This photo was taken by my dad during a family trip to California in March 1992. I originally posted this information on my website in November 2004 as part of my San Francisco PLACES page.
The first cable car system was built in San Francisco in 1873. Cable car systems continued to grow until the 1890s, when electric streetcars began to arrive. The 1906 earthquake damaged many of the cable car systems, and they were replaced with streetcars. The city tried to eliminate all cable car systems in 1947, however the issue went to public referendum, and the people overwhelmingly supported the cable cars. Over the coming years, cable car lines were shut down one by one, until October 1, 1964, when the San Francisco cable cars became a National Historic Landmark.