Contest: San Francisco Without Cable Cars

by Walter Rice


1947 charter Most of the members of the "Citizensí Committee to Save the Cable Cars" have temporarily deserted their chartered campaign cable car, as it is being turned on the Bay and Taylor turntable, but not Friedel Klussmann (sitting in the center), who is enjoying every moment of her cable car ride. Two days later, November 4, 1947, her joy would be at an apex as the voters would overwhelmingly vote to save the Powell cables. Walter Rice Collection

April 18 marked the hundredth anniversary of the greatest reduction of San Francisco cable car service. Because of the great earthquake and fire of 1906, April 17 proved to be the last day of full cable car service on the United Railroads' heavily traveled Sutter Street, Polk & Larkin Cross-town line (except Pacific Avenue), Market & McAllister, Market & Haight, Market & Hayes, Market & Castro (except between 18th and 26th Streets), Market & Valencia, Jackson Street via Sacramento-Clay, Sacramento-Clay west of Fillmore, and Powell-Jackson west of Steiner Street lines. Also, it was last day for the Presidio & Ferries (Union Street line).

When the city-owned Powell Street cable cars were threatened in 1947, Friedel Klussmann "the Cable Car Lady" evolved a contest centering on the unfinished question: "San Francisco without cable cars would be like ...?" Answers tended to be short and to the point. For example, "Just another city; what a pity!"

2006 Contest: Complete the same question: "San Francisco without cable cars would be like ...?" E-mail your entries (as many times as you want) to: cable_car_guy@hotmail.com. Please make your subject "Contest: San Francisco Without Cable Cars."

Prizes:

Cal Cable cover When Steam cover

Grand Prize: A copy each of San Francisco's California Street Cable Car; Celebrating a Century and a Quarter of Service, by Walter Rice and Emiliano Echeverria, Harold E. Cox Publisher and a copy of When Steam Ran on the Streets of San Francisco, by the same authors, Harold E. Cox Publisher.

First Place: San Francisco's California Street Cable Car; Celebrating a Century and a Quarter of Service.

Second Place: When Steam Ran on the Streets of San Francisco

Rules: All entries must be received by midnight on Monday May 15, 2006. The decision of the judges is final. No griping about the results allowed. No entries are permitted from the webmaster, the webmaster's family, the judges, or the judges' families. Enter often. Please keep your answers brief. The webmaster reserves the right to reproduce all entries on this website. He will not reproduce your email address. If you win, he will email you to request your mail address so you can receive your prize.

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Last updated 01-May-2006