Beautifully engraved certificate from the California Street Railroad Company issued
in 1883. This historic document was printed by Crocker & Company and has an
ornate border around it. This item is hand signed by the Company's President and Secretary and is
over 121 years old.
The world's first first cable-powered street railway was built in San Francisco by Andrew Hallidie in 1873. During the next fifteen years, many cities in the U.S. and elsewhere built cable railways to replace horse-powered streetcars. When electric streetcars became practical in the late 1880s, they in turn quickly replaced cable cars almost everywhere. Fittingly, San Francisco is now the last city in the world to operate cable cars. The last previous survivor in the U.S. was Seattle (1940); abroad, Dunedin, New Zealand (1957).
California Street Cable Railroad. Three lines, 3˝' gauge, side grip on California St. line, bottom grip on the other two. Service from April 1878 to July 1951. The City and County of San Francisco purchased the California Street Cable Railroad in January 1952.
The California Street line runs from Drumm Street (near Market Street) to Van Ness Avenue. It was built in 1878 by the California Street Cable Railroad Company, which also operated the O'Farrell/Jones/Hyde line and the Jones Street shuttle. Since 1952 it has been operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway. The line originally extended to Presidio Avenue, but was truncated to Van Ness in 1954. It uses double-ended cars which were built after the great fire of 1906.
Until the abandonment of the nine-year-old "Lone Mountain Branch" horsecar line in early 1879, the Sutter Street Railroad Company controlled California Street from Fillmore to Central Avenue. Accordingly, when the California Street Railroad Company (Cal Cable) opened its California Street cable car line, April 10, 1878, the western terminal was Fillmore Street; despite the fact Cal Cable had been granted a franchise on California Street to First Avenue (Arquello). San Francisco City and County Order No. 1292, approved June 14, 1876, granted a 25-year franchise to Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker and associates to construct and operate a "wire cable railroad" from Kearny Street to First Avenue.
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