On the Kitsch page:
a special Muni Pee Chee folder; a 1964 Venture Magazine cover;
a 1950s Chevy Bel Air ad; a postal cover for the 125th anniversary of the
Bridgnorth Cliff Railway;
a 2017 Giants Cable Car Replica; Christmas ornaments from Pier 39;
Cable cars are popular subjects for toys and other collectible items. Click on each
thumbnail to see a larger version. Use your browser's "Back" button to return.
This pin commemorates the Giants' defeat of the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series (No thumbnail).
April, 2013 Picture of the Month.
This pin commemorates the Giants' defeat of the Texas Rangers in the 2010 World Series (No thumbnail).
The Giants hosted the 2007 All Star Game (No thumbnail).
The San Francisco Giants issued this pin during their ill-fated Earthquake
Series against the Oakland Athletics in 1989.
This pin commemorates the San Francisco Giants winning the National League West in 1987. They lost
a seven-game playoff to the Saint Louis Cardinals.
A Giants pin.
A Giants 1995 pin.
The cover of the 1963 Giants Yearbook features a stylized cable car.
The cover of a 1986 Giants Magazine, featuring rookie first baseman
Will Clark riding on a California Street cable car. Clark went on to have a
fine career in the majors, retiring after the 2000 season. April (Spring),
2001 Picture of the Quarter.
A San Francisco Giants 2007 promotional poster showing second year right-hander
Matt Cain and a cable car.
On 09-September-2017, ATT sponsored a replica cable car as a give away. The cable car and the Charlie
Brown statue were giveaways for people who bought ticket plans in December.
A California Street Cable Railroad token.
From the San Francisco News, 02-Aug-1951. Accompanying text:
"This, kiddies, is a token, good for one ride on the California Street Cable Railroad Co. It
isn't worth a plugged nickel today, because those cables just aren't running... Dr. John Haman, harassed
physician who is president of Cal Cables, said the line could resume operations only if its insurance -
canceled by Lloyds of London after a waitress, injured in an accident, won a $140,000 judgement -
could be renewed."
(Source: San Francisco
Public Library, San Francisco Historical Photograph
In 2002, Muni offered a "San Francisco Cable Car
Collectors' Series", which included a $2.00 ticket for
a cable car ride and a postcard with an historic image
and photos of the construction of Powell Street car 19.
San Francisco Cable Car Collectors' Series card 01 has
a photo of a Clay Street Hill Railroad train.
San Francisco Cable Car Collectors' Series card 02 has
a photo of the old Ferry Building with cable cars and horsecars.
San Francisco Cable Car Collectors' Series card 03 has
a photo of a Sutter Street train.
San Francisco Cable Car Collectors' Series card 04 has
a photo of a Sutter Street grip car near Powell.
San Francisco Cable Car Collectors' Series card 06 has
a photo of a Sutter Street grip car and trailer 54, currently preserved at Washington and Mason,
on the twin turntables at the end of the Sutter Street line.
San Francisco Cable Car Collectors' Series card 08 has
a photo of Powell Street car 505 meeting 528 at Powell and California.
Bachman HO Powell-Mason car 4. My in-laws bought one like this for me to run
under the Christmas tree. Notice that it has a Carter roof, rather
than a Bombay roof. Main page picture 2004.
Bachman HO Powell-Mason car 3 under the Christmas tree, 2003.
A video showing Bachman HO Powell-Mason car 3 under the Christmas tree, 2006.
Gripman Val Lupiz pointed out that my HO Scale gripman
would have been in big trouble if he met an HO Scale inspector while running at this
speed. Sorry the image is a little dark. Click arrow button to play video. (Adobe Flash
is required. Some browsers will require two clicks to start the video.)
See more videos on my Cable Car Video page.
Powell Street cable car 26 runs by the airport on the Bay Area Garden Railways Association's
G-gauge layout during the 2006 Labor Day Washington Township Railroad Fair at Ardenwood Historic
Farm in Fremont. Learn more about Ardenwood Farm on my
Park Trains and Tourist Trains site. September, 2006.
My favorite toy cable car, Number 512. I bought it at a shop on Grant Avenue during the
Seventies. I noticed in the store that it was painted in the pre-1944 colors of the Market
Street Railway. It is made of tin. It has a friction motor and a bell that rings when it
rolls. Main page picture 1998-1999.
A front view of toy cable car 512. Main page picture 2009.
A detail view of toy cable car 512. Main page picture 2012.
I have had this toy cable car, Number 504, since I was a child. I vaguely remember that it
came in a box covered with pictures of cable cars. It is made of tin. It has a friction
motor and a bell that rings when it rolls. Main page picture 2000.
Another toy Number 504, with standing figures. Main page picture 2007.
Detail of passengers and crew member on 504. I would guess the guy in
blue is supposed to be the gripman, but he is standing outside of the bench.
The guy with the glasses would not be allowed to stand where he is on a
real cable car. Main page picture 2008.
Another car 504 with free-standing figures.
The conductor and a passenger stand on the rear platform. The bell is
visible in the cabin. The brake handle is barely visible by the conductor's
arm. This is an unusual detail on a toy cable car.
The car is signed for the Powell-Mason line.
Main page picture 2015.
Car 504 with free-standing figures.
We see two seated ladies in short skirts and a cool guy with sunglasses, who is blocking the
exit from the cabin and will soon be yelled at by the conductor or the gripman or both.
Main page picture 2016.
Car 504 with free-standing figures. In this rear three-quarter view,
we see two seated ladies in short skirts on the left-hand bench. The brake handle is visible
to the right of the conductor. This is an unusual detail on a toy cable car.
Main page picture 2017.
Car 504 with free-standing figures. In this front three-quarter view,
we get a better view of the two seated ladies in short skirts on the left-hand bench.
This version of Number 504 is made of plastic. Made in the 1980's.
This toy cable car, Number 514, has an interesting variety of passengers.
Main page picture 2013.
A detail view of Number 514. Main page picture 2006.
A large view of the left-hand side of toy cable car 514.
A detail view of the left-hand side of toy cable car 514, with an interesting variety of passengers.
A rider in a horseblanket-checked sport coat is reading Herb Caen's column. Main page picture 2014.
A large view of the right-hand side of toy cable car 514.
A detail view of the right-hand side of toy cable car 514, with an interesting variety of passengers.
The lady in the yellow dress is in danger of a wardrobe malfunction. The man sitting in front of the
gripman appears to be reading Life Magazine. Main page picture 2018.
A large view of the bottom of toy cable car 514. The front truck, on the right, has the friction
A front view of Number 514. I would stay out of this gripman's way.
Note the headlight. Main page picture 2002.
The rear platform of Number 514. Note the light. There isn't a brake
A copy of Number 514 with its original box.
It took toy cable car manufacturers a while to catch up with two changes to the Powell Street cable cars:
1) the colors changing from green to red; 2) the numbers moving out of the 500 series. Car
28 car reflects both changes. Main page picture 2005.
A broadside view of another Car 28.
The open section of Car 28.
A front view of Car 28. Main page picture 2011.
A rear view of Car 28.
The bottom of Car 28.
This toy cable car, Number 51, is an unusual example of a toy California Street car.
Almost all toy cable cars represent Powell Street cars. It is made of lithographed tin.
Main page picture 2001.
This wood and metal toy cable car, Number 4, is another
rare example of a toy California Street car. Main page picture 2003.
My family gave me this Department 56 model car for Christmas, 2006. Note that the
right-hand bench extends all the way to the front of the cabin bulkhead.
This toy cable car, Number 501, is made of plastic.
Plastic toy cable car, Number 501, poses on top of its box.
Another view of plastic toy cable car, Number 501, posing on top of its box. Main page picture 2010.
Shelves of toy cable cars on display at a shop along Taylor Street, near the end of the
Powell/Mason line. October, 2010.
A cachet issued in 1973 for the cable car centennial.
A cachet issued in 1978 for the California Street Cable Railroad
centennial. April, 2003 Picture of the Month.
A cachet issued in 1988 for the Melbourne cable tram centennial.
A cachet issued in 1990 for the 50th anniversary of the closing of Melbourne's cable trams.
The American Topical Association, an organization of philatelists, issued this cachet for their
1957 Topex gathering in Chicago. It depicts a Chicago State Street cable car.
A cachet issued on 03-June-2002 for the opening of the Portland
A cachet issued in 1972 for the 70th anniversary of the
opening of the Great Orme Tramway in Llandudno, Wales.
A cable car stamp issued in 1988 as one of a series of transportation
themes (no thumbnail).
A pair of 1989 stamps shows a Melbourne cable tram.
Dunedin, NZ's Roslyn Tramway issued this stamp for the parcels that it carried. Not
many cable lines carried freight or parcels. Note the description: Dunedin did have
the first cable railway outside the USA, and the first pull curve, but it was not a
"gas cable" system.
The cover of the September 29, 1945 Saturday Evening Post, featuring a view of car
515 on Washington Street (Thank you, Mike Fong). The illustration is by Mead Schaeffer.
The cover of Downbeat for 10-Nov-1960 featured a collection of
jazz musicians posed on a Powell Street cable car. They include
Vernon Alley (with the string bass), piansts Earl "Fatha" Hines and Teddy
Wilson, Pony Poindexter (holding a saxophone), saxophonist Virgil
Gonsalves, pianist Vince Guaraldi (with the glasses and distinctive
moustache), singer Bev Kelly, guitarist Wes Montgomery, Brew Moore
(also holding a saxophone), clarinetist Paul Desmond,
actress and singer Sylvia Syms, and trombonists Kid Ory and Turk Murphy.
April, 2005 Picture of the Month.
7x7, a magazine about living in the San Francisco Bay Area,
was published from 2001 to 2015.
Lab Partners designed this beautiful Christmas cover.
The cover of the June, 1965 Venture Magazine features an interesting
image including a California Street cable car, with the terminal identified
as Presidio Avenue. The terminal had been cut back to Van Ness Avenue
A 1926 magazine advertisment for International Harvester trucks, showing a truck climbing the
California Street hill in front of a cable car. The ad includes a testimonial from the
Union Ice Company.
A magazine advertisment for Californians, Inc, an organization that
promoted tourism. It features car 519 on the turntable at Powell and
Market. The ad may be from the late 1940's.
Smaller version. April, 2004 Picture of the Month.
A 1953 magazine advertisment for the Chevy Two-Ten, showing a car climbing the
Powell Street hill in front of car 505.
A late 1950s advertisment for the Chevy Bel Air, showing a car climbing a
hill next to car 205. The number and the color scheme are not appropriate.
A 1954 Bank of America magazine ad shows a California Street cable car.
A 1954 magazine advertisment for United Airlines.
A 1959 magazine advertisment for Old Crow Kentucky bourbon whiskey.
A 1960 Bank of America magazine ad.
A 1961 magazine advertisment for the San Francisco Cable Car Room on the California Zephyr.
A 1968 magazine advertisment for the Saint Francis Hotel features car 507.
A 1986 magazine advertisment promotes San Francisco as "A Feast for the Senses". Notice the number 51 on the
front of the California Street cable car. This is not Muni practice.
A 1984 trade ad for San Francisco's KRON-TV, Channel 4.
A program from the 10-July-1984 All Star Game, held at Candlestick Park. It shows various
San Francisco icons, including a cable car, the Golden Gate Bridge, Willie McCovey
(honorary caption of the National League team), Willy Mays, and Juan Marichal. The National
League won, 3-1.
A program from the inaugural Cable Car Classic in 1967. The Santa Clara Broncos have hosted the
holiday basketball tournament since 1967. Santa Clara won the tournament.
Butch Kaufman of Western Kentucky was the MVP.
A program from the 1972 Cable Car Classic. The Santa Clara Broncos have hosted the
holiday basketball tournament since 1967. The University of San Francisco beat Duke
in the final, 74-68. Kevin Restani of USF was the MVP.
A rare ad for Chicago Cable brand Havana cigars. I don't usually do tobacco ads, but
I thought this one was neat.
A menu from the San Francisco Cable Car Room lounge on the California Zephyr, the Western
Pacific's vista domed luxury train to San Francisco. The picture looks down California
Street from Mason. A Powell Street car crosses in the background. April, 2000 Picture of the
A larger version of the San Francisco Cable Car Room menu.
The back and front of the San Francisco Cable Car Room menu.
The inside of the San Francisco Cable Car Room menu.
A menu cover from the San Francisco Cable Car Room on the California Zephyr.
April, 2011 Picture of the Month.
A souvenir menu from the beloved Buena Vista Cafe at Hyde and
Beach. In 1952, the Buena Vista introduced the Irish Coffee to America.
A Stan Galli poster for United Airlines.
An American Airlines poster.
An impressionistic Delta Airlines poster. April, 2016 Picture of the Month.
A Delta Airlines poster.
A TWA poster.
A United Airlines poster.
Another United Airlines poster.
A third United Airlines poster.
A label from a crate of Nob Hill Pears. The picture shows stylized versions of the Fairmont
Hotel, Old Saint Mary's, and the Mark Hopkins Hotel.
A later label from a crate of Nob Hill fruit. Note the zip code, indicating that it is from
the 1960's or later.
Knott's Berry Farm operated battery powered former
San Francisco cable cars as parking lot trams from 1955 to 1979. This Knott's paper
plate shows car 59.
Die cut postcards of the Golden Gate Bridge and a Powell Street cable car. The messages
are printed to look like hand writing.
In the 1980s, Muni issued a customized Pee Chee folder to San Francisco schoolkids. I wish
I had still been a schoolkid then.
A sheet music cover for "The Cable Car Song" by Bethel Melvin. It was published in 1947
by Wesley Webster, 245 Clement Street, San Francisco.
A sheet music cover for "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by George Cory and Douglass
Cross. At one time I was very tired of this song, but I've always loved Tony Bennet.
The cover of the album Originals and Ragtimes by trumpet player Lu Watters'
Yerba Buena Jazz Band features a California Street cable car at Stockton. Watters led
the San Francisco area Traditional Jazz revival in the early 1940's. Many of his
associates, particularly Turk Murphy and Bob Scobey, went on to lead successful bands.
The YBJB had a powerful punch. I've always enjoyed their music. (No thumbnail)
The cover of an album by trumpet player Bob Scobey's Frisco (ugh) Jazz Band
features a caricatured cable car. Scobey was a former member of Lu Watters' Yerba
Buena Jazz Band. Scobey died in 1962.
Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-1982), great American composer and piano player, posing on
Powell/Hyde cable car 526 (now 26) on the cover of his album Thelonious Monk Alone
in San Francisco. He liked San Francisco.
A poster for Strictly Bluegrass 2, held in Speedway Meadow, Golden
Gate Park, on 05- and 06-Oct-2002. The motorized cable car is
decorated to resemble an Okie family's truck.
A Bill Graham Presents promotional pass for an 02-Dec-1981 appearance by Journey at San
Francisco's Cow Palace at a Save the Cable Cars benefit. Loverboy was scheduled as the
opening act, but cancelled at the last minute. I wasn't a fan of Journey, but they did a
nice thing for the cable car reconstruction project.
Kitty Margolis' grandfather was the late Samuel Kahn, president for nearly two decades
until 1946 of San Francisco’s Market Street Railway. During his tenure the company operated
five cable car lines. For today’s jazz audience, Kitty Margolis is the heir to the great
Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Anita O'Day in that she is the keeper of the tradition
of the art of using sounds and syllables to improvise a melody. The cover shown is from
her debut release, Live at the Jazz Workshop. Kitty is the daughter of the late "Patsy"
Margolis, Samuel Kahn’s younger of two daughters. More information can be found on Kitty’s web
site, www.kittymargolis.com. Walter Rice
In the 1970's, KFRC, 610 AM, was one of the two big Top 40 radio stations in San Francisco.
Here is a top 30 survey from 30-Mar-1972, featuring a stylized cable car and DJ Steve Lundy
on the cover. The number one single was "A Horse With No Name" by America.
The cover of Buddy Guy's album Left My Blues in San Francisco features a California Street
The cover of vibraphonist Cal Tjader's album Sentimental Moods features a Powell Street
The cover of Vince Guaraldi/Bola Sete and Friends features the pianist and the guitarist
sitting on California Street Cable Railroad car 10 at the Childrens' Playground at the San
The LaSalle Street powerhouse of the North Chicago Street Railroad
was "Michael Jordan's The Restaurant(tm)" for many years. This is an advertising magnet
(No thumbnail). February, 2010 Picture of the Month.
This is an advertising pin for "Michael Jordan's The Restaurant(tm)", which was in the
LaSalle Street powerhouse of the North Chicago Street Railroad
Disney Vinylmation figures are shaped like Mickey Mouse, but are decorated to resemble a variety of
Disney and non-Disney characters and places. This one, part of the San Francisco series, is decorated as
a cable car. My daughter got it for me for my birthday. It was created by artist
Dan Beltran.(No Thumbnail)
Another view of the Disney Vinylmation figure. (No Thumbnail)
A Disney Vinylmation figure representing a green cable car. (No Thumbnail)
The Railway and Locomotive Historical Society issued this coin in 1973 to celebrate
the centennial of the cable car. The front shows a Clay Street Hill train. The back shows
contemporary California Street and Powell Street cable cars.
Another coin created to celebrate
the centennial of the cable car. The front shows Andrew S Hallidie. The back shows
a contemporary Powell Street cable car.
The San Francisco Coin Club created this item to celebrate
the 1988 centennial of the Powell Street cable car. The front shows a Powell Street cable car
on a turntable. The back shows the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Peninsula Coin Club of Palo Alto issued this coin with an image of a California
Street cable car for its 2010 show.
Elongated pennies are very popular with some people. This one is stamped with an image
of a cable car
The Western Pacific Railroad issued this medal to mark the visit of Powell Street cable
car 524 to the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair. The California Zephyr
is on the front. A Powell Street cable car is on the back.
Citizens Federal Savings issued this metal bank in the shape of a cable car
to commemorate its 75th Anniversary. The bottom reads "Citizens Federal Savings,
San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto, 75th Anniversary, 1885-1960".
Many people are dedicated to collecting floaty pens. This one portrays a California Street
car on the hill, and a Powell Street car on the turntable at the bottom. (No thumbnail)
A Powell Street cable car refrigerator magnet. (No thumbnail)
A 1962 Aladdin Cable Car lunch box and thermos bottle. I don't own one of these, but I wish
I did. Suckers will pay a lot of money for this set.
A 1962 Aladdin Cable Car lunch box and thermos bottle. I don't own one of these, but I wish
I did. Suckers will pay a lot of money for this set.
Wrappers for Cable Car brand gum, bubble gum, and candy. People even collect junk like this.
Sales representatives for cable manufacturer Broderick and
Bascome gave paperweights like this to prospective customers in
the late 1890's. May, 2000 Picture of the Month.
From the January, 1897 Street Railway Journal, page 65.
A Novel Paper Weight.
The Broderick & Bascom Rope Company is supplying to its customers and
friends a neat paper weight. This paper weight was distributed by the
company as a souvenir at the Street Railway Convention recently held in
the city of St. Louis. It was also distributed at the Convention of
Mechanical Engineers held at the Southern Hotel, in St. Louis, during
the early part of 1896.
The paper weight consists of a section of street railway cable, 1 1/4
ins. in diameter, such as is now used in the cable railway service, and
three inches high. The base, which is 1 1/2 ins. wide, is made of metal,
hexagon shape, so that the paper weight cannot roll off the desk, while
the top is beautifully mounted with a circular metal cap with a ball
handle, the entire paper weight being plated with nickel or silver,
making it a very desirable article for any desk.
There has been quite a demand on the Broderick & Bascom Company for
these articles since they were first introduced, and the company is
finding some little trouble in keeping up the supply to meet the demand
which is constantly increasing.
A souvenir piece of Cal Cable cable. April, 2010 Picture of the Month.
The front and back of an engraved matchbox commemorating the
end of cable trams in Melbourne.
An ashray made in occupied Japan.
A matchbook from Cable Car Steaks at 45 Powell. Note the prices.
A telephone made to resemble (vaguely) a cable car.
A Christopher Radko Christmas tree ornament, made in Poland.
Woodstock, the little bird from Charles Schulz's Peanuts, sits on a cable car
on this Christmas ornament.
Ornaments at the Christmas in San Francisco store at Pier 39 show a California Street cable car.
Ornaments at the Christmas in San Francisco store at Pier 39 Santa delivering presents on a single-ended cable car.
A bottle of Avon Wild Country After Shave with its box.
Another bottle of Avon Wild Country After Shave. The bottle is the closed
section, which is shown pulled out from the roof and the open sections.
A Starbucks gift card features a Powell Street cable car and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Another Starbucks gift card features a Powell Street cable car and the Golden Gate Bridge.
A Starbucks gift mug features a cable car.
"OPI in Cable Car Pool Lane." My wife bought this fingernail polish in
2014. It has a color somewhat like a California Street cable car.
Walter Rice found this souvenir magnet at Sóller on the Spanish island of
Mallorca. It depicts Sóller’s famous Hyde Street cable car, the tower of landmark
Ghirardelli Square, and the Golden Gate Bridge. All rights reserved.