I retire, I'm heading out there" list. Thanks for letting me visit through you in the meantime!

photowannabe said...

Love the cable cars but wish they were't so darn expensive. Haven't been on one in at least 8 years.
This is a fantastic shot. I love the perspetive and the light highlighting the rails. It was super as yesterday's enlarged teaser.

Tomate Farcie said...

Photowannabe: A couple of times a year, you can ride them for free when they have "save the air" day and all public transportation is free.

By the way, the cable car museum is at Mason, not Powell, and admission is still free:

http://www.cablecarmuseum.org/

I really really love this shot with the rail pattern in foreground and the suggestion of a cable car in the back. Well done!

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

Hello Don,
happy ABC!
I see that you are publicing the old ABC way, Like your wire rope (rail?)photo, and I quess that you saw mine (is on the ABC blog), I might also post my on my own blog, course no-one knows I'm publicing on ABC, now you do... hahaha ,

we are still doing fine in FRance,having not much internet here, I'm glad I could visit your blog today!

Greetings from JoAnn

leslie said...

FANTASTIC shot of the cable car just on the top of the hill! I've actually been to the cable car museum there and found it to be fascinating.

Annie said...

love that photo...also like the cat tails from earlier..a great photo also!

and thanks for your visit..

Annie

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

most interesting - cable cars have always been special for me as we had one in wellington new zealand which i used on a regular basis to get to the university

Bibi said...

This is a fantastic photograph! I have browsed through your recent posts and like what I see so much, I'm adding you to my list of favorites to check regularly.

Thanks for your comment today, too!

RuneE said...

I envy you that picture with reflection in the tracks! Thank you for the very interesting background information.

Hanging on the outside of the cable car downhill was great fun!

Texas Travelers said...

We have only ridden the cable cars a couple of time. They were really crowded.

I really like this photo and the write-up. Dark photo with the shining rails and just a hint of the car. Fantastic.

Glad you liked the caterpillars.
Troy

Kjerstis Hjørne said...

interesting choice, I have never heard about it before.

Liz said...

That's a great photo.

We used to have the Mummbles train, the oldest passenger train in the world - but it was closed down in the sixties. They should have kept that like the cable cars. It would have been a fabulous tourist attraction now.

ellen b said...

What a fabulous perspective. San Francisco seems like a great place for a photographer...

Alan said...

Nice shot and history of the cable cars. I'll have to check out the Wiki article for more background.

The cannons at the Golden Gate are probably either identical to or of a similar make to the large ones posted in my blog for the day - mine were taken at Fort Clinch, Fernandina, Florida, built before, during, and after the Civil War, roughly the same time that San Fran would have received its "modern" fortifications and armament.

kml said...

I like the angle of your shot. Great idea for C!

kRiZ cPEc said...

thanks for the shot and the info, happy a great Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! Happy shooting!

Louise said...

Wonderful picture (I love the lines) and always love being educated!

Jo said...

I have never been to San Francisco, and I have always wanted to go, just to ride the cable cars!

Great post.

Rose said...

Great photo and very interesting info on the cable cars. I always wondered why San Francisco had cable cars and kept them for so long. I've always wanted to visit San Francisco.

Lew said...

This is a great photo. I loved riding the cable cars when I visited San Francisco.

 
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