Miscellaneous Newspaper Articles
Regarding Cable Cars
Collected by Joe Thompson

Where Should I Go from Here? Visit the Map

I transcribed these articles, which were published in various newspapers, from microfilm and the internet. The original publishers retain all copyrights.

First Street Railroad in Brooklyn (1)

From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Sunday, June 3, 1854. Page 3.

Before it was famous for trolleys, Brooklyn was famous for horsecars.

The work upon the Court street railroad was suspended for a day or two this week, for want of Iron. On Fulton street, near the ‘ferry, we see that the Company are making arrangements to lay down the track.

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First Street Railroad in Brooklyn (2)

From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Monday, July 3, 1854. Page 2.

Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, was an abolitionist, who supported the Free Soil movement in Nebraska.

The New Railroads in the City -- Trial Trip.

The Railroad Company placed several of the new cars on the routes on Saturday for a trial trip. The stockholders and a number of other gentlemen were invited to join in the experiment. The cars came down Fulton street about three o’clock in the afternoon, the horses decorated with plumes and the cars shining in all the splendor of a first coat of paint. The young democracy were "tickled to death" at the sight of the new vehicles, and as the cars remained some time at the foot of Fulton street the boys evidently believing in the squatter sovereignity (sic - JT) took possession of the cars as Mr. GREELY’s (sic - JT) troop threatened to do with the soil of Nebraska; The gentlemen present entered the cars and the whole number of vehicles, some six or seven, whirled along through Fulton street and Myrtle avenue as far as the track is laid. It will soon extend to Division avenue where the new plank road to Jamaica commences. The people everywhere seemed to regard the cars with wonder and delight; in fact they exhibited as much animation and excitement in crowding the sidewalks and store doors as if they had never seen anything on wheels before, beyond the structure of a wheelbarrow.

A smile was on every face, and the babies crowed lustily in the nurses’ arms. The trip established the success of all the arrangements and the adaptation of the cars to the rails. The Company proceeded over the Fulton avenue track, the Court street track, Sands street, &c. In some places the gravel lodged around the rails had not been cleared away sufficiently to make the movement perfectly smooth, but a few runs will remedy all that. Never was any public improvement inaugurated amid a more universal feeling of favor than these railroads. Every citizen regards their introduction, the low fare and superior accommodations with marked approbation; and the entire success of the undertaking, in every point of view, is absolutely certain. Every thing seemed to work in favor of the railroads from their commencement; no injunctions, no delays in procuring materials for the work, no rival interest; nothing was to be encountered that tended to thwart the prosecution of the enterprise. The vigor manifested by the Company, and their punctuality in having the work so far completed at the expected time, affords the proof that the interests of the community will never suffer in their hands.

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West Side and Yonkers/1

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Thursday, October 10, 1867. Page 2.

The West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway was the first elevated railway in America.

The experimental elevated railway on Greenwich street, New York, will soon be in operation. But a quarter of a mile will be laid at first, but if successful the road will be extended the length of the island. It is expected to carry passengers from one end of the City to the other in half an hour, at a charge of five cents. The experiment will be regarded with interest in this City as well as in New York. At no distant day the rapidly augmenting population of Brooklyn will demand improved travelling facilities, and whatever transportation system proves successful in New York is likely to be adopted here.

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West Side and Yonkers/2

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Saturday, October 19, 1867. Page 2.

The experiment of an elevated railroad is to be tried in New York, the work on the line in Greenwich street, which appeared to have been abandoned has been resumed, and is being pushed forward very rapidly. If the road, which is to run from the Battery to Yonkers shall be successful, two other parallel lines will be built through New York, which will open steam communication between all parts of the city. The interest of Brooklyn requires that we keep pace with New York in providing the best traveling facilities. We therefore watch the experiment with much interest, though doubtful of the advantages of an elevated line over an underground railroad.

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West Side and Yonkers/3

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Monday, October 21, 1867, Page 2.


The first mile of the elevated railway in Greenwich street, New York, will be completed in three weeks, or about a month from the beginning of the work. If the experiment is successful, the road will be extended to Yonkers, the other terminus being the Battery. The road runs upon a series of columns eighteen feet above the sidewalk; and is by this means removed from all interference with the ordinary traffic of the streets. Upon a foundation of solid brick, six feet square, eight feet deep, and two feet below the surface, is fixed a cast iron pier, to which the base of the column is securely rivited. The columns are formed of pieces of wrought iron. They are placed at distances varying from 25 to 85 feet apart. At the top of evey column there is a cross piece with four ams, upon which the beams are extended from column to column. The bearers are made of wrought iron casings rivetted around a core of solid wood to resist the contractile force of cold upon the iron work, and on this is fixed a rail similar to those in ordinary use. The motive force of an endless chain or wire rope, moved by a stationary engine, and running along the center of the road, a few inches above the surface; certain protruberances are placed along this chain or rope at distances of about two hundred feet apart, and to one of these a car attaches itself by means of a simple leverage fixed underneath between the wheels; of course when it is desired to stop the car the same leverage can be worked to release it by the conductor.

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West Side and Yonkers/4

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Saturday, November 16, 1867, Page 2.


A few nights ago the engine was tried on the elevated railroad in Greenwich street, now completed from the Battery to Rector street. The result was not wholly satisfactory. The speed was not so great as expected, and the cable when passing over the drum was bent and subsequently broken, so that further operations had to be suspended. Another trial will be made in a few days.

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West Side and Yonkers/5

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Saturday, December 7, 1867. Page 2.


Peter Stuyvesant was the Dutch West India Company's Director-General of the colony of New Netherland (now New York) from 1647 to 1664.

The latest newspaper sensation is the discovery, by workmen laying the foundation of the Greenwich street elevated railway, of vaults and passageways running towards the river. They supposed to have led to a cove near Peter Stuyvessant's (sic - JT) house, and to have been used by smugglers and pirates.

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West Side and Yonkers/6

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Saturday, December 28, 1867. Page 2.


The elevated railroad in Greenwich street will soon be ready for another trial. The success of the former experiment was interfered with by the breaking of the running gear. Somebody's new corrugated iron plan is to be tried on another road.

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West Side and Yonkers/7

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Thursday, May 7, 1868. Page 2.


Hope deferred will make the public heartily sick of the Greenwich street elevated railroad. A practical test of the work has been again and again promised the last year or two and as often postponed. It is again announced to take place "soon." Unless the promoters of the aerial plan develop increased activity the underground companies will tunnel roads to Harlem before the elevated cars runs as far as Courtlandt street.

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West Side and Yonkers/8

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Friday, June 26, 1868. Page 2.


The time for a trial trip on the elevated street railway in Greenwich street is again fixed. Monday next is the day now mentioned. The Broadway bridge has been declared a nuisance because it interferes with the public use of the sidewalks. Whether the approaches to the elevated track are so arranged as to leave it free from this objection is yet to be seen.

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West Side and Yonkers/8

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, July 1, 1868. Page 2.


Yesterday was the time appointed for the trial of the elevated railway on Greenwich street, New York, and, although reporters of the press were not permitted to join in the novel excursion, it is stated that Mayor Hoffman and a number of Aldermen traveled from the Battery to Courtlandt street and back at a rate of twelve miles an hour, and pronounced the experiment a success. The safety of the road being assured it is said Governor Fenton will take a ride to-day. The machinery has been removed from the cellar of the school house, where it occasioned a sort of perpetual panic, to a vault made for it.

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West Side and Yonkers/9

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, July 8, 1868. Page 2.


The long deferred trial of the elevated road on Greenwich street was made the other day, and was pronounced satisfactory, but has not awakened any faith in that plan, the dangers and drawbacks of which wil only be exemplified when the line goes into practical operation, -- if it ever does, but at the present rate of process it will take until the close of the present century to complete it.

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West Side and Yonkers/10

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Tuesday, July 14, 1868. Page 2.


The Greenwich street elevated railway company had an election of directors yesterday, and resolved to push the work on the road. It is expected to be finished as far as Thirtieth street by September next, and will be extended to Yonkers in about two years.

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West Side and Yonkers/11

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, August 25, 1868. Page 2.

..the elevated road in Greenwich street has been pronounced a perfect success once a month for the past two years, the only trouble is that there seems to be no prospect of its ever being finished. They are building it at the rate of a block every three months, and have got, altogether, about a dozen of bloacks of the elevated track finished. On this a trial-trip was made in July last, which was such a perfect success that the company have retired on it, and nothing has been done since.

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West Side and Yonkers/12

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, September 29, 1868. Page 2.


The Greenwich street elevated railway, the completed section of which has received the approval of Governor Fenton and sundry examining commissioners, but the practical operation of which is very obscurely revealed to the general eye, is regarded by the New York Common Council as a public nuisance, and measure have been adopted to recover damages for the obstruction of the highway.

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West Side and Yonkers/13

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Sunday, October 2, 1868. Page 2.


The commissioners appointed by the Legislature have re-approved the elevated railway, and it is claimed that this action removes the enterprise beyond the jurisdiction of the New York Common Council. The people, who are only interested in improved facilities for city travel, care nothing for the quarrel between the commissioners and the Aldermen. The general conclusion, hower, is that if the elevated railway is practicable, the delay in its construction is inexplicable, except on the theory that the jobbery which forms the basis of public administration underlies the track in Greenwich street. Is the elevated railway a failure, or is it kept back to promote other interests?

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West Side and Yonkers/14

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, December 8, 1868. Page 2.

The Elevated Railroad.

The Elevated Railroad experiment in Greenwich street, New York, is evidently a failure. The Company have been working at it for three years, and have got about a mile of single track built. The work has been going on spasmodically during that time, and once in a while the concern would figure in the papers, and flourishes would be made over tests and experimental trips, which were always postponed. Now we hear of a meeting of property owners on the line, to protest agains the construction of the road as injurious to property interests in the vicinity. It has taken the property holders so long to discover this that there is a suspicion, strengthened by the peculiar method of the proceedings, that the Elevated Railroad Company are anxious to get rid of the undertaking and want some pretext for abandoning it. This aerial scheme of itself never amounted to much; it never could have supplied the great want of the cities, a road on which steam could be used for travel through their crowded precincts. But it has done much injury in retarding the Underground Railroad movement. There are prejudices against underground railroads, and doubts of their practicability, notwithstanding the complete success of the Metropolitan Underground Railroad in London. Some people think that if the streets are tunnelled, the houses above will be endangered, that the water, sewer and gas pipes will be interfered with, or other damages or annoyances will be inevitable, so they readily listen to other projects, like this Elevated Railroad which promised to supply the need by means not open to these objections. The failure of this Elevated Railroad, which must now be conceded, will convince the public and the representatives at Albany that the only practical plan for steam travel through the large cities in the Underground Railroad. We must have it, and the sooner the better.

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West Side and Yonkers/15

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, May 12, 1869. Page 2.


Reports of the affairs of the elevated street railway in Greenwich street, New York, are inconsistent. One day it is said that the work has been stopped by an injunction, and the next day it is announced that the work is pushing so rapidly that factories run continuously to provide the needed iron rails. The road, from its origin, has been a mystery of management and a phenomenon of delay. Between the obstruction of one enterprise in its progress on the streets, and the suppression of others in the Legislature, the people are likely to crawl up town in cars and omnibuses for an indefinite time to come.

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West Side and Yonkers/16

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Monday, July 26, 1869. Page 2.

That elevated street railway in Greenwich street is again "approaching completion" -- in the newspapers. The Company, after "dispelling all doubts as to the utility of the plan," will "push" the work. The mysterious delay which attends this elevated enterprise is similar to that which obstructs underground roads and postpones all improved methods of New York city travel. As a consequence the peoople are driven in increasing numbers to Brooklyn, which fortunately has accomodation for all who come.

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The Elevated Railway; Successful Trial Trips of the West Side Railroad in Greenwich-Street

From the New York Times / Tuesday, September 7, 1869.


Successful Trial Trips of the West Side Railroad in Greenwich-Street--

Description of the Means by Which the Cars are to be Driven--

The Line to be Completed by November--

Names of the Stockholders and Officers of the Company.

Trial trips were made on the new West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway in Greenwich-street yesterday, in which several stockholders of the Company and other invited guests participated. The first section of the road, from the Battery to Cortlandt-street, is completed, and posts for receiving the rails are erected, and many of the rails are laid on the next section, from Cortlandt-street to Thirtieth-street. It is anticipated that the road will be in condition for the transportation of passengers from the Battery to Thirtieth-street by the first day of November next. For the present the route of travel will be over a single track; but it is intended, eventually, to construct another track on the west side of Greenwich-street and and Ninth-avenue, and along the whole route to Yonkers, to be used for cars returning to the starting point, while the present one will be confined solely to the carrying of passengers going north. The experimental trips made gave ample satisfaction to all who passed over the route, and the opinion was universally expressed that, if the construction of the road over the remaining sections be as well done as the first, the enterprise will prove to be a complete success. The riding was remarkably smooth and easy, and the speed satisfactory. The rate at which the car was yesterday operated was fifteen miles per hour. Twenty miles can be made, if required, just as easily. It is not intended, however, that the rate of travel shall, ordinarily, exceed that of yesteray. The mode of propulsion is an "endless chain," so called, but really a wire rope, which passes over a drum at either end of the section, and runs thence between the rails over which the car moves -- the motor being a steam engine underneath the sidewalk at the corner of Greenwich and Cortlandt streets. To this wire rope there are attacted, at distances of 150 feet apart, small iron uprights, or projections, running on wheels on a narrow track provided expressly for the purose, the rails of which are about sixteen inches apart. Pending from the bottom of the car is an iron beam that may be thrown our or drawn inward by operating a brake at the end of the car, and then thrown out, is the material against which the upright presses itself, and thus forces the car onward. On reaching the end of any section these uprights follow the direction of the endless rope, and going over the curved line there, are reversed in position, and they then return to the large drum at the other end, where they are again, one by one, sent off on propelling duty as before. The car, meanwhile, passes over the space between the two sections (never more than the width between the opposite curbstones of a street, say twenty-five feet,) by force of the momentum it has gained, and at the next section meets one of the upgrights attached to the rope traversing it, and is thus propelled toward the terminus of that section. This proceeding is continued along the entire route. The engines necessary to operate this endless chain are to be located in Greenwich-street, at the corners of Franklin, Bethune and Twenty-second streets; the one corner of Cortlandt-street and Greenwich being placed there merely as the motor for the lower half-mile of the route, which, according to the act of incorporation, had to be first erected, experimented and promounced absolutely safe for travel, before the construction of the other portion of the road could be proceeded with. Going at the rate of speed attained yesterday, a car laden with passengers will travel from Cortlandt to Thirtieth-street in fifteen minutes' time. The depots for the convenience of passengers desiring to travel over this road are to be located wherever circumstances may require; but in no case will they be more than one-eighth of a mile apart. The brake will draw in the pendant beam at the botton of the car anywhere along the route, and thus stop the car at any point; but, of couse, passengers cannot be taken in or set down except at the depots to be provided for that purpose. The car can always be brought to a halt at a distance of less than its own length. Every means has been taken to guard against accident. The upright posts, and the rails resting on them, have been tested first at the place of manufacture, (Buffalo.) before shipment hither, and found able to bear ten times the weight and strain they can ever possibly be subjected to when the road is in operation. The flanges of the wheels, (every car being provided with eight on double trucks,) are an inch and a half in width, which, added to the weight of the car itself, would seem to make it impossible that they should ever get off the track. In addition to this, the floor of the car itself sets very close to the rails, thus throwing the whole weight on that portion of each wheel which may be at the time in contact with the rail. Every other precaution that prudence or experience could suggest has also been taken. The sections are to be inspected by Commissioners apointed in the act of incorporation before the road is thrown open for regular travel, and no fares can be collected until the certificate of these Commissioners has been filed in the offices of the Secretary of State and of the Mayor to the effec that the road is in a perfectly safe condision. By the terms of the acti, these Commissioners are compelled to test the strength of the road with a car placed upon the track loaded to a weight equal to at least three times the ordinary weight of a passenger car proposed to be used thereon, with its occupants. The cars, ten of which are already completed, are each calculated to seat comfortable forty passengers, there being seats across the ends as well as the sides, and also in the centre. The rails are now arriving from Buffalo, and probably there will be a sufficiency of them here by Friday next to insure the speedy completion of the track to Thirtieth-street. Until the down-track shall have been laid there will turnouts or sideways used at the Battery and at Thirtieth-street to enable the car to get into position for making return trips either way. When the road is put into full operation it is intended that a car will a given depot every eight minutes. The difficulty of steep grades is entirely overcome by the use of traction rope with stationary power, although at one point of the route the incline is 130 feet to the mile, and at its upper end, in the neighborhood of Harlem, 280 feet to the mile. Another advantage possessed by this mode of travel is its comparative freedom from noise, as well as the obviation of all delay in consequence of street obstructions -- a matter which now seriously interferes with the transit of passengers by the horse-car routes.

The act of incorporation under which this Company is formed was passed April 22, 1867. It fixes the fare for each passenger for any distance within the limits of the City, not exceeding two miles, five cents; for every mile or fractional part of a mile in addition, thereto, one cent.; provided, that when the railwa is completed and in operation between Battery Place and the vicinity of the Harlem River, the Company may at its option, adopt a uniform rate not exceeding ten cents for all distances on Manhattan Island. The Company is by the same act compelled to pay a sum not exceeding five per cent, of its net income from passenger traffic, into the City Treasury as a complenstation to the Corporation for the use of the streets.

The original stockholders of the Company were Messrs. C. T. Harvey, William E. Dodge, William H. Fogg, William H. Appleton, R. T. Underhill, John P. Yelverton, Turner Brothers, Chauncey Vibbard, Fred. B. Fisk, John B. Murray, Wm. W. W. Wood, Moses A. Hoppock, John Perkins, Edwin Booth, D. D. Williams, Chas. D. Bigelow, De Witt Clinton Jones, W. S. Gurnee, S. M. Pettingill, John H. Hall, alanson Traek, Isaac Scott, Stephen Cutter, D. Crawford, Jr., F. T. James, Frank Work, George L. Trask, H. F. Lombard, H. F. Spaulding, S. M. Pettingill, A. S. Barnes, R. P. Getty, and Samuel D. Babcock. The capital stock is about $1,000,000.

The officers of the Company are: President, D. N. Barney; Directors, S. M. R. P. Getty, Pettingill, A. S. Barnes, Chas. T. Harvey, J. H. Benedict, and C. E. Milner; Secretary and Treasurer, H. W. Taylor; Manager and Chief Engineer, Chas. T. Harvey; Attorney, Edward C. Delevan; Counsel, Hon. Jos. S. Bosworth. The office of the Company is at No. 48 Cortlandt street.

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West Side and Yonkers/17

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Saturday, December 18, 1869. Page 4.

The Elevated Railway Purchased by Commodore Vanderbilt.

Commodore Vanderbilt, it is reported, has purchased the Greenwich street Elevated Railway for $700,000, the transfer to be made on the 1st of January. Cars will soon be running.

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West Side and Yonkers/18

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Friday, February 11, 1870. Page 2.

While the elevated railway on Greenwich street is making its way patiently and cautiously from the Battery to Courtlandt street, another aerial road is projecting on Third avenue...

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Beach Pneumatic Subway/1

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Tuesday, March 15, 1870. Page 7.


The Beach Pneumatic Tunnel under Broadway is still open for exhibition for the benefit of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans. It has netted some three thousand dollars already for this charity, which very good, and about the only profitable use the tunnel will ever serve.

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West Side and Yonkers/19

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Tuesday, May 17, 1870. Page 2.


Two experimental cars on the Elevated Railroad, in Greenwich street, New York, one loaded with about 20,000 pounds of pig-iron and the other with fifteen passengers, smashed through the track, and fell to the pavement with a terrible crash yesterday afternoon. Several persons were injured.

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West Side and Yonkers/20

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, May 18, 1870. Page 4.


The Elevated Railroad has met the fate of Humpty Dumpty. A trial train broke it down near Houston street yesterday. The general public have never had much faith in this Greenwich street project and now will have less than ever …

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West Side and Yonkers/21

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, June 15, 1870. Page 2.

... the only scheme permitted realization is what is called variously the elevated railway, the "one-legged" road, and the "railroad on stilts," in Greenwich street. It is simply impossible to secure for this dizzy and dangerous road the confidence of the public. Before it was opened, an accident frightful in its suggestions warned the people of the perils of the passage, and yesterday two accidents, happily not fatal, strengthened the warning. In one case, the horses of a truck were frightened by a passing car, and in the other case a collision on the road just missed precipitating cars and passengers to the street. The public will submit to the annoyances of stages and horse cars rather than incur the diversified dangers of the elevated railway.

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West Side and Yonkers/22

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, July 16, 1872. Page 3.

Excerpt from RAPID TRANSIT

Quoting James A Whitney, mechanical engineer:

"It is acknowledged that horsepower is already inadequate to the needs of New York city street railways; the tranmission of power by wire ropes, as illustrated in the elevated railway in Greenwich street, has proved a mediocre and insufficient method of propulsion; and in pneumatic power alone does there appear to be promise sufficient to justify the outlay that will be required in thoroughly testing any improved system of propulsion"

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West Side and Yonkers/23

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Wednesday, July 26, 1872. Page 4.


"This body (A State Senate commission formed in 1866 to study rapid transit options - JT), after examining some forty plans of construction, finally agreed upon one presented by Mr. C. T. Harvey, C. E., as one meeting their approbation, and reported to the Senate accordingly. Soon after, this report was made several well known citizens of New York formed themselves into an Association to give the plan an experimental test, and they were the originators of the corporation entitled the West Side Elevated Railway Company. The construction of an elevated railway was commenced by this Company on Greenwich street, at the Battery, on the 7th of October, 1867. On the 10th day of May, 1868, the first car was propelled over the railway by means of an endless cable and stationary engine. The Chief Engineer estimated the cost of several miles of double track, at $300,000 per mile. The railway as yet consists of but a single track. No accident has occurred since the change in motive power, and but one prior to it, which was occasioned by the overloading of a car with iron, while the strength of the track was being tested."

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West Side and Yonkers/24

From the Brooklyn Eagle / Friday, April 4, 1873. Page 4.

Excerpt from RAPID TRANSIT

Among plans of rapid transit elevated railways -- at least of the kind in Greenwich street, New York -- find little favor. But that one evidently does not consider itself dead yet. It has just received two cars of a capacity midway between the ordinary steam railroad car and a street car, but of a peculiar construction, fitting them specially for hugging the track on which they are to run. So much to the disturbance, otherwise, of weak nerves belonging to frequenters of Greenwich street.

The central and main portion of the car is built nearly down to the track, only the ends being of the ordinary height, sufficient, that is, to give room to the wheels, which are under them and are eight in number. Entering the car from the platform at either end, the passenger may take a seat, if unoccupied, on the raised space on which he finds himself, just within the door, or advancing two or three steps he can descend a short stairway fitted with mahogany rails into the central and longer section of the car. Here his humbler position relatively is compensated by having not only a window at his back, but a row of them above him in the clerestory -- which the ordinary range of car windows becomes to him in his somewhat depressed situation as compared with that of his fellow passengers at either end. The arrangement is an ingenious one for overcoming the top-heavy effect that attaches to a car of the size of those new ones, and is carried out in a style of neatness and taste that may commend it to popularity elsewhere, if the event shall decide that this road, itself built on a single row of pillars, is impracticable in the long run.

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Clay Street Line Tested

From the San Francisco Chronicle / Sunday, August 3, 1873. Page 1.

The Chronicle reported on the first test of the Clay Street Hill Railroad, which was the first Hallidie-type cable car line. An article on the same page described a fire that destroyed much of Portland, Oregon.


The First Car Run Over the Clay-Street Track, Yesterday

Successful experiments were made yesterday in running cars on the Clay-street railroad. At 6 o'clock in the morning, the first car was sent down the hill and back again by means of the wire rope. No difficulty was experienced in stopping at any point desired, and the success of the experiment fully realized the anticipations of the projectors. The car was run from one extremity of the line to the other in order to comply with the terms of the contract, the time it specified for the completion of the track having expired yesterday. It was ascertained that the fastener can be made to cling to the cable with the greatest of ease, and that there is none of the jerking anticipated, owing to the gradual tightening of the clamp. When not screwed tight the small wheels at the extremity of the arm of attachment slip along the cable, and, when tightened the start instead of being sudden, is graduated according the force applied. There will be less use for the springs between the dummy and the cars than was anticipated, owing to the ease with which the dummy may be started. Some days will yet elapse before regular travel will be conducted on the road.

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Andrew S Hallidie Attacked/1

From the San Francisco Chronicle / Saturday, August 30, 1873. Page 2.

Two days before the Clay Street Hill Railroad started revenue service, the Chronicle, a Republican newspaper, attacked Hallidie's run for the State Senate. William H Webb was a ship-builder and owner from New York. The meeting referred to took place in April, 1871. Hallidie ran on a ticket opposed to subsidies for the Central Pacific and other business interests; the Republican Party, at the time, believed that subsidies were needed to build up American industry. He was accused of being a cat's paw for the Atlantic and Pacific (Santa Fe) interests, who wanted to break the Central Pacific's monopoly of access to San Francisco Bay and other parts of California. Dolly Varden was a character in Dickens' novel Barnaby Rudge, who was known as a fickle coquette. This ill-feeling may be the reason the Chronicle did not cover the railroad's start of revenue service on 01-September-1873.

Subsidy Hallidie

ANDREW SMITH HALLIDIE is an Englishman by birth. His true name -- the one he inherited from his parents, and the one for which his godfather and godmother stood sponsors -- was plain, honest ANDREW SMITH. He received a subsidy from a relative, in consideration of which he changed his name from ANDREW SMITH to ANDREW SMITH HALLIDIE. As President of the Mechanics' Institute he called and presided over a meeting which was addressed by Wm. H. Webb, of the proposed Australian Mail Steamship line, and the object of the meeting was to secure a subsidy from Congress in favor of the Webb line of steamers. He promoted the Clay-street endless-chain, stationary-engine, up-hill railroad, and it was built by subsidies and loans based on subsidies. Every man, woman and child living along or owning property along the street was asked to donate. HALLIDIE's whole career has been grounded upon subsidy; on it he has lived and fattened. Now he is suddenly brought forward as an anti-subsidy man, and the people are asked to accept him as, par excellance, a representative of the growing feeling of opposition to the giving of subsidies to bolster up private business enterprises. And this bold attempt at deception, as to HALLIDIE, is a fair specimen of the Dolly Varden effort to hoodwink the public for the benefit of those concerned in the Atlantic and Pacific grab.

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Andrew S Hallidie's Ticket

From the San Francisco Chronicle / Saturday, August 30, 1873. Page 2.

This is an advertisement for the "Dolly Varden" ticket attacked by the Chronicle. In 1887, Washington Bartlett became California's only Jewish governor to date; he died in office.

Independent Anti-Monopoly

For State Senators,

For Assemblymen,

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Andrew S Hallidie Attacked/2

From the San Francisco Chronicle / Wednesday, September 3, 1873. Page 1.

Another reference to Dolly Varden. The Daily Evening Bulletin was founded in 1855.

Subsidy Hallidie

ANDREW SMITH, who received a subsidy for changing his name to Andrew S. Hallidie, and who has fattened on subsidies ever since, is held up by the Bulletin as an anti-subsidy man. And such are the Dolly Vardens.

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Andrew S Hallidie Wins

From the San Francisco Chronicle / Sunday, September 7, 1873. Page 1.

It must have been a close election. On this day, the Chronicle announced that Hallidie had won. I'm still trying to figure out all the initials.


A. S. HALLIDIE, P. U. L. B. & D.
P. A. ROACH, L. B. & D.

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Andrew S Hallidie Loses

From the San Francisco Chronicle / Friday, September 12, 1873. Page 1.

On this day, the Chronicle announced that Hallidie had lost. "D." is "Democrat", "P. U." is "People's Union".



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Carpenter Killed

From the Douglas Independent (Roseburg, Oregon) / Saturday, August 30, 1879. Page 1.


San Francisco Items.

This afternoon, Michael Rochfort, a carpenter, working on an engine house being built on the corner of Geary and Buchanan streets, for the Geary street cable road, was struck on the head by a falling derrick and instantly killed.

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GSPO Will Not Issue Tickets

From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Thursday, February 19, 1880. Page 2.

San Francisco Items.

The Geary-street Cable Railroad Company will not issne any tickets, but collect cash for its fares, taking, however, the tickets of other roads from passengers and selling them at the main office. The Omnibus Company is also contemplating the abolishment of tickets. The Sutter street Company does not propose any change in this respect, and the California street Company is positively opposed to it.

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GSPO Superintendent Dead

From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Wednesday, July 12, 1881. Page 3.

Death of a Prominent Citizen.

San Francisco, July 11th.-- The death of Reuben Morton, President of the Central Railroad Company and Superintendent of the Geary-street Cable Railroad, is announced as having taken place at Chicago last Sunday evening. Mr. Morton has been for a long time an invalid without hope of recovery. He left the city some months ago, however, in hopes of obtaining relief by change of air and medical treatment. Deceased was a native of Gorham, Maine, and was aged 62 years. He came to San Francisco in 1850 in the bark Lennox, from Boston. He spent a time in the gold mines of the State, but subsequently engaged in the draying business in the firm of J. Morton & Co. Several years ago he retired from the firm in question, and became more particularly interested in the Central Street Railroad Company as Superintendent, and of which he afterward became President. He was also elected Superintendent of the Geary-street Cable Railroad immediately after its organization. Deceased leaves a wife but no children. The remains are on their way to this city for interment.

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GSPO Superintendent Sick

From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Friday, July 15, 1881. Page 3.

Note that an article from the same newspaper on 12-July-1881 said that Reuben Morton had died in Chicago.

San Francisco Items.


Reuben Morton, Superintendent of the Geary-street Railroad, is lying dangerously ill at San Rafael.

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GSPO Accident

From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Saturday, August 20, 1881. Page 1.

San Francisco Items.


On the Geary-street cable road W. G. Overend, of Vallejo, was on Thursday trying to jump on a dummy, when he missed the step and fell and a car wheel passed over his right foot and ankle. His leg had to be amputated.

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Horrible Accident In San Francisco.

From the Sacramento Daily Union / Monday, May 14, 1883. Page 2.

Horrible Accident In San Francisco.

San Francisco, May 13th. -- A shocking accident occurred this afternoon on the line of the steam dummy connecting with the Union street cable road, resulting in the almost instant death of a man named Charles Heusch. The accident happened near Baker street. The train of cars, heavily loaded with passengers, was going out at a full rate of speed. The engineer saw a man and woman walking some distance ahead, both going in the same direction with the train, but walking on the side of the track. When the train came within twenty or thirty yards of the couple the woman was observed to flash forward as if to cross the track. The man sprang after the woman to prevent her attempting the rash and perilous act. He was not quick enough, however, for the train was on them in a moment, and both were caught under the wheels. The man proved to be Charles Heusch, and the woman his wife. He was dreadfully mangled, and only lived a few minutes after being taken from under the cars. At first it was supposed that the woman was killed or fatally injured, but an examination showed that she had escaped with only slight bruises. It is said that Mrs. Heuech is subject to freaks of insanity, and had previously made several attempts on her life. It is generally thought she intended to throw herself on the track. Deceased leaves three children. The cars were crowded at the time, and the fearful accident caused intense excitement.

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Mayday Festival.

From the Daily Alta California / Wednesday, April 30, 1884. Page 1.

Mayday Festival.

To-morrow will be a gala day at the Seaside Gardens, Presidio. Two splendid bands will be in attendance, one to play in the Gardens, and the other in the pavilion, where a grand children's ball is going to take place. Games, races, crowning of the May Queen, etc., etc., are going to be the attractions. Union street cable cars will run extra trips all day direct to the Gardens for the best comfort of visitors. Children will be ; admitted free while only ten cents will be charged for adults.

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GSPO Lawsuit

From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Saturday, May 3, 1884. Page 8.

San Francisco Items.


Susan Kloss and Leopold M. Fabry have entered suit in the Justices' Court to recover $220 damages from the Geary-street cable road, for having caused the death of John Kloss, the carpenter, who died on the 30th of last March from injuries received by being run over by one of the company's dummies a week prior to his death. Fabry is guardian for two of Kloss' children, who are minors.

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Chicago -- Gripman Killed

From the Saint Paul Daily Globe / Friday, February 03, 1882. Page 1.

A Chicago City Railway gripman was killed by a cable car. I wonder how.


Daniel McLeary, driver on the cable road Chicago, who broke a cable by carelessness Monday, was killed by a cable car yesterday.

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Early Cable Cars in Chicago

From the Omaha Daily Bee / Wednesday, February 15, 1882. Page 2.

The Chicago City Railway's State Street line was the first Hallidie-type cable car line in the United States outside of San Francisco.


Progress of the Work -- Eleven Trains and the Horse-Cars Still Running.

Chicago News.

"We are now running eleven trains of cable cars between Madison and 21st streets," said Superintendent Holmes this morning, "all well patronized ; and still we haven't taken off a single horse-car. We have twenty grip cars finished, but we can't put them on for want of skilled drivers. We can't teach more than two or three men a week how to handle the grip. We expect to need in all forty grip cars for constant service, and two extra ones in case of accident. The speed, at present, can't be any greater than that of the horse-cars which run on the same track, of course, but when we got rid of the horse-cars we expect to make eight miles an hour with ease. It will then be necessary to adopt some rule about stopping-places. We shall probably stop only at crossings and possibly only once in two blocks. Only one man, as yet, has grumbled at paying 5 cents for riding in the cable-car from Madison to 21st street, without being transferred free to the other car going south. The cable which is to be laid from 21st to 39th street , and the shorter one which is to be laid on the circuit along Madison street, Wabash avenue, and Lake street, are both on hand. The cable for the south end is 1,000 feet longer than the one now In use. The cable for the north end is three or four thousand feet in length. The laying of both of them may be expected at any time after a week. The work on the road from 21st to 39th street was completed last night. We do not think of putting any cow-catcher on the front of the grip-cars, as none has been invented yet that doesn't mangle people worse than the car itself. Experience in other places shows that everything that is done to make it safe to fall down in front of the cars increases the number of casualties. Since the cable-cars have begun to run on State street the character of the passengers on that line has been completely revolutionized. All the fashionable people take this line now that used to go by way of Wabash avenue.

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Chicago -- Third Fatality

From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Saturday, March 25, 1882. Page 1.

The Chicago City Railway was the subject of newspaper attention across the country, especially when it killed people.

from Chicago Items.

Chicago, March 24th -- The third fatality from the cable cars occurred today, the victim being a man.

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  • Telegraph Hill RailroadFranchise Vetoed (Sacramento Daily Union, Saturday, May 13, 1882)

    Mayor Vetoes Telegraph Hill Railroad

    From the Sacramento Daily Union / Saturday, May 13, 1882. Page 4.

    Republican Maurice Carey Blake was Mayor of San Francisco from 1881 to 1883. This is not the Telegraph Hill Railroad that was eventually built.

    from FROM THE BAY.

    Veto by the Mayor -- Mortuary Report.

    San Francisco, May 12th. -- This afternoon Mayor Blake returned to the Board of Supervisors, with his veto message, the order granting the Telegraph Hill Railroad franchise.

    The mortuary report for the week shows the total deaths to be 126 -- males, 73; females, 53. Corresponding week of last year, 72.

    Cut to Pieces by a Train.

    San Francisco, May 12th. -- Zachariah Anderson, a Swedish sailor, was run over and cut to pieces by a train on the Townsend street trestle early this morning.


    Telegraph Hill Railroad Company has incorporated to construct, maintain and operate a cable railroad from the intersection of Pacific and Kearny streets, along Kearny to the northerly line of Chestnut, there to connect with elevators descending on Kearny street to the lower levels, and from the foot of said elevators along Kearny street to the wheat slides at North Point.

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    Telegraph Hill Railroad Incorporated

    From the Sacramento Daily Union / Monday, May 15, 1882. Page 3.

    from BREVITIES.

    Articles of incorporation have been filed with the Secretary of State of the Telegraph Hill Railroad Company of San Francisco, The capital stock is $100,000, divided into 1,000 shares. Directors -- F. O. Layman, Gustave Sutro, C. Denervana, M, Gray, D. E. Mellie, O. H. Frank, H. D. Cogswell. Also, of the Etervanda Water Company. Directors- J. C. Dunlap, C. N. Ross, Thos. Hendry, Chas. F. Chaffy, R. A. Cunningham, Capital stock $500,000, divided into 5,000 shares.

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    Telegraph Hill Observatory Open

    From the Sacramento Daily Union / Thursday, July 6, 1882. Page 2.


    At noon on the Fourth the Pavilion at the top of Telegraph Hill, recently erected by the Telegraph Hill Railroad Company, was thrown open to the public. The building, in its present stage of construction, consists of a two-story circular-shaped structure, the lower story being divided into neatly furnished parlors and drawing-rooms, a kitchen and other culinary departments. The second floor is used as a general hall, where refreshments are served. Around the outer side of the structure is a balcony for promenading, and from which a fine view of the city and the islands and shipping of the bay may be had, as may also from the windows of the private parlors.

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    Telegraph Hill Railroad Disincorporated

    From the Sacramento Daily Union / Thursday, July 27, 1882. Page 4.


    The Telegraph Hill Railroad Company, by its President, F. 0. Layman, has filed an application in the Supreme Court for permission to disincorporate. The application sets forth that all the claims against the road have been discharged.

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    Telegraph Hill Railroad Disincorporated/2

    From the San Francisco Call / Thursday, August 31, 1882. Page 1.

    from Superior Court.

    Department 6 -- Application of Ihe Telegraph Hill Railroad Company to be dissolved and dlsincorporated. Granted.

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    Chicago -- Fifteenth Victim.

    From the Saint Paul Daily Globe / Monday, September 04, 1882. Page 4.

    A Chicago City Railway gripman was killed by a cable car. I wonder how.

    Crushed by Cable Cars.

    [Special Telegram to the Globe.]

    Chicago, Sept. 3 -- Abe Rohmer, a little fellow scarcely ten years of age. while selling the evening papers on State street, boarded a cable car near Fourteenth street, rode a short distance, and then, having finished his business, made an attempt to jump off. As he did so his clothing caught on the seat, and he was thrown under the car and dreadfully mangled under the wheels. His death must have been instantaneous, as one of the wheels passed over his head, crushing the skull in a sickening manner. Nearly every bone in the unfortunate boy's body was broken.

    This is the fifteenth victim.

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    Telegraph Hill Railroad Ready

    From the San Francisco Call / Saturday, May 24, 1884. Page 2.


    The New Road to be Opened on the First of June.

    The new cable railroad up Telegraph Hill is about ready to commence operations. Yesterday one of the new cars was placed on the road for the first time and ran np and down the hill several times snccessfully. The road is to be operated on the plan of an inclined elevator. Two cars, permanently attached to a strong wire cable, similar to those in use on other cable roads in this city, will ascend and descend alternately on the same track, and meeting at the half way point, pass each other on a turn out-track. The road is over one-third of a mile long and runs from Powell and Greenwich street, where it connects and transfers with the Omnibus Street Railroad, to the top of Telegraph Hill. Here extensive alterations have been made in the handsome turret-shaped building, which has been lengthened fifty feet and another story added, besides an observatory from which an excellent view of the city, bay and Golden Gate can be had. In the main hall of the building musical entertainments will be given during the season. The road will be opened to the public on Sunday, June 1st, when all of the arrangements for the accommodation of the public will be completed. The motive power of the railroad is situated at the top of the hill, in a large excavation hewn out of the solid rock and in which are placed a large boiler and engine and the drum or wheel upon which the cable winds and unwinds. The engineer is located in a little house on the top of the hill, overlooking the entire road, and directs the movements of the two cars by levers, and can stop the machinery instantly by a foot brake as well as by the lever. Two employes will be on each car, one as conductor and one as pilot, with a patent safety brake on each end. To stop the car, the engineer is signalled by an electric wire running through the cable and attached to an indicator in the engine-room. Every precaution has been taken for safety, and a trip to the top of Telegraph Hill can now be taken with pleasure and comfort. The following are the officers of the company: F. O. Layman, President ; Gustav Sutro, Vice-President; Charles Kohler, Wm. Thomas; Andrew Baird, Secretary; Wm. H. Milliken, Engineer.

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    Telegraph Hill Railroad Receipts

    From the Sacramento Daily Union / Saturrsday, September 6, 1884. Page 4.


    The receipts of the Telegraph Hill Railroad Company average $60 per day.

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    West Side and Yonkers/25

    From the Brooklyn Eagle / Sunday, September 7, 1884. Page 4.


    The first elevated railroad charter was that of the (New York) West Side Elevated Patent Railway Company in 1868, when the Hon. John T. Hoffman was Governor. The road was a single track from Battery place to Thirtieth street, on Greenwich street and Ninth avenue. The present New York Elevated Railroad Company is the successor of the aforesaid one, by purchase under foreclosure sale, and took possession of the property January 2, 1872.

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    Cincinnati Cable Road Incorporated

    From the Springfield Daily Republic. (Springfield, Ohio) / Saturday, January 31, 1885.

    Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway would be the third Hallidie-type system built in the city.

    Articles of incorporation of the Mt. Auburn Cable Railway Company, of Cincinnati have been left with the Secretary of State.

    Second Street Cable Railway Seeks Subscriptions/1

    From the Los Angeles Times / Tuesday, February 3, 1885. Page 4.

    The Second Street Cable Railway was the first cable railway in Los Angeles. I think that the J. N. Thompson mentioned below is actually J. M. Thompson, a cable traction engineer who was involved in designing and building several lines around the country.

    The Cable Road.

    Mr. J. N. Thompson and Walter Newhall, of the firm of Newhall & Co., will arrive here today for the purpose of deciding whether or not the cable road running west of Spring Street, on Second, shall be built. It is understood that they will go ahead with it, provided $30,000 are subscribed, of which $24,000 is already secured. It is simply a business proposition that those who own the property along the line of road can be afford to pay liberally to carry the enterprise through. A cable road up over the hills will treble in value property in that section as soon as the first car starts. It will also more than double the value of all property on Main, Spring and Fort streets, between First and Third. Every property owner and every merchant in that section ought to subscribe to the fund as a business proposition.

    Second Street Cable Railway Seeks Subscriptions/2

    From the Los Angeles Times / Saturday, February 7, 1885. Page 8.

    The Second Street Cable Railway was the first cable railway in Los Angeles.

    The Cable Road.

    Messrs. J. N. Thompson and Walter Newhall, both of San Francisco, and representing the patentees of the cable street-car railroad system, report encouraging progress in the enterprise to put a mile and a quarter cable road on Second street west of Spring. The San Francisco and Los Angeles capitalists -- forming the Los Angeles Improvement Company -- who have the matter in charge, and with whom Messrs. Thompson and Newhall have been in consultation for several days, state that of the $30,000 required to be subscribed in this city, $25,000 has already been secured. About $3000 was amassed on Wednesday; and $5000 more will close up the gap, which done, work will proceed at once. Immediate steps are to be taken to secure the necessary franchises. There should be no difficulty about raising the remaining $5000 for the prosecution of a work so manifestly advantageous to residents and property owners along the line; and, almost as manifestly, to the whole city. The parties conducting this enterprise are not the same as those mentioned in connection with the Temple street project.

    Presidio and Ferries Repairs Completed.

    From the Daily Alta California / Thursday, February 26, 1885. Page 8.

    from THE CITY.

    The cars of the Union street Cable Railroad were running as usual last night, the repairs to the machinery having been completed ... Ah Man, a Chinese passenger on a midnight car of the Central line, was landed in the City Prison yesterday morning for stealing the cash, tickets and bell-punch of Joseph Lowenberg, the conductor, who laid them on the seat while changing his coat ... Balloon ascension from Woodward's, Sunday.

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    Cincinnati Cable Road Stock

    From the Daily Evening Bulletin (Maysville, Kentucky) / Monday, March 16, 1885.

    Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway would be the third Hallidie-type system built in the city.

    from News Notes.

    One hundred thousand dollars of stock for the Mt. Auburn cable road has been subscribed and paid up.

    Cincinnati Zoo Cable Road Denied

    From the Daily Evening Bulletin (Maysville, Kentucky) / Wednesday, June 10, 1885.

    Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway was denied permission to build a Hallidie-type cable road to the Cincinnati Zoo. They built an unusual sort-of incline road instead.


    The board of public works of Cincinnati refused to grant privileges to the Mount Auburn Cable Railroad company to construct a cable road on Sycamore street to the Zoological garden.

    GSPO Collision

    From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Friday, March 27, 1885. Page 2.

    San Francisco Items.

    Wednesday evening a bobtail car had an encounter with a dummy of the Geary street cable line, and, as might be expected, the bobtail car was knocked out. No one was hurt.

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    Garroted on a Street Car.

    From the Santa Barbara Daily Press / Monday, July 20, 1885. Page 1.

    Garroted on a Street Car.

    San Francisco, July 20. -- A surprisingly bold outrage occurred here yesterday afternoon when four hoodlums garroted and robbed conductor Hearne while riding in one of the cars of the Union street cable line. There were a number of passengers in the car but no interference with the robbers’ work was attempted though several ladies fainted. About $l5 in small change was obtained. As they left the car one of the male passengers yelled to bystanders to stop the fleeing villains. One of them was captured and from information obtained from him two others were arrested. Hearne was severely injured in the attack made on him and was carried to the company's engine house where he was given medical attention.

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    Second Street Cable Railway Tested

    From the Los Angeles Times / Friday, October 9, 1885. Page 4.

    The Second Street Cable Railway was the first cable railway in Los Angeles.

    The Cable Road.

    The Cars Running -- Success of the Enterprise

    Yesterday the first round-trip with dummy and car was made over the Second street cable road. With the exception of a slight defect in a new invention at the switches, everything worked to perfection and the car glided over the track rapidly and smoothly. The trip is a delightful one and will be taken by thousands as soon as the road is formally opened, which will be in a day or two. The road is evidently a success and will open up a delightful portion of the city which is in full view of the ocean. Since the road has become assured, there has been a considerable rise in values on South Spring street, where a new business center is rapidly forming. Rents have nearly doubled, and, in some cases, contributors to the cable road fund report that they have already been repaid tenfold for their investments. There is nothing surprising in this, for in San Francisco improvement have steadily followed the cable roads.

    Binghamton Experimental Line

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Sunday, November 15, 1885. Page 4.

    Despite the optimistic tone of the article, this experimental line was not a success.


    A New System in Successful Operation at Binghamton

    Mr. C. B. Fairchild, a teacher in one of the New York public schools, has invented a new system of cable traction for which he claims superiority over the old grip system. A new street railroad in Binghamton has adopted the Fairchild system and had successfully operated it for the past week. To an EAGLE reporter, Mr. Fairchild thus described this latest improvement:

    The cable road which has been built up the hill to the asylum is now in successful operation and is working as smoothly as though it had been running for years. The road is an extension of the Washington street horse railway and is more than three-fourths of a mile long, a greater part of which distance is up a grade of ten to 160 feet. The cable is more than 6,000 feet long and the round trip with a heavily loaded double truck car is made in about seven minutes. The propelling power is a forty-five horse power engine. The road is made to show every possible condition of a street car line. There is single track, double track, level road, different grades and every conceivable turn and curve with the cable running above and below the surface. The track is laid in a loop or circle of sixty feet radius at either terminus of the road so that the car can make the circle and continue on the return trip without stopping. The new features of the system are that it dispenses with "grips" by using a double cable. It consists in the combination with an endless wire rope driven in the customary manner by a stationary engine of a second and smaller cable superimposed upon the driving cable to travel with it over the same pulleys, but having no connection with the prime motor or engine. This admits of its being led continuously over a loose pulley fitted under the platform of the car. When this pulley is left free to rotate the rope will run freely over it while the car remains stationary. If, however, the pulley be retarded in its revolution by a brake so that it may no longer turn, the car will be made fast to the cable and be carried forward with it. To stop the car the brake is lifted and the pulley under the car allowed to revolve. There is no jar or unpleasant motion in starting or stopping the car, and any number of cars can be run on the same line wholly independent of each other. The curves are made at any speed desired and at no additional strain on the cable. It is claimed that this will be an inexpensive system compared with others. The first cost will be much less, as only a shallow tube under the surface will be required to carry the cable. The secondary cable, the small one that imparts the motion to the car, comes up through the slot as the car passes and drops back below the surface. The cable can be run above the ties where the road is built on stringers, thus avoiding gas and water pipes. No more skill is required to run the car than is necessary to turn an ordinary brake lever. The cable will have an indefinite life of many years as there is no additional friction in stopping or starting the car.

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    Runaway Cable Car.

    From the Sacramento Daily Union / Wednesday, November 18, 1885. Page 2.

    Runaway Cable Car.

    San Francisco, November 17th. -- Late this afternoon one of the Union street cable cars, while ascending the steep hill between Larkin and Polk streets, broke its grip and started back down the hill at a rapid rate. It was stopped by coming into collision with a heavy wagon with two horses. The car was somewhat damaged and all the passengers in it more or less injured. The wagon was completely shattered, but the horses escaped serious harm.

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    Runaway Cable Car.

    From the Santa Cruz Sentinel / Friday, November 20, 1885. Page 5.

    from San Francisco Items.

    The grip broke on the Union street cable line Tuesday afternoon, while the car and dummy were ascending the hill between Larkin and Polk streets, and before the brakes could be applied the car started down the hill with considerable velocity. At the Polk street crossing a lumber truck was crossing the track. The horses were struck by the car and very badly hurt, and the driver was struck by the bonnet of the car and thrown to the street. Quite a number of passengers who jumped on the car were badly hurt. The conductor and gripman remained at their posts and were uninjured.

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    Hoboken Elevated Trial Trips

    From the New York Sun / Sunday, December 20, 1885. Page 2.

    Hoboken's North Hudson County Railway made trial trips. I do not know what they mean by "the dancing jigger on the east side."


    The Road is to be Opened about New Year's Day -- A Grip Which Takes Up the Cable at Any Point Along the Road.

    Many persons stood in the wind on Jersey City Heights yesterday afternoon and blew through their purple fingers while they watched the trial trips of the first car on the new Hoboken cable elevated railroad. The older folk of tho county remembered twenty-five years back when they got up to the Heights in little dizzy cars to which the dancing jigger on the east side is palace rolling stock. Eleven years ago when the Hudson County Railroad Company, tho parent of the new cable elevated road, began running the elevator at the foot of Palisade avenue and Ferry street, there was a jollification In Hoboken, and the formal opening of the cable elevated road on or about New Year's Day will also be a red letter day in the history of the town.

    The road Is one mile and one-eighth long, extending from Hoboken Ferry to Palisade Avenue, on Jersey City Heights, John H. Bonn is President, Alfred Debevoise Superintendent, and John J, Endres Chief Engineer. Mr. Endres invented the grip to be used. The cable is picked up by the conductor on the front platform, and can be dropped at will. The grip on the Brooklyn Bridge cable can be taken up only at either end. Hoboken is happy over that fact. There are two grips on the Hoboken cars, both fastened to the trucks. They are of cast iron, and are three feet lung. The Brooklyn Bridge cars have only one grip, which Is suspended from the body of the car, which when heavily loaded causes a depression of the grip, while the grip on the Hoboken xars retains its place, no matter how the cars are loaded.

    The grade of the new cable road is five feet to a hundred. There are vertical and horizontal pulleys to facilitate the passage of the cars around the only curve in the road. The run from the ferry to Jersey City Heights was made in six minutes. The switching in each depot is done on the cars, and not by means of locomotives or switching trucks, as on the bridge. Hoboken was pleased with that fact, too. The cars are of the same size as those used on the bridge. The diameter of the numerous vertical pulleys over which the cable runs es twentv-four inches. The pulleys on the bridge are fourteen inches in diameter. An engine of 500-horse power moves the cable. There Is a reserve engine of similar power to be used In an emergency. The cable passes over two drums, the wheels of which are twelve feet in diameter. There are also two reserve drums. There are four large boilers of 100-horse power each, two to be used only in case of necessity.

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    Storm in San Francisco.

    From the Santa Barbara Morning Press / Tuesday, December 22, 1885. Page 1.


    Cellars Flooded and Cable Cars Stopped.

    San Francisco, Dec. 21. -- San Francisco was visited this morning by the heaviest rain and wind storm of the season. Shortly before daylight the rain came down as if from a cloudburst, the streets became streams, sewers were flooded, and basement cellars flooded. In many places sidewalks were covered with a deposit of mud of from a few inches to over a foot in depth. The McAllister and the Union Street cable lines were blockaded from the mud washed into the cable slots, and did not resume for several hours. Nearly all the morning, people were engaged in pumping water from their cellars and basements, and in shovelling mud from their sidewalks. The rain stopped about 10 o’clock and later the sky became clear.

    No estimate of the damage has yet been made.

    San Francisco, Dec. 22. -- It began raining here this morning and is raining now with good prospects of continuing.

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    Hoboken Elevated Testing

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Tuesday, January 26, 1886. Page 2.

    Hoboken's North Hudson County Railway was being tested.

    Excerpt from CURRENT EVENTS

    The time of the drivers and conductors on the Sixth and Eighth avenue surface railways in New York City is to be reduced from fourteen to twelve hours a day during the present week. Their wages are to remain unchanged.

    The new elevated railway in Hoboken was tested yesterday and it will be formally opened on Thursday of the present week. The line extends from the Hoboken Ferry to Jersey City Heights and is little more than a mile long. The fare will be five cents.

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    Hoboken Elevated Suspended

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Monday, February 8, 1886. Page 2.

    Hoboken's North Hudson County Railway was suspended because the cable was slipping on the driving sheaves.

    Excerpt from CURRENT EVENTS

    Operations on the Hoboken Cable Elevated Railroad, between Hoboken and Jersey City, were suspended yesterday in consequence of the cable slipping from the drum in the engine house on Jersey City Heights. A carload of passengers were compelled to walk along the structure to the Hoboken depot in consequence of the stoppage.

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    Application to Use Cable

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Saturday, April 3, 1886. Page 6.

    The Brooklyn Cable Company would build Brooklyn's first street-running cable car line.


    Mr. William Richardson will make an application to the Common Council on Monday for the privilege of applying the cable system on the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad. Mr. Richardson, Mayor Whitney and President Olena yesterday inspected the working of the Tenth avenue cable line in New York.

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    Inspection Tour

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Wednesday, April 14, 1886. Page 1.

    Jay Gould was a railroad robber baron. The "boodle aldermen" attempted to sell street railway franchises in Manhattan in a corrupt fashion. Alexander Hamilton's house still stands, operated by the National Park Service as the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, located at 287 Convent Avenue. Madame Jumel, a fashion designer, lived in the former mansion of British colonel Roger Morris. It is now operated as a museum, the Morris-Jumel House. James Gordon Bennett published the New York Herald. Construction of the New Croton Aquaduct took from 1885 to 1893.


    The Aldermen Inspect the New York Variety.

    A Pleasant Excursion in Company with the Hon. William Richardson Over the Tenth Avenue Line -- The Plan and Machnery Descried -- Colonel Paine and the Grip -- Some of the Discoveries Made.

    The Hon. William Richardson took the biggest part of Brooklyn's Board of Aldermen over to New York yesterday afternoon and showed them the Tenth avenue cable road in a manner pleasing to contemplate. The Hon. William Richardson wants to build a cable road himself along Park avenue and Broadway to Jefferson street, and then to Evergreen Cemetery, and he desired to give the City Fathers an idea as to what an immense thing a cable road was and how greatly one would ornament and profit this city if built according to his wishes; hence the excursion. When the Aldermen were invited they were told to meet Mr. Richardson at the New York end of the South Ferry at 1:30. Love of truth compels the statement that Mr. Richardson met the Aldermen at 1:47 and started them up stairs to one of Mr. Gould's stations thirteen minutes later. The procession moved under particularly striking auspices. Something like forty loud voiced, bare kneed juveniles held wads of pink colored newspapers decorated with pyrotechnical headlines under their noses, and howled a monotonous song, something like this, to accompany the action: "Extry!! Extry!!! Here ye are! All about de juggin' of de boodle Aldermen," coupled with a remark about 2 cents and the lowness of that rate as applied to so much valuable and interesting information. Only two papers were bought and these told a mournful tale of eleven New York Aldermen, arrested like common men for taking too much interest in a local railroad enterprise. Once up the stairs Mr. Richardson pulled out two yards of blue railway tickets from his overcoat pocket and stuffed half of them into the ticket box, while the station men gazed at the file of silk hats with Aldermen under them in awe and admiration. Mr. Richardson wore a silk hat, too, only he had the nap all brushed the wrong way, just to show that he wasn't proud, while all the others were slick and shiny. Treasurer N. H. Frost, went along also, and the Aldermen were Messrs. McCarty, Coffey, Engle, Spitzer, Hirshfield, Birkett, McFarry, Black, Hanley and McGrath, with Sergeant at Arms Van Horan to look out for them. At Record street, the Hon. William Waring boarded the car quite by accident and was properly amazed. He traveled five stations with his eminent fellow townsmen and then got out with a regretful sigh. The cable road begins at One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth street and Tenth Avenue, so the party abandoned the train at the Eighth avenue station and clambered to the street. By a happy coincidence a side door of ground glass stood first before them. Mr. Richardson twisted the door knob, and the ground glass barrier yielded to the twist. Everybody went inside and stayed awhile, admiring the frescoes, and taking something as a safeguard against the changeful weather, in the interests of surface cable navigation.

    Here the party was enlarged by the addition of Mayor Whitney, Private Secretary Phillips, Commissioner Conner, Alderman Olena, Supervisor Watson and President Lyon, of the Third avenue Street Railroad Company, which owns the cable line. One of the cars was on hand, ready for the trip. It was a third larger than the ordinary conveyance, holding seats for thirty-two persons, placed like the resting spots in a railway car, only facing each other. There was lots of standing room beside. This big car was built by the company as a model of what it would like, and J. G. Brill, of Philadelphia, has built twenty-five more like it, only prettier, to be ready in a week. The cars in active use are of the common size. A pair of black horses carried the car to the edge of the Ninth avenue curve and dropped it so that the gentlemen might see the cable haul it around the curve. It swung half way and stopped, just to show how easy the thing could be done in a trying situation, and then started it up again. Conquering the curve it rattled up to the big station and engine house where Colonel W. H. Paine, who is the chief engineer of the road, Superintendent Robinson, Assistant Superintendent Lyon, Foreman Evans and Contractor Jonson, who is going to build some more road on One Hundred and Twenty-fifth street, were added to the load. Then the grip grasped the cable and toted the car off to climb up a grade which, Colonel Paine proudly stated, was all of seven feet in 100. A pair of horses would have felt like sitting down before half way up, but the cable didn’t show any emotion. Instead, the car went whizzing along eight miles an hour as calm as a Texas mule, with an electric battery pounding away at a vast gong on forward. An electric button was pinned up by every seat. The Aldermen amused themselves and helped demoralize the driver by squeezing these frequently and listening to the racket. When alderman are not riding one squeeze will stop a car. When once at the top some reckless gentlemen expressed a longing to have the grip released to let the car slide down with gravity. It slid and did it quick. One or two bursts of speed were of a character to make the nervous councilmen wonder how their constituents would get along without them, but the brakes held the craft up without so much as a jarring. It is a long way from One Hundred and Twenty-fifth street to the woods beyond Carmansville and High Bridge, where the cable road comes to an end. The cars run over three and a half miles of conduit and track and accommodate many people. They run by historic spots, too. Alexander Hamilton’s great mansion, fast going to decay, the house where Madame Jumel held sway and James Gordon Bennett’s many columned house, with the slender, and be it said, muddy thread of the Harlem River far away. The country round about looks much like a scene in some mining land. Tall smokestacks abound, shooting out black smoke, all around them in clusters the miners’ shanty homes, while great piles of rock and earth lie about them. These are the shafts of the New York aqueduct. A legion of them giving entrance to tunnels 120 and even 150 feet below, all filled with miners delving away through rock and soil and even under the Harlem. A few shafts lie between the tracks of the cable road and bother it not a little. Once at the end of the line the party disembarked to give the car a chance to get on another track, and to look around a little as well. Colonel Paine pulled the lid off a hole in the ground and invited the crowd to look in; they did, but saw naught but darkness, though there came up a growling sound as of huge wheels grinding. The Colonel said the gentlemen might crawl down a shaky looking ladder if they desired to. Nobody crawled save the reporters -- no one could have; the diameter of the hole did not correspond with that of the Aldermen. It was too slender.

    A swift but uneventful journey back to the engine house followed, and that structure was visited in turn. It revealed some giant machinery and on the whole was the most gorgeous edifice of the kind yet beheld. Its interior shone with polished brasswork, and mahogany formed the doors and walls. The engines, 300 horse power each, were far down in the earth, working silently along to make the cable spin. The machinery they drive, while little more powerful, occupies much more room than that of the bridge plant, snugly stowed away amid narrow arches. The drums are not so wide on the face, but of a somewhat greater diameter, and the main shaft by which the engines and the twin sets of driving machinery are connected is geared together by friction instead of clamps, as are the bridge engines, and therefore are a little safer in the event of the cables getting caught, for the shaft would cease to revolve even if the engines kept on whirling. In the machine shop a revised grip was made to show what it could do. It is simply a metal frame, joined together by wide, slender bands of steel, between which works the controlling lever moved by a toggle joint, and this by the brakemen’s wheel, just as the bridge grip catches on. The resemblance goes no further, for this grip operates through a half inch slot in the pavement inside a conduit wherein the cable runs, while the bridge device has no space limits to trouble it. When the working chain is relaxed, the grip stands open. Its lower jaw is of steel, lined with brass composition, and two flanged wheels run even with either end. These pick up the cable which runs over them until contact with the upper jaw starts the car along. In the conduit the cable is carried along by big flanged wheels and two of these are placed side by side in such a way as to form an isosceles triangle with the top broken off. Their upper surfaces hang but a few inches apart with a balanced guard between, which the grip strikes going over the wheels and this catches the cable as it drops. The wheels are used so that if one does not get hold of the cable the other will, for the balanced guard is sure to throw it between the flanges of either one or the other. During their contemplation the Aldermen found out that it will cost $80,000 a mile to build a cable road like the one they saw. It is built wholly of iron, stone and cement. The use of wood might have saved $20,000 a mile, enough almost to build a horse car line of like dimensions, but the company built the road for keeps, as the boys say. The rails are of extra weight and beside rest on iron stringers five inches through. This is where wood might have come in. The company, or rather Contractor Jonson, began to-day the work of putting down a line on One Hundred and Twentieth street, from river to river, or rather from Eighth avenue to the Harlem, for the rest is built. It will be operated by the same plant, and Colonel Paine says the expense will be no greater than now. He will need no more engineers, firemen, or engines, and the coal bill won’t be much bigger. It is only about $12 a day now and the cars run from 4 in one morning until 2 the next. This is where the cable gets ahead of steam and horse. People who are not afraid of the first cost and can make the thing run are going to make some money out of it. President Lyon is not afraid. Neither is the Hon. William Richardson. All he wants is a chance. Cable roads easily accommodate a crowd, for when one car is not enough, another is hitched on behind and the little train does the business. Extra cars have to be kept but not extra horses. Extra cars cannot eat. This cable has been running since September. Colonel Paine thinks it ought to go a year. The Philadelphia amateurs used up their first cable in forty-eight days, and cables cost money. Some day the Colonel will make the relations of the grip and cable so kindly that their frequent meeting will be no more than an affectionate hug and both will feel better for it. Then goodness knows how long the big wire will last. The bridge cable has been running two years and eight month under like circumstances and is all right yet.

    When all these things had been seen and gloried in the car was filled and the black horse pulled it back to the side door with the ground glass panels again. It was not opened, but another was, and it gave passage to a dining room holding what brought joy and satisfaction into the Aldermanic peepers. The table just fitted the crowd and the viands just suited their taste. Dainty glasses and gilt topped bottles added to the view. The dainty glasses were not commodious enough for all the Aldermanic mouths, but the goblets were, so no one suffered. The Hon. William Richardson sat at the head of his table, and this was his benediction: "Gentlemen, you have viewed the working of the cable grip; this is to give you the opportunity to test your own." The gentlemen tested, and Mr. Richardson was silent thereafter, save for an occasional elaboration of the "If you don’t see what you want ask for it" idea. A rattling thunder storm broke during the dinner, sending the lightning currying among the Harlem Heights and starting the goat from his lair. The streets ran rivers, and brought sorrow without, but peace and joy reigned within. Mr. Lyon made a little speech, and so did some others; then they went out and smoked, waiting for the rain to cease. Rain is death on silk hats unaccompanied by umbrellas. By and by it stopped and a noisy elevated train brought all back to Brooklyn, reached at last with the clouds broken away and with a new moon shining over each Alderman’s right shoulder and adding to the silvery that of the Hon. William Richardson’s hair.

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    North Sydney Line Opens

    From the Melbourne Argus / Monday 24 May 1886. Page 5.

    Sydney's New South Wales Government Tramways opened its first cable tram line in 1886.



    The North Shore cable tramway was formally opened yesterday by His Excellency Lord Carrington with considerable ceremony, the proceedings being witnessed by several thousand spectators. The new line is about a mile and a half in length, extending from Molson's Point to the St. Leonards public reserve. The event is one of considerable importance, not only because ot the improved facilities it gives for communication in the rapidly growing suburb of North Shore, but also because it marks the introduction of a new system of locomotion, this being the first cable tramway opened in the colony.

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    Petition for Park Avenue Cable Road

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Saturday, June 19, 1886. Page 2.


    Mr. William Richardson, president of the Atlantic Avenue Railroad Company, appeared before the Railroad Committee of the Common Council last evening and formally petitioned that body as lessess of the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad Co., for permissions to substitute cable for horse power as soon as the consent of the property owners can be obtained in the following streets: From Fulton ferry through Fulton street to Front street to Water street to Washington street to Concord street to Navy street, to Park avenue crossing Broadway and along Park, Locust and Beaver streets; across Belvidere street to and along Bushwick avenue to and through Jefferson street, crossing Evergreen avenue to and along Central avenue to the city line.

    Mr. Richardson has already had the consents of a large majority of the property owners along the route and that he had yet to learn of any opposition from any source. There was no opposition to the petition. The committee took the matter under consideration.

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    Ladder Cable Adopted

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Wednesday, July 14, 1886. Page 4.


    The Cleveland Cable to be Put on Richardson's Road.

    President Johnson, of the Cleveland Cable Company is in town in the interest of his traction system, which the Hon. William Richardson has decided to employ on his Park avenue route. He has established an office at the corner of Park avenue and Ryerson street, and his engineers have already been before the city engineer with their plans. The system has been fully described. It is the same so highly recommended last year by President Hazzard, of the city road, when that company contemplated adopting a cable. Its grip and cable differ from any in common use, the cable consisting of double strands with cross bars, while the grip is simply a big cog wheel. It has worked very successfully in Cleveland, but the Richardson line will give it its first practical trial.

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    Los Angeles Temple Street Cable Railway

    From the Los Angeles Times / Wednesday, July 14, 1886. Page 4.

    AT LAST.

    The Temple Street Cable Road Completed
    A Superb Piece of Work, Affording Rapid Transit to the West End -- Brief Review and Description.

    The Temple-street cable road, delayed by countless obstacles and numberless mechanical difficulties, is at last a triumphant success. It was turned over last night to the Board of Directors; was by them accepted with warm praise, and to-day it begins running regularly as a money-making institution. It is a piece of work which the constructors and the owners have equal reason to feel pround -- one of the most conscientious pieces of construction in Southern California.

    The road was built by the Pacific Construction Company, which, in this case, means S. O. Brown, the thoroughbred mechanical expert and engineer who built the Second street cable road, and who has in the present case simply surpassed himself. He has done what

  • Halliday(sic - JT) and other cable-road experts swore could never be done -- made a successful single-track cable road, running equally well in both directions. The most noticeable mechanical appliances of the road are of Mr. Brown's own invention, and will be patented. His new grip alone deserves to make his fortune.

    Work on the road was begun December 28, 1885; and the track was completed May 8, 1886. In all that time there were but sixty-two working days.

    The officers and board of directors of the road are as follows: President, Walter S. Maxwell; Vice-President, P. Beaudry; Secretary, O. Morgan; Directors, W. S. Maxwell, P. Beaudry, V. Beaudry, Thomas Stovell, John Milner, E. A. Hall, Ralph Rogers; Superintendent, Colonel A. H. Wand, an old cable-road man of San Francisco. The officers and directors took a ride over the road last evening, with several representatives of the press. The ride was a delightful one, the cars running with wonderful smoothness. The country opened up by the orad is so familiar as to need no description. It will take a wonderful impetus now that this pleasant and rapid transit is afforded. The total cost of the road, stock, machinery, grading, etc., was about $90,000.

    Following is a brief but accurate description.


    The cars were built by the John Stephenson Company, of New York, are fitted with the Stephenson patent super sprints, have a seating capactiy for fourteen passengers and are models of elegance and easy motion.


    The dummies were built at the engine house of the company, under the supervision of Mr. G. W. Douglas, of San Franciscco, who is now there selecting the material for two open cars and two extra dummies, to be constructed without delay.

    The dummies are what is known as "double enders," and differently constructed from any heretofore used, the changes made insuring greater strength in construction and more comfort to passengers. They are provided with a grip so made that turntables are unnecessary, and the train can be stopped at any point on the line and run in the opposite direction.


    The engine is 16x36, full Corliss valve, of nominally 85 horse power, and capable of being worked up to 125 horse power. This may be considered ample, when only 28 horse power is required to propel all the cars fully loaded.

    Some novel features have been introducted in the way of tension sheaves, which can greatly economize room, and are extremely sensitive to the varying loads when the line is in full operation.


    The track is 8725 feet in length, provided with three intermediate and two terminal turnouts.

    The yokes and appliances constituting the line were designed by the builders to withstand the heavy traffic which Temple street supports, and the examinations made previous to the acceptance of the road show the strength and rigidity of the line to be all that was claimed for it.


    was made by the California Wire Works, is 19,150 feet in length, 3 1/2 inches in circumference, and is what is known as flexible crucible steel.

    There have been many delays in the completion of the line, owing mainly to the unusually wet winter and the blockade in freights.


    The road was built by the Pacific Construction Company, under the supervision of S. O. Brown, vice-president and superintendent.

    New Cables Arrive

    From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Friday, July 30, 1886. Page 4.


    The ship Seminole, discharging at Vallejo street wharf, has landed three larye cables. One of these, 12,000 feet long, is for the Oakland cable road, another, 11,800 feet in length, is for the Sutter-street road, and the third, weighing seventeen tons, is for the Geary-street road.

    Widespread Interest in Ladder Cable

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Friday, September 17, 1886. Page 1.


    Universal Interest Excited by the Brooklyn Experiment.

    Description of the System to be Tried by President Richardson on Park Avenue. Reasons Why Horse Power Should be Suspended -- The Innovation to be Followed on Other Lines in This Vicinity.

    Every street railroad president in this city is anxious to get rid of his horses and apply some other means of hauling cars on his lines. President Hazzard, of the Brooklyn City Company, who is known to be one of the most practical men in his business, has been endeavoring to get his directors to let him try the cable system for several years, and when General Fitzgerald was president of the DeKalb avenue Company he spend a great deal of time and money attempting to substitute the cable for his horses, while for a long time President Richardson of the Altlantic avenue system has been working to the same end. Mr. Richardson has visited the different cable roads now in successful operation in New York, Chicago and other cities, and has examined models and patent specifications innumerable. Both he and Mr. Hazzard found something wanting in all the schemes that have been offerred to them until they independently discovered a system that exactly suited them. Both gentelmen are nationally recognized as the leading street railway managers of the day. They are by far the most prominent officials in the American Street Railway Association, comprising the officers of all important lines in the United States, and that they should unite on a system of car propulsion is significant.

    The reasons the railway officials want to do away with horses are chiefly economical ones. The horse is an expensive animal, first cost and for maintenance: he cannot travel up hill at anything approaching desirable speed, and he is made lame in a few years by descending even a slight grade. He needs a great deal of care, takes up a large amount of room for storage when not in use, and is decidedly behind the time in many ways when compared with machinery.

    There are also urgent sanitary arguments for his total abolishment. The Atlantic avenue company uses 1,361 horses for their traffic, and from careful estimates these horses contribute 2,200 tons of filth to the already dirty streets -- every year for an average of nearly two tons per horse. The Brooklyn City company furnish a similar estimate for their 3,200 horses, putting the figure at 6,400 tons total, and in addition twice this amount, or 12,800 tons, is removed from their stables annually. According to the report of the State Railroad Commissioners for 1885 there are 8,114 street car horses used in this city, which means the encumbrance of the city's principal thoroughfares with 16,228 tons of deleterious matter. New York City has exactly double Brooklyn's number of car horses, 16,220, and presumably double the accompanying dirt.

    The seriousness of this matter is shown from the recent report of an eminent physician, who says: "These voidings are largely ground up into dust that fills the air with poisonous matter which finds its way into the human system. If you will take up some of the dust from the streets of New York, put it into some lukewarm water and let it stand over night, you will find the next day, on placing a drop of this decoction under the lens of a microscope that it contains myriads of bacteria and other zoophytes and phytozoon forma of infinitesimal life that promote zymotic disorders."

    No arguments have hitherto been advanced in the horses' favor, except that no practical substitute has been found for them. And even this exception has been annihilated by recent progress of inventive skill. As before stated, two of the most experienced street railway men in this country have decided on a cable system, and one of them has raised the money to have a practical trial of its operation.

    Last March President Richardson applied to the Common Council for permission to substitute a cable for his horses on the Park avenue line, part of which is already built and the remainder is being constructed. The permit, after careful investigation, was granted, but upon the advice of the Corporation Counsel it was found that the action was premature, as the law required the change to be advertised for fourteen days. Mr. Richardson therefore concluded to advertise, and not risk any legal delays that might be put upon him by his beginning work at once upon the permit. The Aldermen were all strongly in favor of his cable scheme and he had no doubt they would legally ratify their former permission as soon as they could legally do so, but he kept on the safe side. The Board adjourned for the Summer before the expiration of the required fourteen days of notice, and the work has been delayed several months. However, all preparations have been made to continue the construction of the road at the beginning of next month, as it is believed the permit will be granted at the Board's fist meeting, which takes place on September 30. There is no known reason why this should not be the case, as no protests against the road have been made, and a large majority of the property owner along the line, as required by law, have signed a petition, asking for the Aldermanic permission. Among the prominent names on the petition are included: Mayor D. D. Whitney, estates of Tunis G. Bergen and D. K. Ducker, John F. Owings, Max Erlanger, Hugh McLaughlin, Francis Markey, David Dows, Thomas Browne, estates of James Nesmith and Thomas Messinger, R. Dunlap & Company, Long Island Safe Deposit company, Brooklyn White Lead Company, Campbell & Thayer and many others.

    The method of hauling the cars chosen is known as the Johnson system, from its inventor, Tom L. Johnson, who is a prominent member of the American Street Railway Association, and the president of lines in Cleveland, O., and Indianapolis, Ind. His system is radically different from all earlier forms, and is claimed to be a great improvement on them.

    The "cable" is composed of two parallel wire ropes placed an inch apart and connected at intervals of six inches by drop forged steel links, forming, in effect, a rack or sprocket chain. This is carried on rollers in a conduit a few inches below the street surface, having a slot three-fourths of an inch wide in the center of its upper surface running the whole length of the line. This chain gears with a toothed wheel carried by the car, which replaces the grip of other systems. This wheel, which is attached below the center of the car, revolves freely on an axis that is elevated or depressed by the operator of the car, raising the wheel from or lowering it into the slot in the conduit. While the car is at rest and the cable running this axis, on being lowered, allows the wheel to gear with the cable and to turn at the same speed as the latter. By a wheel on the front platform the operator is enabled to apply a brake acting on the gear wheel, which retards the latter's action and which completely stops its rotation when sufficiently applied. When this is done the car moves at the speed of the cable, being attached to the cable by the teeth of the stationary wheel. By applying the brake partially the car will always travel inversely as the speed of the wheel, and in this manner any speed may be maintained and the car started gradually without the jerks incidental to other systems. Dangers of accident are this reduced to a minimum, for if anything should break the car comes to a standstill. Cars are stopped quickly by means of the ordinary brake now in use on all cars. The above fully describes the working of the system, and there is little to add, except that it has been found to work with perfect success. No objections have been offered to it save those theoretical ones which have readily been demolished by practical tests. The system is a new one and it is understood has not yet been applied to any city line in regular operation, but a trial line one-tenth of a mile long has been built in Cleveland, and here Messrs. Hazzard and Richardson saw the system. This test line is long enough to show the practical operation of the system and so built as to develop any faults of the principle. There are two short curves in its length as abrupt as any to be met in turning sharp corners in this city, one of them more abrupt than any in general use. The track, also, has a steep grade in it and is so roughly built as to afford a severe test upon the strength of the system. An experimental car, complete with all the attachments, has been run up and down for over a year, starting and stopping with the utmost delicacy, being readily governed at any speed up to that of the cable and both of the Brooklyn railroad men state that there never was a hitch. Sudden stops and starts were repeatedly made and all manner of extraordinary tests were repeatedly made to every one's satisfaction. The trial car and cable have already traveled more and received rougher usage than they would receive on a line in Brooklyn, but so far no appreciable wear has been found and there has never been a failure or delay. Among the objections offered to the ordinary cable system was that the cable conduit and carrying pulleys would be speedily stopped up by the accumulated dirt from the street sweeping into the slot. On the Cleveland trial linesmen were stationed with piles of sand and all kinds of trash and mud which they shoveled into the conduit through an opening. Every bit of it was whisked out and the cable kept conduit clean. Water was similarly thrown out. The system was further said to be noiseless and without possibility of a snow blockade, as it clears itself as fast as the snow falls.

    Mr. Johnson and his superintendent, Mr. De Paulsen, with a corps of draughtsmen and engineers have established themselves at 43 Ryerson street, and have about completed all plans to go ahead with the road as soon as the permit is granted. They hope to get the conduit in the ground before the frost comes, and if so promise to have the line in operation during the Winter.

    The action of Mr. Richardson in becoming the pioneer of cable railway improvements in this city is warmly commended by all railroad men here, who are universally interested in the success of his trial. President Hazzard said, just before leaving for his vacation, that he had no doubt at all that every one of his cars would be run by the same cable within a reasonable time after the Park avenue road began operation, notwithstanding the great initial expense of changing from horses to machinery. President Partridge is only waiting for the means to convince his directors that they must follow the example of others if they hope to pay any dividends on the DeKalb avenue line.

    President Richardson believes that when the great improvement is once successfully seen in operation all the roads will vie with each other in its speedy adoption.

    President Foshay of the New York Broadway line, is another man who is an advocate of the system, and although the owners of his road own the Market street cable line in Philadelphia they are waiting to see the result of the Brooklyn experiment before asking the New York Aldermen to allow them to use the cable on Broadway, having an idea that if any system is superior to horses, the Brooklyn railway official will be the first to find it.

    Superintendent Martin, of the bridge, when asked what he thought were the prospects of the horse being superseded by cable, said: "I think they are excellent. There is not comparing the comparative value of the cable with any other system of transportation. See our bridge. What would we do with horses or locomotives? Yet horses could better be used here than on the streets."

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    Park Avenue Cable Road Being Built

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Tuesday, October 5, 1886. Page 1.


    Taking Early Advantage of the Aldermen’s Permit.

    President Richardson has lost no time in making use of the permit granted him on Monday afternoon by the Board of Aldermen to construct the cable road on Park avenue. Early yesterday about fifty laborers were put to work tearing up the street as far as Classon avenue and getting ready to lay the conduit. President Tom L. Johnson, who will construct the road for President Richardson, was superintending the work. He said: “We will push forward as rapidly as possible and try to get all work completed before cold weather, but will lay none of the conduit until the Aldermen’s action is approved by the Mayor and the Department of City Works gives us the permit to construct the drainage sewer under the conduit. We hope to get the permit to-day, but if not will wait and put in the conduit after the tracks are laid. The distance between Broadway and Washington avenue is one and three-fourths miles. This makes seven miles of single track. We cross five other railroads in that distance where the Broadway road had only two or three. We will not build as fast as they did for we only intend to work on one side of the street at a time so not to block the traffic.”

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    Park Avenue Cable Road Being Built

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Wednesday, October 6, 1886. Page 5.

    Excerpt from ALDERMEN

    The Cable System Authorized on Park Avenue

    To be Abandoned Altogether if it Does Not Prove Successful on that Thoroughfare...

    The most important business transacted by the Board of Aldermen yesterday was the adoption of resolutions granting to the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad Company permission to apply the cable system to the surface road on Park avenue and other streets. A similar grant was made last Summer, but on account of an informality in the proceedings it amounted to nothing. The fact was that the necessary advertisement of the time and place for a consideration of the application of the companies had not been made; so it became necessary for the Board to vote the permission again. The matter was introduced yesterday by the Railroad Committee, which through Alderman McCarty offered the following:

    Whereas, The Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad Company and the Atlantic Avenue Railroad Company, of Brooklyn, did, on the twelfth day of July, 1886, make application, in writing to the Common Council for the consent of the local authorities of the City of Brooklyn, hereinafter granted; and

    Whereas,Fourteen days’ public notice of such application and of the time and place when such application would be first considered by the Common Council has been given by a notice thereof published daily in two daily newspapers of this city, designated by the Mayor of the city; and

    Whereas, Such application has been duly considered;

    Resolved,That we, the Common Council of the City of Brooklyn, do hereby consent that the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad Company and the Atlantic avenue Railroad Company of Brooklyn, its lessees, successors, and assigns, shall and may use cable traction power, with all necessary mechanical contrivances and appliances, for the operation of the street surface railroads now partly constructed and operated by horse power and authorized to be rather constructed and operated between Fulton Ferry and the Cemetery of the Evergreens by the following named and described route and routes, streets, avenues and places, namely: From Fulton Ferry through and along Fulton street to Front street, and also through and along Water street and Front street between Fulton street and Washington street; thence from Water street, through and along Washington street to Concord street, through and along Concord street, Navy street and Park avenue to Broadway; thence through, along and across Broadway to Park street and Locust street, and through and along Park street and Locust street, across Belvedere and Wall streets to Bushwicki avenue; then through, along and across Bushwick avenue to Melrose street and Jefferson street; thence through and along Melrose street and Jefferson street, crossing through and along and along Evergreen avenue, through and along said Melrose and Jefferson streets to Central avenue, and through and along Central avenue the whole length to the City Line, and returning over, along and through the same route and routes, streets and avenues to to the Fulton Ferry, with all the curves, connections, stands, switches, crossovers and crossings and all other mechanical contrivances and appliances for the construction and operation by cable traction power of the railroad herein described and set forth. Provided that this consent is granted upon the express condition that the provisions of chapter 252 of the Laws of 1864 of the State of New York entitled “An Act to provide for the construction, extension, maintenance and operation of street surface railroads and branches thereof in cities, towns, and villages,” pertinent thereto shall be complied with; and shall be filed in the office of County Clerk of the County of Kings. Provided also, that the consent of the Common Council is hereby given up on the following condition, the non compliance with which shall render the consent void: That the Atlantic avenue Railroad Company of Brooklyn , before it, its lessees or contractors, shall enter upon any of the streets or avenues of the City of Brooklyn for the purpose of adapting said road to the motive power cable traction, shall enter into a good and sufficient bond, to be approved by the Corporation Counsel, in the sum of fifty thousand dollars, that it will save and keep harmless the City of Brooklyn from all damages or injury caused by the adaptation or maintenance of said road, caused by any interference of said company, its lessees, contractors, agents or employes (sic - JT), with the streets, water pipes, or sewers of said city.

    Resolved,That consent is hereby given for all necessary openings and excavations of the streets and avenues and for connections with the sewers on the routes aforesaid, for the construction and operation of the necessary mechanical and other contrivances and appliances by cable traction power on the route and routes, streets and avenues aforesaid; the work to be done under the supervision of and on plans approved by the Department of City Works.

    Ald. Corwin said he should vote against the resolutions. The application of the cable system was to be an experiment and upon the result of the experiment would depend in a measure the question as to whether the cable would be substituted on other horse railroads. While he believed that upon a wide street a surface cable road would probably be beneficial, he thought that upon a narrow street, such as Fulton, it would prove an annoyance, if not a nuisance, by reason of the obstructions it would cause. He therefore contended that this experiment should be made upon a narrow thoroughfare.

    Ald. McCarty replied that it ws the intention of the company to first operate the portion of the cable road to be constructed on Park avenue from Vanderbilt avenue to Broadway. If that part should prove a failure then the scheme would be dropped. As to Fulton street it was proposed to run only on the block between Water and Front streets, where the carriageway was over 100 feet wide. The Alderman called attention to the successful operation of a cable system on Tenth avenue, New York, which the Mayor and the Board had inspected some time since. He then announced that the remonstrance from Jefferson street against the application under consideration had been withdrawn.

    Ald. Corwin said that the reason he believed the experiment should be tried on narrow streets was that the objections to such a system would be apparent there at once. They should be streets where there is considerable travel. If it were claimed on behalf of the cable road that it would furnish rapid transit, he would object on that account, too; for we now had enough rapid transit on the surface. The surface rapid transit we now had (referring to Atlantic avenue) had spilled enough blood to run a dummy. It was established by a rotten corporation, aided by a rotten city government and a still worse Legislature.

    The resolutions reported by the committee were adopted 14 to 3, those in the negative being Corwin, Dijon and Maurer.

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    Park Avenue Cable Road Directors Named

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Thursday, November 11, 1886. Page 4.


    Names of its Seven Directors and its Stockholders

    Articles of association of the Brooklyn Cable Company were filed yesterday with the Secretary of State. The company is to continue one hundred years. As described in the EAGLE recently, the road is to be constructed, maintained and operated from Fulton Ferry to the Cemetery of the Evergreens. The amount of capital stock is $500,000, divided into 5,000 shares of $100 each. The directors for the first year are: Tom L. Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio; A, I. du Pont, Wilmington, Delaware; Arthu J. Moxham, Johnstown PA.; L. A. Russell, Cleveland, I.; Philip R Voorhees, New York City; Henry C. Evens, New York City; Albert L. Johnson, Cleveland, O. The stockholders are: Tom L. Johnson, Cleveland O, 929 shares; A. I. DuPont, Wilmington, Del., 929 shares; A. J. Moxham, Johnstown, Pa., 10 shares; L. A. Russel, Cleveland, O., 23 shares; Philip R. Voorhees, New York City, 1 share; Henry C. Evans, New York City, 1 share; Albet L. Johnson, Cleveland, O., 100 shares; Antoine B. DuPont, Louisville, Ky., 2 shares; F. H. Davies, Cleveland, O., 1 share; Claude M. Johnson, Cleveland, O., 1 share; Miller A. Smith, Brooklyn, 1 share; L. C. Murray, New York City, 1 share; John C. Calhoun, New York City, 1 share.

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    Powell Street Railroad

    From the Daily Alta California / Friday, December 10, 1886. Page 2.

    Powell Street Railroad.

    Articles of Incorporation were filed yesterday by the Powell street Railroad Company. The Company propose to build, maintain and operate single or double track cable roads in the city for about 15 miles. The first road will begin at the intersection of Powell and Jefferson streets, thence along Powell to the junction of Market street, about two miles. The second road will begin at tbe intersection of First avenue and Jackson street and run thence to the intersection of Market and East streets. In its course it will pass along the following streets: Jackson, Steiner, Washington, Battery, Sacramento, Front, East and Clay, about nine miles. The capital stock is $2,000,000 in $100 shares. The Directors are: W. J. Adams, Thomas Magee, H.H. Lynch, George H. Waggoner and : H. C. Holmse (Holmes? - JT), who have subscribed for $40,000 each.

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    Kansas City Fatality Lawsuit

    From the Butler Weekly Times / Wednesday, December 22, 1886. Page 5.

    Suit for $5,000 Damages.

    Kansas City Times, Dec. 14. Proceedings against the Kansas City cable railway companv were begun yesterdiy by Mrs. Caroline Pierce, whose Husband, the Rev. R. K. Pierce, was killed by a cable car near Eighth and Locust streets, Oct. 23. The petition states that Dr. Pierce got on the grip car of a cable line train at Ninth and Main streets and took the last seat on the car. At Eighth and Locust he rang the bell and the car stopped, but he had scarcely placed his foot on the step before it started forward suddenly, throwing him backward between the grip car and he was run over and instantly killed. The grounds for asking damages are that as Dr. Pierce had rung the bell, it was the duty of the gripman not to stop, but to wait until he had alighted, and that the cable companv had not taken the precautions against accidents that the city ordinance governing its existance instructed it to do. The petition charges not only the negligence and carelessness of the employes of the company, but the members of the company itself, and asks judgment of $5,000.

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    Telegraph Hill Observatory to be Restored

    From the San Francisco Call / Saturday, January 26, 1895. Page 12.


    The Castellated Ruins to Be Restored.


    Its Turrets and Mural Ornamentation Renewed.


    No More to Be the Elevated Resort of the Bad Boy and the Billygoat.

    Telegraph Hill, lifting its gray castled ruin 270 feet over the water front, and for years the resort of the rock-throwing small boy and the lawless Wm. goat, is to be other than a subject for the festive paragrapher; other than a mark of derision. The medieval imitation known as the Observatory is to be repaired and restored, and the crest of the elevation leveled for a promenade by its new Eastern purchasers. A visit to the hill proves how well adapted that old landmark is for a natural resort, and what small effort could make it a grand lookout station for the city

    From its summit one can see the gleam of the ocean through the open Golden Gate and the broad level of the bay below. The green hills of seven counties sweep around the horizon from point to point, a view grand and unsurpassed.

    The observatory building, with its turrets and mural ornamentation, while showing evidence of decay on its exterior, has been cared for, and even the colored windows are in good repair. Down under the sidewalk in front of the edifice is the furnace and engine that ran the cable which hauled the two cars to the top of the hill, when Telegraph Hill was crowded with visitors. The two cars have lain quiet in the Howard-street roundhouse for many years. The stone and cement wall that was erected around the parapet of the hill has fallen in many places and great masses of masonry are in danger of rolling down on the buildings at the foot of the slope.

    It is not known what will be the full extent of the improvements which the owners will make in the building, but they are well aware that no great outlay will put the place in perfect repair, and give to the city a unique place of observation.

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    Park Avenue Cable Road Under Construction

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Monday, January 17, 1887. Page 4.

    Brooklyn's first cable car line did not open in February.


    Deacon Richardson Says it Will Be In Operation By Next Month

    The proposed cable road of the Atlantic avenue Railroad Company on Park avenue is nearing completion. On Wednesday two immense Corliss engines will be in position on the corner of Grand and Park avenues and will supply the power for the operation of the road. About a week later the cable cars will have been completed and it will be in operation early in February. Mr. William Richardson, the President of the Atlantic avenue Railroad, has been giving the cable project his personal supervision, and expresses himself as highly gratified with the manner in which the work is progressing. This morning he said to an EAGLE reporter: "The company is now asking the consent of property owners on Fifth avenue with the view of operating its line there by cable power. If we get the necessary consents and the cable road on Park avenue proves satisfactory the system will be introduced generally."

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    Brooklyn Lease Arrangement

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Friday, January 21, 1887. Page 5.

    Tom L Johnson was a politician and street railway executive from Cleveland, Ohio.


    The Atlantic Railroad Company to Receive 14 Per Cent. Of the Receipts.

    The Atlantic avenue Railroad Company has leased the Park avenue Cable Road to Tom L. Johnson, of Cleveland, and Alexis L. du Pont, of Wilmington, Del. This line is now being constructed, and begins at Washington and Park avenues, and runs through Park avenue, Broadway, Park street, Beaver, Bushwick avenue, Jefferson street and Central avenue to Evergreen Cemetery. Johnson and du Pont were the contractors, and agree to pay the company 14 per cent. of the gross receipts. They have also agreed to have the road finished and in operation March 15, 1887. They will have the use of the company's tracks from Washington Avenue to Fulton Ferry, and will run horse cars thereon until they can build a cable road. The company reserves the right to use these last named tracks for cable cars on the payment of a pro rata of interest on the cost of construction. The lease was signed April 6, but was not filed with the County Clerk until yesterday.

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    Brooklyn Line Nearly Ready

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / February 8, 1887, Page 4.


    Cars to Run From Fulton Ferry to Broadway Next Month.

    Mr. Miller A. Smith, Civil Engineer of the Brooklyn Cable Company, said to an EAGLE reporter to-day: "The residents of Central avenue will be much better served by the building of the cable line along their street than they could possibly be by any horse railroad company. The very gest cars obtainable have been ordered from the John Stephenson Company. They are superior to any now in use in this city.

    The company expects to begin running cars before the 1st of March from Fulton Ferry to Park avenue and Broadway, using horses temporarily from Fulton Ferry to Grand avenue until the construction of the cable system on that portion of the line.

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    Hoboken Elevated Runaway

    From the New-York Tribune / Thursday, February 10, 1887. Page 1.

    Hoboken's North Hudson County Railway had a car run away.



    There came near being a serious accident on the elevated railroad in Hoboken last night. The car that left the ferry at 6:20 o'clock was about half-way up the steep Inclino leading to the Heights, when tbe grip broke and the car started toward the ferry.

    There were 130 passengers on board and they became panic-stricken at once. Several of them tried to jump out of the car. They would surely have been killed, as the track is over a hundred feet from the ground. The gripman, Michael Whalen, and the conductor, Samuel Edmundson, could do nothing to stop the car. But Commissioner W. F. Kern, of Jersey City Heights, succeeded in making the brakes work and stopped the car. He also quieted the frightened people.

    A terrible accident was avoided, as there would have been great loss of life if the car had gone unchecked to the ferry.

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    Cables Started

    See a later item for more about the special horses.

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / March 2, 1887, Page 4.


    Made on the Park Avenue Cable Road.

    It Works Well, but Cars Will Not be Propelled by It Until the Possibility of a Hitch is Provided For.

    Park avenue, between Grand and Broadway, to-day was lined with men, women and children attracted by the hum of the cable between the tracks of the new Park avenue road. Thousands gratified their curiosity by peeping into the narrow slit in the street and catching a glimpse of the first cable laid in Brooklyn as it whizzed along just under the surface. At 10 o'clock steam was first applied to the 250 horse power Corliss engine, at the corner of Grand avenue, and the great train of mechanism, which constitutes the driving plant, began slowly to revolve, increasing its speed until the big flywheel reached a velocity of eighty revolutions a minue, and the cable was traveling eight and one-half miles an hour. President Johnson was very happy when he saw that everything was working to perfection and that the first step had been successful. He said that no cars would be driven by the cable for almost a week yet, as he preferred to go slowly and avoid any possible hitches. Everything would be smoother after a little use and he did not want to be in too much of a hurry as he had to learn a good deal by experimenting. The new cars began running regular trips on the line yesterday between Broadway and Fulton Ferry making the trips in forty minutes. These cars are the handsomest every built. They are finished throughout in dark polished woods and brass trimmings. The windows are wider than those generally in use and extend all the way to the roof, leaving no place for soap and medicine advertisements. The seats are richly upholstered on springs and the arched floor is covered with perforated rubber. The stoves are underneath the seats and attended from without. The chandeliers and end lights are of improved brilliancy. The front platform is a curiosity. Two long levers for operating the grip are in the middle and on each side are brake handles. The cars are examined by crowds on the stand, the ferry and bridge and many persons take a trip to see the road. With the grip arrangement they weigh much more than those on other roads and ordinary car horses could not move them. President Johnson has been compelled to select special horses, and as a result he has one hundred of the finest ever seen in the city. The road is already carrying a large number of persons and seems to have jumped into popularity.

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    San Francisco Street Railroads

    From the San Francisco Daily Alta California / Tuesday, March 8, 1887. Page 1.

    East Street is now the Embarcadero. Dupont Street is now Grant Avenue. Central Avenue is now Presidio Avenue. Point Lobos Avenue is now Geary Boulevard. Most of the new lines discussed were not built, or were built in a different form.


    Pacific Improvement Company Secures Three Franchises.


    The Geary-street Cable to be Extended Along Point Lobos Avenue to the Cliff House -- Authentic Statement from C. F. Crocker.

    The various rumors which have of late circulated relative to the transfers of large blocks of the capital stock of the Geary-street, Park and Ocean Railroad Company, the City Railroad and the Central Railroad are now quieted by the authoritative statement made yesterday by Colonel C. F. Crocker and Timothy Hopkins. The controlling interests In the roads mentioned have been secured by the Pacific Improvement Company. While negotiations were pending to effect the above result the parties interested would make no official confirmation or denial of the conflicting rumors agitating the street. To an Alta reporter yesterday Colonel Crocker said the purchases had been made in pursuance of a determination arrived at last Summer br Messrs. Charles Crocker, C. P. Huntington and Senator Stanford

    "They have," said Colonel Crocker, referring to the gentlemen just named," the greatest confidence in the future of San Francisco, and look upon the franchises purchased as among the most valuable privileges in the city. The lines ran through the most thickly settled portions of the city, and two of them will afford additional routes to the Golden Gate Park. The Mission district is growing rapidly with fair promise of still greater growth, and it is obvious that the Valencia-street cable service will soon be inadequate to meet the requirements of that section of the city. The first step in all probability will be to construct a cable line along East street from the ferry to Mission and thence along Mission to Thirty-first avenue. The Dupont and Sutter streets portion of the City railroad will probably be operated in connection with the Fifth street line. In regard to the future operation of the Central railroad, that is something not yet determined on, nor how much of the Turk and Sixth street branches will be converted into a cable system. The Turk street route can not be operated as a cablo line clear down to the ferry until the pressure on the Market street cable is somewhat relieved.

    The Geary street, Park and Ocean lines will be operated as at present. A cable line will be run from Central avenue to the Cliff, along Point Lobes avenue. Just what system of transferring passengers will be put In force has not yet been considered. We are not negotiating for the purchase of the Sutter street road, and have no intention of doing so. Its purchase does not figure in any way in our plans."

    The franchise of the City Railroad was granted or supplemented November 28, 1879. The route is as follows : Commencing at Market and East, along East to Mission, along Mission to West Mission, thence to Twenty-sixth street, thence from the inteisection of Mission and Twenty-sixth streets in a southerly direction along and upon Mission street and Mission-street road to Courtland avenue. Second -- Commencing at the intersection of Mission and Fifth streets, thence along Fifth to Market, along Market to Dupont, to Sutter, and thence along Sutter street to Market, and thence along Market to the city front. Third -- Commencing at the intersection of Sutter and Dupont, and thence along Sutter and Market to the city front. The privilege extends for fifty years and conveys the right to use cables with stationary engines or compressed air to move the cars.

    The franchise of the Geary-street road allows the use of steam motors over that portion of their route upon Point Lobos avenue and Central avenue and First avenue, and also upon First avenue from Point Loboa avenue to the Park. The company has also the permission to lay tracks upon the side of Point Lobos avenue between Central and First avenues.

    The original Geary-street franchise was granted to Charles Main, Reuben Morton, B. C. Bigelow, James McCord, William Eppelsheimer, C. F. Macdemot and Thomas R. Hayes, October 28, 1878, for twenty-five years. A supplemental franchise to permit the company to cross Kearny street to Market was subsequently granted.

    The original route is along Geary street from Kearny, west side, to Central avenue ; thence along Point Lobos avenue to First avenue ; thence along First avenue to the Park. The franchise is for twenty-five years.

    A subsequent order, passed November 24, 1879, grants to the North Beach and Mission Railroad Company, the Geary-street, Park and Ocean Railroad Company and the Central Railroad Company the right of way for fifty years from Turk street, along Market to the city front.

    As soon as practicable, Directors representing the purchasing interest will be elected in the Directories of the respective roads. This will not, however, delay the work of preliminary surveys and active construction.

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    A Railroad Company's Request.

    From the Daily Alta California, Sunday, March 20, 1887. Page 1.

    A Railroad Company's Request.

    The Board of Harbor Commissioners met yesterday to consider the application of the Omnibus Railroad Company for permission to build a cable road on East street, between Howard and Market streets. Gustav Sutro and John H. Boalt represented the applicants, bnt action was deferred by tbe Board for one week, in order to permit the latter to prepare plans showing the exact amount of space the company wanted for its turntable south of the tnrntable of the City Railroad.

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    Pedestrian Injured

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / March 20, 1887, Page 1.


    About 7:10 o'clock last evening Matthew O'Brien, of Graham street and Myrtle avenue, whle crossing Park avenue, near Spencer street, caught his right foot in the railroad track, and before he could extricate it car 32, of the cable line, ran over his left foot, fracturing the bones. He was removed to his home.

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    Rumor of Oakland Cable Sale

    From the Phillipsburg, Kansas Herald / Saturday, March 26, 1887. Page 1.

    The narrow gauge South Pacific Coast Railroad and the Oakland Cable Railway.

    from GENERAL NEWS.

    It is again rumored in San Francisco that Senator Fair has sold to the Southern Pacific company, for $6,0OO,000, the Santa Cruz steam road and the Oakland cable system.

    Complaint About the Slot

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / March 30, 1887, Page 6.


    Condemned Cable Ways Said to be in Use in Brooklyn.

    Lawyer A. P. Hinman has served upon President Johnson, of the Brooklyn Cable Road, the summons and complaint in an action brought in the City Court by Adolph Humbert, an expressman. On the 19th instant Humbert was driving across the track of the cable road at the intersection of Park and Sumner avenues. His horse caught the shoe of his right hind foot in the slot or cable way as it is called. The result was an injury to the fetlock joint so serious that the animal was completely disabled and it was necessary to shoot him. The suit is for $500 the value of the horse. It is claimed that the slot or opening in the cable way is wider than is necessary, and that the company is liable. Lawyer Hinman says it will be claimed in the suit that the cable ways which were condemned in Chicago because the slot was so wide were brought to Brooklyn and put down upon the streets here.

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    Too Hard on the Horses

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / April 7, 1887, Page 6.


    The Cable Cars Too Heavy for Them.

    They Cannot Stand the Strain of Dragging Seven Thousand Pounds Where the Grade is Streep and the Curves Sharp.

    The handsome Park avenue cable cars, that have only been running for five weeks, may be all well enough when propelled by cable, with a steam engine for motive power, but they were not built for horses to haul, as has been clearly demonstrated from the first. They are the handsomest street cars in this part of the country and the heaviest. They are eight inches wider than other street cars, and proportionately heavier in every way. When to this is added the heavy grip mechanism, which extends below the floor of the whole car and is connected with the extra levers and metal work of the front platform, the car complete is said by railroad men to weigh just about twice as much as any other car in the city. Other cars weigh about 5,000 pounds. The Park avenue cars weigh over 7,000 pounds. The cars on Park avenue above Grand are propelled by cable, and as the line there is level the enormous 250 horse power engine has a very easy time of it. But below Grand avenue there are several of the heaviest grades in the city, notably on Concord st, near Bridge and on Washington street, near Sands, beside which thre are many short curves which are as bad as heavy grade. Here where the cable is most needed horses are used. Three weeks ago these cars stopped running to the ferry and turned back at the bridge because the horses could not haul the cars up the hill from the ferry and complete the trips.

    For several days it has been noticed that the horses of this company were sufferring with distemper. At the stable no information could be obtained but it has been learned that all of the horses, numbering about 100, have the distemper and that fourteen of them have died.

    A well known stable keeper, familiar with horses, accompanied an EAGLE reporter to the corner of Sands and Washington street to-day and looked at the teams hauling the cable cars. He found none thathad not the disease, and said to the reporter: "The ailment is not dangerous and can easily be cured by rest. When green horses are brought to the city and put at work steadily they nearly always get distemper. With such heavy cars as these nothing else could be expected. But it is a shame to drive these horses while sick and Bergh's men ought to sto it. They undoubtedly know of it. Every one who has seen any of these horses knows what is the matter. Horses will seldom eat when they have the distemper and will starve to death if they are driven while sick. The company should be compelled to give these horses a rest. You see how wet they are. That is because they are weak and the heavy load tells on them."

    Extra tow horses are used on the heavy grades, but they are not worked so hard and seem to be well. A car came down at noon with two handsome gray horses which the driver said had been laid up in the stable for several days and that was their first trip since they had recovered. The loss of the horses falls entirely on the railroad company, as the disease is neither contagious nor infectious.

    To correct a prevailing erroneous opinion it should be stated that President William Richardson has nothing to do with the Park avenue Cable Company, of which Mr. Tom L. Johnson is president.

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    First Fatality/1

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / April 11, 1887, Page 6.

    The child was named after Seth Low, reformer, educator, and mayor of Brooklyn.


    Three Year Old Seth Low Fisher Run Over by a Cable Car and Killed.

    Eugene Lilliston, a brakeman on Deacon Richardson's cable road, was arraigned before Justice Kenna this morning on a charge of homicide preferred by Policeman George Golden, of the Thirteenth Precinct. Shortly before 6 o'clock last evening, as Lilliston's car was on its way down Park avenue, 3 year old Seth Low Fisher, whose parents live at 62 Delmonico place, suddenly ran out into the street and playfully caught hold of the side of the car and started to run along with it. He slipped and fell under the car, one wheel passing over his body at the waist. Lilliston, who had not see the boy, brought the car to a stop, and picking the lad up in his arms, carried him to his home. After lingering in terrible pain for nearly three hours, the little fellow died. Justice Kenna admitted the brakeman to bail in $1,000, pending examination.

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    First Fatality/2

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / April 14, 1887, Page 1.

    This story disagrees in many details with the initial version.


    Nobody to Blame for the Death of Seth Low Fisher.

    Coroner Lindsay and a jury held an inquest last evening at the corner of Park avenue and Delmonico place in the case of Seth Low Fisher, aged 3 years, 5 months and 2 days, stepson of George Weber, of 65 Delmonico place, who was run over and killed last Sunday evening by Car No. 23 of the Park avenue Cable Road.

    Bernard Maybeck, of 221 Ellery street, testified that about 5 P.M. on Sunday, standing at the corner of Park avenue and Delmonico place, he saw the car running along Park avenue toward Broadway and the child about two feet ahead of it; saw the car pass over the child; witness picked the child up and carried him home; witness heard no gong sounded before the accident.

    Christine Drosser, of 171 Essex street, New York, testified that she was sitting in a window of 765 Park avenue and saw the child when the car was within about two feet of him; heard a gong sounded, but was too excited to notice whether the brakeman attempted to stop the car or not; saw the child carried away, but did not observe from what side of the street he was taken.

    Eugene Lilliston, of 515 Flushing avenue, brakeman on car 23, testified that the accident occurred between 5:45 and 5:50 P.M.; he saw no child at the front of the car; heard people shout and heard the conductor's bell ring; witness rang the gong five or six times before reaching the crossing; stopped the car and found the child on the track; had felt no jar of the car; the front wheels are provided with guards and these would have thrown the child off; the child might have got under the wheels without winess noticing him, because the front wheels were about five feet away from where witness stood; if the child was only two feet in front of him there would have been plenty of time to stop, because the cable cars are more easily stopped than horse cars; the car at the time was going at the rate of five miles per hour; the cars slack speed at the crossings.

    The autopsy of Dr. Joseph M. Creamer showed that death was caused by internal hemorrhage and collapse, the result of laceration of the intestines.

    The jury, after a brief deliberation, rendered the following verdict: We, the undersigned, do find that Seth Low Fisher came to his death by being accidentally run over by car 23 of the Park avenue Cable Railroad. We also find that no blame attaches to the brakeman and conductor of said car.

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    Brooklyn Extension

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / May 27, 1887, Page 6.


    President Howell says the Johnson System Will be Used on the Bridge.

    The Park avenue cable road has been extended across Broadway as far as Central avenue, and cars will begin running next week on the extension. This will materially increase the bridge traffic, as residents of that section have no facilities for reaching this part of the city. The new line has four short curves on it, and if it is demonstrated that the cable system works well on the curves the cable will be laid at once to Fulton Ferry. It will probably be a month before the cable is at work upon the extension, owing to some alterations necessary.

    President Johnson, of the Cable Company, called on Bridge President Howell to-day and invited him to examine the new system. Mr. Howell told him he had already examined it, and was unstinted in his praise of the system. He assured Mr. Johnson that it was the best, and in fact, the only system that could be used on the bridge carriageways, and that when the time came for further increasing the facilities as proposed he would have the Park avenue system.

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    Kansas City Robbery

    From the Wichita Eagle / Thursday, June 9, 1887. Page 1.

    Systematic Robbery Discovered.

    Kansas City, June 8 -- It was learned tonight that a conspiracy existed between H. C. Gillson, a discharged gripman on the Kansas City cable railway and six conductors on the line, whereby the company has been robbed of over $1,000 in the past two months. The robbery was planned by Gillson who got the combination to the bell punches and fixed them up for the conductor. He then divided the stealings equally with the conductor. Gillson has fled but will be captured. The conductors were discharged by the company but no prosecutions will be brought against them.

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    Nuisance to Horses

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / June 22, 1887, Page 1.

    Attaching tin cans to the cable was a popular trick in San Francisco many years ago.


    An Effort to Have the Park Avenue Cable Pronounced a Nuisance.

    The Brooklyn Cable Company is not finding the citizens living along its route unanimous in its praise. Mr. Edwin Cole, a resident of Park avenue, considers it a nuisance and employed Lawyer John H. Kemble to have a jury determine the question in a suit at law. Mr. Kemble made a motion before Judge Van Wyck on Saturday to have the matter tried before a jury as a matter of right.

    Lawyer James C. Church, for the Cable Company, opposed the motion, and Judge Van Wyck intimated that it was a matter for the court to pass upon. Mr. Kemble then withdrew his motion, and will probably apply for an injunction restraining the Cable Companyfrom operating its road on the ground that it is a nuisance.

    The principal complaint against the cable is that the slot in which it is worked is just narrow enough to hold the cog of a horse's shoe and wrench it from the foot. The cable men say if they make the slow wide boys will tie tin cans to the cable and thereby make a dangerous nuisance.

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    Cable and Conduit Damage

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / June 23, 1887, Page 6.

    I guess they didn't count the death of Seth Low Fisher as a "serious mishap" since the company was not found liable.


    A Mishap on the Park Avenue Cable Road.

    The Error of a Green Hand Parts the Double Wire -- Slight Damage, But a Day's Return to Old Methods Necessitated.

    The cable road on Park avenue yesterday encountered its first serious mishap since it was put in operation, four months ago. A green hand clamped the grip down on a pulley and the momentum of the car tore the hook from the pulley. The car dragged along and ripped the hangers or hooks from a dozen or more pulleys. This was at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The cable was kept running until 6 o'clock, when it parted and finally broke. The latter accident was, in a measure, independent of the first, although the disabled pulleys probably hastened the breaking. The cable was hauled around around, through the duct and into the engine house until the part where the break had occurred was reached. A gang of men was sent out over the road to hunt for the shattered pulleys. It was at first reported that there were at least 100 of them, but the search reduced the actual number to less than twenty. The broken pulleys were taken out, the work requiring several hours. The task was rendered particularly difficult and disagreeable owing to the prevailing heavy rain. None of the pulleys was broken, the damage being confined to the hangars and hooks. The latter are worth 5 cents apiece and the damage on the score of cost was therefore quite insignificant. There were enough duplicate hangars and hooks on hand to take the places of those that had been broken and wrenched off.

    The work of repairing the cable was not begun until this morning. President Tom L. Johnson stated that the cable would be in running order again this afternoon and that the accident was only serious in that it involved the stopping of the cable and the substitution of horses as motive power for the cars. He gave an interesting explanation of the cause of the breaking of the cable, took the reporter all over the repair shops and showed him how the process of making the cable was being carried on.

    "The principal reason the cable broke," he said, "was this: It consists, as you see, of two cables made of wrapped and very ductile steel wire, riveted together at short intervals. This makes it, practically, a miniature ladder. When it was first made, in Cleveland, the workmen were new to our methods, and one cable may have been drawn a little more than the other. This caused the side that was most taut to curl up a trifle -- just enough for it to rub against the top of the iron plate enclosing it. Thus one side of the cable was gradually worn away so that one of more of the steel wires broke and the cable stuck up. We are well satisfied with the cable so far. This is not a serious accident, and we have been running four months. Three months is usually calculated as the average life of the first cable. We are satisfied that our system is all that is claimed for it. The loss on the cable is small -- only 35 cents per foot -- and we are splicing in a section of new cable about fifty feet in length. We have the machinery for making the cable right here in the shop; moved it from Cleveland, because we found that it would be cheaper to move the machinery than it would be to transport the cable. We have plenty of new cable on hand and are making it all the time, so as to have a duplicate ready for any emergency."

    Five men are constantly at work weaving the cable, with the aid of a ponderous and strange looking machine, forty feet ong. Already over a mile of new cable has been woven and is reeled on a wooden spool that will hold four miles when full.

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    GSPO Death

    From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Tuesday, June 23, 1887. Page 4.

    San Francisco and Vicinity.

    James Frazer, a boy, was mangled and killed by a Geary-street cable dummy Tuesday night.

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    Rope Break

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / June 24, 1887, Page 4.

    The Rope Broke

    People along Park avenue were forced to wait a long time before the wire rope snapped. During the twenty-four hours or so of suspension of cable traffic they will have the opportunity to return to their old love, the car horse, and compare the virtues of the two methods of movement. As the comparison can not be injurious to the cable system it is not a misfortune in any sense. In discussing interurban railway reform on June 5 the EAGLE mentioned one by one the advantages of cable over horse flesh as a motor power and also the disadvantages, among which the most conspicuous in other cities has been the slaughter of children. Nothing like this has happened in Brooklyn and now that the cable road is familiar to the public, no individual effort will be made to test its power to kill. This utter absence of mortality is due to the vigilance of the employees of the company, as well as to the prudence of the public. It calls for no little presence of mind and manual dexterity to keep the bit in the mouth of one of these grip cars. Sometimes the iron jaw under ground bites off more machinery than it can masticate and then there is a scattering of steel teeth. Owing to the opaqueness of stone pavement it is a matter of experience to grip the cable every time with easy decision of leverage power, and so long as the engineers spare the spinal cords of the passengers they will be forgiven for occasionally breaking the pliable vertebrate of the road itself.

    The Park avenue Company has certainly profited by the mistakes of antecedent ventures in cable transit, for this was their first accident. No one was hurt and the damage was financially unimportant. These steel strands can be spliced as securely and durably as the threads of a ruptured rope. The gripping apparatus is very simple of construction and is attached to the car in such a manner that a collision so violent as to separate one from the other would occasion the passengers only the momentary discomfort of a sudden jar. The car cannot be derailed, and under the most distressing circumstances it will be either the grip or the cable that will give way and not the wheels. In hot weather passengers on the cable road may take these changes with equanimity, for they will suffer no delay from the watering or sudden faintness of horses, from any interference by the force of gravitation on steep grades, or from blockades. It is gratifying to note with what prompt courtesy ugly tempered truck drivers and the like yield the right of way to a train of cable cars.

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    Labor Unrest

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / July 6, 1887, Page 4.

    The Knights of Labor were an early attempt at forming an all-inclusive labor organization.


    But There Will be No Tie Up Until President Johnson Returns.

    At the regular weekly meeting of District Assembly 75, Knights of Labor, last night, a complaint was received from the employees of the Park avenue Cable Road setting forth that there are nineteen “runs” on the line, ten of which are “straight,” paying $2 a day, three are “swings” at $2 a day, consisting of about seventeen hours, and six :trippers” at; $1.50 a day. The regular men declare that they have no time at the termini to leave their cars as the return trips begin immediately. Tow boys, it was declared, worked twenty hours one day and sixteen the next. Special complaints were made against Starter George Wohler, who had been promoted from a car, and had made himself very obnoxious to the men, assuming to be superintendent, inspector and detective in addition to his regular position.

    President Tom L. Johnson and his brother Albert, who manage the road, are in Indianapolis, but will get back to-morrow night. When they will be seen by the representatives of the men. Mr. F. H. David, a young man who says he is in charge of the road during their absence, said to-day:

    ”I am unable to alter the time table or make any changes; but Mr. Johnson will undoubtedly correct any grievances as soon as he returns. The table only a temporary one that has been in operation two weeks and was not meant to be permanent.

    ”The regular men all have four minutes on each end of the road when they are on time. If they do not run on time it is their own fault. None of the tow boys works over fourteen hours, and the longest swing is within fourteen and a half hours, The travel is so poor over the line, and nearly all at the extreme hours of the day on account of the neighborhood it passes through, that the table is hard to improve upon.”

    The committee called this afternoon without effecting anything, and will call again on Saturday, when they will see the president. Assemblyman Graham says there will be no tie up.

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    Richardson Rooked

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Saturday, July 20, 1887. Page 4.

    Albert Barnes describes a "disorderly walk" as "conduct that is in any way contrary to the rules of Christ." The event alluded to here involved laying tracks on a Sunday.


    Mr. Richardson Will Examine the Facts.

    It Looks Very Much as Though a Rival Road Has Triumphed Over the Gentleman Who is Not a Deacon

    The friends of Mr. William Richardson, who is not a deacon, will regret to hear that his hair is now whiter than ever. Not that this spoils his appearance by any means. He is still the handsomest of Brooklyn patriarchs. After a lifetime devoted to triumphing over evildoers the ungodly have prevailed against him. The thunder of the chariots and the shoutings of the captains have sounded in his ears and he has been forced to flee from the battle, while the wicked have pursued him with a sharp stick. The Broadway Railroad has mocked him to scorn, the Common Counsel (sic -- JT) has fed him upon husks of franchise, the courts have risen up against him and smitten him hip and thigh and the cousel of the righteous have not prevailed. There is no psalm that exactly describes the case of President Richardson, who so recently slipped up in the race for a deaconship, by reason of a piece of youthful exuberance denominated a "disorderly walk," so it will have to be told in ordinary prose, however inadequate that vehicle may be for use in such a matter.

    After assuring himself that he could get a franchise for Central avenue from the Board of Aldermen of Brooklyn, Mr. Richardson made terms with the recently organized Brooklyn Cable Company of which the president was Mr. Thomas L. Johnson and the treasurer Mr. A. J. Dupont, by which he was to give the cable company franchises that would enable them to operate a cable system from Fulton Ferry along Water to Washington to Concord to Navy street to Park avenue to Broadway to Central avenue to Evergreens Cemetery. Part of these franchises Mr. Richardson possessed already, but the franchise for Central avenue he had to get. He has failed to get Central avenue, the courts have rendered two decisions against him and in favor of the Broadway Railroad Company, and he has not, therefore, complied with the terms of his contract with the cable company. More than that, there is no change that he will be able to comply with the terms of that contract, and the lease of ninety-one years which he gave over his tracks to from Fulton Ferry to Broadway served the purpose of tying his hands and leaving the cable company free to despoil him. All this was related in Saturday’s EAGLE. But there was a point not then disclosed, but which is the very sharpest thorn of all. Mr. Richardson gave this valuable lease on condition that it should be used for a cable road, from the operation of which he was to receive 14 per cent. of the gross receipts. No money was paid to him and none is to be paid until he enables the cable road to run over the routes designated to Evergreens Cemetery. The cable road was operated on Park Avenue and was to be extended down to Fulton Ferry and along Central avenue as soon as Mr. Richardson got possession of the latter thoroughfare. Being quite satisfied that he will not be able to do this the Brooklyn Cable Company have sold their cars back to Stephenson, the maker, and their engines and cable apparatus to other firms. That was all right, but they did not stop there. They sold the lease of Mr. Richardson’s tracks, for which they had paid nothing at all to his great South Brooklyn rival, General Slocum, of the Crosstown Railroad Company, for $150,000. The Crosstown Railroad has at last secured the communication with the bridge and Fulton Ferry, from which Mr. Richardson shut them off for so many years, for the depraved jigger cars which utilize his tracks to get to the ferry are now transferring passengers to the regular crosstown lline on Park avenue. From this transfer office the new crosstown line goes up Park avenue to Throop to Union avenue to Greenpoint through a well settled and good paying district. And unless he buys Central avenue from the Broadway Company the Cross Town Railroad will have the use of his tracks from Fulton Ferry to the corner of Park and Throop avenues for ninety-one years without any remuneration, which is thought to make all thoughtful people sad. When asked today whether he had not been the victim of a sharp trick, Mr. Richardson said: "I have not examined the facts and will not say anything yet. I don’t know what there in in the transaction. I will do nothing rash."

    To add insult to injury the Cable Company talks seriously of beginning suit against Mr. Richardson for $50,000 for breach of contract.

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    Cincinnati: Mount Auburn Coming Soon

    From the Springfield Daily Republic. (Springfield, Ohio) / Saturday, August 27, 1887.

    Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway would be the third Hallidie-type system to open in the city.

    The Mt. Auburn cable is expected to be ready for operation from Fourth street, Cincinnati, to Mt. Auburn within a month.

    Casebolt Overhead Cable Road/1

    From the Daily Alta California / Monday, September 26, 1887.

    "H Casebolt's Elevated Railroad" was ultimately an unsuccessful experiment.


    The Casebolt Overhead Cable Road, in operation at Blair's Park, is returning good results. The grip takes the cable without any strain, and there is noticed no jerk in taking up or releasing the power. It is estimated that the Casebolt cable road can be built at one eighth the outlay for an underground cable, or at a saving of 87 1/2 per cent in the cost of construction, while the cost of operation is considerably less. It is claimed that this system is practicable, to the best advantage in small towns or suburban localities, where the expense of an underground cable would not be warranted.

    Cincinnati Accident

    From the Maysville Kentucky Daily Evening Bulletin / Tuesday, October 4, 1887.

    An account of a serious accident on Cincinnati's Mount Adams & Eden Park Inclined Railway and a less serious mishap on the Vine Street line.


    Several People Injured by a Run-Away Car in Cincinnati.

    Cincinnati, Oct 4. Two cable car accidents occurred Sunday evening; one at Sixth and Walnut, at 6:45, and the other at Fifth and Sycamore, seven minutes later. The travel was very heavy, and the cars ran close together. At the Northern depot, car 64 could not be stopped, a strand of the cable having twisted about the grip. The car, was crowded with passengers, most of whom jumped off. Just in front of the Galt house, on Sixth and Main, the runaway caught up with car No. 93, pushed it around the curve on Walnut street, and crushed into a train of two cars, the rear car of which was derailed. The grip on the run-away broke close to the car bottom, but the flying piece of the grip caught car 92, just ahead, and pushed it forward. This in turn pushed car 64. The two cars went flying down Walnut street, and just missed running iuto a Clark street horse car at Fifth and Walnut

    The runaway cars rushed around the corner at Fifth and Walnut and half way down custom house square ran into another car, smashing it. At Fifth and Sycamore the new Mt. Auburn road crosses, and excavations several feet deep have been made for the cable. Cable car No. 87 and an Eden park car were on the street between Main and Sycamore. The cars were filled with women and children. The driver of the Eden park car saw his danger and tried to pass the excavation, but just as it was reached the runaway cable cars struck the Eden park car. The horses were thrown into the excavation on one side and the car was dumped on the other side. Many of the passengers were bruised and one of the horses was killed. the greatest excitement prevailed. Women shrieked and children cried. Lewis Kolb, proprietor of the cigar stand at the Emery hotel, was taken to his home badly injured; the ankle of Mrs. Brockheimer, of Greenup street, Covington, was dislocated. Several women were carried into Keeshan's drug store at Sixth and Walnut but were more frightened than hurt. The police patrol wagons were all on hand. The loss to the company will amount to several hundred dollars.

    A Small Boy Stops the Cable Cars.

    Cincinnati, Oct. 4. A small boy stopped the Vine street cable Sunday. He was playing near the driving station, Corryville, and to see how the blamed thing would act threw a block of wood into the machinery. The block of wood was ground into splinters, a cable was thrown from the drum and two cog wheels wore smashed. The boy disappeared. Severel car loads of passengers at different points along the route sworeo for two hours and then walked home. The cable will be repaired in two or three days.

    President Cleveland Nearly Hit by KC Cable Car/1

    From the Rock Island Daily Argus / Wednesday, October 13, 1887. Page 1.


    A Cable-Car Collision in View of the President -- Several People Hurt.

    Kansas City, Oct. l3 -- Just before the presidential party reached the hotel here Wednesday night an accident occurred by which several persons in the crowd were injured. A defect in the cable caused a coliision between two cars on the street railway, and pushed the cars into the crowd. The carriage containing the president and Mrs Cleveland had crossed the track and was about twenty-five feet away. Had the accident occurred a moment sooner the carriage would have been in the midst of the panic-stricken crowd, if not in a more dangerous position on the track. The persons injured by the pushing of the cars into the crowd so far as learned are: H. C. Harding, both legs mangled and may require amputation; James Johnson, colored, of Lawrence, right leg crushed, will probably require amputation; H D. Wilson, private in the Independent Guards, head badly cut; F. W. Alger, right leg bruised.

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    President Cleveland Nearly Hit by KC Cable Car/2

    From the Washington Critic / Wednesday, October 13, 1887. Page 1.


    The President and His Wife Have a Narrow Escape.

    Kansas City, Oct. l3 -- Whlle last night's procession was crossing Ninth street on Broadway, as tbe Presidential carriage Jolted over the rallroal track, the light of a cable car was sighted coming down the incline on Ninth street. Somebody gave a cry of warning. Not a minute after the carriage was safely across the track and in another instant the grip car of a cable train dashed wildly down the narrow pathway and plunged into a dense crowd of several hundred people who had closed in behind the President's carriage.

    The pollce escort accompanying the Presidential party had just crossed the track and Ihe President aud Mrs Cleveland were not more than fifty yards away when the accident occurred. The screams of the injured and the infurated yells of the bystanders attracted the President's attention, and he raised himself up on his arm and looked back over his shoulder, quite a little distrubed, and Mrs Cleveland leaned forward, questioning the President concerning the difficulty. She was evidently agitated, and showed how deeply she was disturbed by the painful look on her face. During the remainder of the drive neither the President nor Mrs. Cleveland could take much interest in the demonstrations in their honor.

    H. C. Harding, a young man residing on Grand Avenue, was the worst victim of the accident: both his legs were lacerated in a frightful manner and the left leg was badly fractured below the knee; the flesh was torn from the calf of the right leg and it is a question whether the leg can be saved. As soon as the crowd could be cleared away he was taken on a stretcher into the Fort Scott and Gulf Office building, where his wounds were dressed. The other victims of the accident, so far as can be ascertained, were James Johnson (colored), left foot crushed off, right leg lacerated; H. D. Wilson, Independence, cut about face and hurt in the back; F. W. Alger, Kansas City, right leg injured. The President and Mrs Cleveland were very much pained over the accident.

    After a drive about the city and through the Exposition grounds the President returned to lay the corner-stone of the new Y. M. C. A. building. The President paid the Y. M. C. A. a glowing tribute. Among other things he said:

    "In tbe busy activities of our daily life we are apt to neglect Instrumentalites which are quietly but effectually doing most important service tn molding our national character. Among these, and challenging but little notice compared with their valuable results, are the Young Men's Christian Asssociations scattered throughout our country."

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    Casebolt Overhead Cable Road/2

    From the Daily Alta California / Saturday, October 15, 1887.

    The system demonstrated by "H Casebolt's Elevated Railroad" was never used anywhere else.

    THE EASTERN SHORE/Casebolt's Overhead Railway.

    Casebolt's overhead cable for drawing street cars, which has been in operation near Piedmont, is, in the estimation of the patentees and others who have inspected it, a demonstrated success. The first objection which strikes the observer -- the posts supporting the cable -- is to be obviated by placing the poles at the side of the streets or by utilizing the telegraph poles by constructing arches of angles iron at an elevation of sixteen feet to carry the cable. Mr. Casebolt is at present figuring upon placing the cable in operation upon a road to be built from the end of the East Berkeley local line up the foothills.

    Kansas City Postmen Catch a Break

    From the White Earth Progress / Saturday, November 19, 1887. Page 2.

    from Epitome of the Week..



    THE Kansas City Cable Railway Company on the 7th voluntarily made a rule allowing mail-carriers free passes on the road while on duty.

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    The Omnibus Cable Company.

    From the Daily Alta California, Thursday, December 1, 1887. Page 2.

    The Omnibus Cable Company.

    Articles of incorporation of the Omnibus Cable Company were filed with the County Clerk yesterday. The capital stock is $2,000,000. of which $30,000 is subscribed. The directors are Walter E. Sell, George Lowenberg, Charles Sutro, Reuben H. Lloyd and Wm. S. Wood. The purpose of the company is to operate a street railroad by the cable system, to commence at the corner of Howard and East, and running thence along Howard street to Army street; also, commencing on Townsend and Fourth streets, running along Townsend to Third, to Market, to Montgomery, and to North Beach by the same route now followed by the old omnibus company.

    It is the intention of the new corporation to run cable cars over all their old routes, as well as the several routes for which they hold franchises. These latter include lines from the ferry to the park, from Market street to the Potrero, and from Howard and Twenty-fourth streets to the San Bruno road. Altogether the lines now in operation and the branches owned by the omnibus company aggregate thirty miles in length.

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    Kansas City Elevated Accident Damages

    From the Chariton Courier / Thursday, December 8, 1887. Page 2.

    Charles Carroll of Sedalia, Mo., was awarded $3,250 damages against the Kansas City Elevated road for injuries sustained to him in being knocked off a car about one year ago.

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    Ferries and Cliff House Incorporated

    From the Daily Alta California / Friday, December 16, 1887. Page 2.

    Ferries and Cliff House.

    Articles of incorporation of the Ferries and Cliff House Railway Company were filed yesterday with the County Clerk. The routes over which the company expect to build are as follows :

    First -- From the intersection of Powell and Market streets to the junction of Taylor and Jefferson streets.

    Second -- Commencing at the intersection of Bay and Taylor streets, along Bay to Powell, to Jefferson, to Taylor and back to the intersection of Bay street.

    Third -- From the city front on East street to the intersection of California and Central avenues.

    Fourth -- From the intersection of California and Central avenue to the intersection of Forty-eighth avenue and Point Lobos road.

    Fifth -- From the intersection of California and Seventh avenue connecting with the California-street line, alone the line of Seventh avenue to Golden Gate Park, thence, returning to California street.

    Sixth -- From the intersection of Clay and Kearney streets along Clay to Van Ness avenue, and continuing to Forty-eighth along Clay street.

    The estimated length of all the lines is twenty-five miles. The capital stock is $2,500,000 The directors are William J. Adams, John Bullard, William H. Martin, Thomas Magee and Henry H. Lynch.

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    Chicago -- Patent Lawsuit

    From the Sacramento Daily Record-Union / Wednesday, December 21, 1887. Page 1.

    Cable railway engineer Henry Root sued the North Chicago Street Railroad for infringing on one of his patents. I don't know if "K. C. S. Yerkes" was meant to be Charles T Yerkes, or one of his relatives.

    A Californian's Suit.

    CHICAGO, December 20th. -- In the Federal Court here today Henry Root, of San Francisco, filed a bill against the North Chicago Street Railroad Company, claiming that the company is using an invention of his without authority and without offering any compensation. The invention is a street car cable track. Root seeks to have the company and its President, K. C. S. Yerkes, restrained by an injunction.

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    Powell Street Road Deeded to Ferries and Cliff House

    From the Daily Alta California / Friday, January 6, 1888. Page 1.

    The Powell-Street Road.

    A deed was filed in the Recorder's office yesterday afternoon by the Powell-street Railway Company, in which they deed all their property, franchises and rights to the Ferries and Cliff House Railway Company, in trust for the payment of $700,000 worth of bonds issued by the company. The amount of consideration is $5. The Ferries and Cliff House Railway Company has also filed a deed of trust and mortgage to Thomas Brown and J. A. Jarboe, trustees of the bonds before mentioned, and to the Powell-street Railway Company, to secure the payment of the bonds.

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    Ferries and Cliff House Real Estate Transactions

    From the Daily Alta California / Friday, January 6, 1888. Page 7.


    Powell-street Railway Company to Ferries and Cliff House Railway Company, lot 137.6x137.6, on NW cor of Washington and Mason, and franchises, privileges and rolling stock, $5.


    Ferries and Cliff House Railway Co to John R Jarboe et al, trustees. franchise, rolling stock, etc. assumes the bonds of the Powell-st Railwuy Co to the amount ot $700,000.

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    Kansas City Incline Accident

    From the Bismarck Weekly Tribune / Friday, February 10, 1888. Page 8.


    Cable car On the Kansas City Line Becomes Unmanageable On a Steep Grade.

    After Running 450 Feet it Collides With Other Cars With Fatal Results.

    Several Injured.

    KANSAS CITY, Feb. 8. -- Just as a train on the Kansas City cable railway was rounding the top of the steep viaduct leading from the union depot to the summit of the bluff at Ninth street at 8:20 o'clock p. m., the shank, or that portion of the apparatus which passes down into the slot and connects the lever with the grip, broke and in a second the train, consisting of one grip car and one passenger coach, was whirling down the incline at a frightful rate of speed. At the bottom of the incline at the elevated station where cars are switched for the return trip stood another train just about to start up the hill after its predecessor. Fifty feet further back was still another train empty. Although the first train ran down 450 feet, it stayed on the track and at the bottom of the grade the passenger coach struck the grip car of the stationary train, almost demolishing it and hurling the passenger coach back to the third car, wrecking it badly. Those in the train standing still saw the car which had slipped come flying down the grade and managed to get out of the way before the crash occurred. Ward Russell, an employe of the road, was caught between the bumpers of the middle train and fatally mangled. The other persons who were injured were all passengers and the most of them were on the train which become unmanageable. It is thought none are fatally injured.

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    Kansas City Incline Accident

    From the Marysville Evening Bulletin / Friday, February 10, 1888. Page 1.


    A Cable Road Accident In Which Several Are Injured.

    Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 10. -- About 9 o'clock last night as a train on the Kansas City Cable railway was going up the incline from the Union depot, the grip broke. The man in chargo applied the brakes as soon and as vigorously as possible, but they failed to work, and the train with its cargo of human freight dashed madly down the incline, where it collided with a stationary train which had just been filled with passengers. No one was killed outright, but three persons are believed to have been fatally Injured by the accident, to-wit:
    Woods Russell Hill, brakoman on tho train, was crushed botween the cars and sustained fatal injuries.
    Al Sharp, of Quincy, a conductor on the Hannibal & St Joseph railway, probably fatally injured.
    H. F. Gude, gripman on the stationary train, had a thigh broken and was badly crushed; will probably die.

    The others injured are:
    ____ Boffman, brakeman, right arm broken.
    J. A. Carter, of Marion, Kansas, ankle sprained.
    T. H. Hill, head bruised.
    J. D. Peters, of Emporia, Kan., bruised and internal injuries.
    Peter Straborg, traveling man, ankle sprained.
    Mr. Foster, cut in about tho head.

    Both trains wore crowded, and the escape of the passengers is almost miraculous.

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    Kansas City Patent Issue

    From the Omaha Daily Bee / Sunday, February 19, 1888. Page 6.


    An Important Decision Rendered on the Rights of Cable Railways.

    KANSAS CITV , Mo, Feb. 18. -- [Special Telegram to the BEE] -- The Kansas City Cable railway company scored to-day the first point in the contest regarding cable patents in which it is now engaged with the Metropolitan Cable railway people. Judge Gill, in the circuit court, rendered a decision agreeing to fix the compensation for the use of the patent. On January 6 the common council amended the Highland avenue franchise it has granted to the Metropolitan people in such a manner as to allow all the other cable companies thereafter to be constructed in Kansas City the right to the use of all the patents controlled by the Metropolitan company on payment of reasonable compensation and if no compensation could be agreed upon it should be fixed by the judge of one of the criminal courts of Jackson county. After the Kansas City Cable company had acecpted the franchise of the Washington street extension to its system the Metropolitan company notified the city that it would not accept the Highland avenue franchise and forfeited its deposit of $10,000 in order to prevent the Kansas City Cable company from using its patents. The latter corporation contended that the mere non-acceptance of the franchise did not constitute a forfeiture and after attempting to arrive at an agreement with the Metropolitan company petitioned Judge Gill to fix the compensation as provided in section 27 of the ordinance. In concluding his decision Judge Gill says: "I shall, therefore, hear evidence as to the value of these patents and fix the compensation. After the hearing of the evidence and the fixing of the compensation and the refusal of the Metropolitan company to receive the same it is then optional with the city whether it institute proceedings for the forfeiture of the contract. " The decision is a highly important one, both as regards the cable patents and the authority of a city council.

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    Ferries and Cliff House New Cable

    From the Daily Alta California / Saturday, March 24, 1888. Page 2.

    Another Cable.

    The cable of the second or North Beach and Market-street division of the Ferries and Cliff House Railway system, 19,000 feet long, was successfully, laid yesterday morning. The work was begun at 4 o'clock in the morning, and it was not until 10 o'clock that it was completed. No less than fourteen dips had to be made in laying the cables, viz : Two at California street, two at Sutter, two at Geary, two at Clay, two at Union, two at each turn-table, one at Washington and PowelL and one at Jackson and Mason. It is expected that trial cars will be run over the road to-day.

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    They Must Move.

    From the Daily Alta California, Wednesday, April 4, 1888. Page 1.

    They Must Move.

    The families residing on the north side of Howard street, near Tenth, in the buildings numbering 1400 to 1414 inclusive, have been given thirty days' notice to move. The reason assigned is that the Howard-street Cable Company have bought the property and are desirous of building their engine-house on that ground. The location is exactly in the center of the proposed cable line.

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    New Cable Lines

    From the Daily Alta California, Saturday, April 7, 1888. Page 1.


    Work on the Howard-Street Road to be Commenced at Once.

    Tbe Omnibus Railroad Company is soon to add two new cable lines to the large number now in operation in the city. May 1st next has been fixed as the time for breaking ground on the Howard-street line, which has been projected for a long time. This line will run from the ferries to the corner of Howard and Twenty-sixth streets. At the same time, it is planned to break ground for a new line for which franchises were secured some time ago. Beginning at the junction of Tenth and Howard streets, a cable road will be built through Tenth street, across Market street to Oak street, and thence out Oak to the Park and baseball grounds. These cable lines will be begun simultaneously and it is expected to finish them in about a year from the time ground is first broken.

    The Company also intends in time to make its line from North Beach to Towsend streets also a cable, but nothing will be done in that direction at present. It has, however, been decided to run a line out Market, Post and Ellis streets. Beginning at the ferry, it will rnn as a horse-car line up Market street to Post street. There tho horse-cars will connect with a cable road, which will run out Post street to Leavenworth, on Leavenworth to Ellis, out Ellis to Broderick, and on Broderick to Oak street, joining the Oak-street branch of the Company and cars running thence to the Park and baseball grounds. It is expected that work on this line will be commenced some time in 1889.

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    Cincinnati Cable Traction

    From the Perrysburg Journal. (Perrysburg, Ohio) / Friday, April 13, 1888.

    This article surveys the various Hallidie-type cable car lines in Cincinnati.


    Furnished to the Hand of tho Visitor to Cincinnati.
    Cable Roads Traversing the Queen City in Several Directions Towards Points of Attraction.

    In the matter of rapid transit there are now in successful operation in Cincinnati three well-equipped cable railways -- the Vine-street Cable Railway, with the Fountain Square and Clifton for its termini; the Walnut Hills Cable Railway, with Fountain Square and East Walnut Hills as the termini, and the Mt. Auburn Cable Railway, extending from Fourth street out Sycamore to Avondale. Tbe main features of this system of public conveyance are a power station, with capacity sufficient to accommodate any amount ot travel; an endless cable, going and coming, located midway between the rails of each track, and in a ditch sunk below, through which is constructed an iron conduit with pulleys, wheels and other such friction diminishing devices. Upon tbe front end of the car is a lever connecting with a clutch or "grip," which drops from the car to the cable travellng below. By tightening and loosening this clutch the car is carried along with the cable or motion stopped. The expenses of this system over horse-power are considerably less, and it is evident that they will continue to decrease in proportion as its management and economy become more and more understood and the defects which may exist are remedied.

    Casebolt Overhead Cable Road/3

    From the Daily Alta California / Saturday, May 19, 1888.

    Henry Casebolt tried to sell his "Elevated Railroad" system to suburban communities.


    On Saturday, August 4th, the people of San Mateo county will meet at Germania Hall, Redwood City, and there discuss with Henry Casebolt of this city the building of an elevated cable street-railway between Menlo Park and Redwood City.

    Ferries and Cliff House Another New Cable

    From the Daily Alta California / Monday, May 21, 1888. Page 1.

    Tbe New Cable.

    The new cable to take the place of the wornout rope on the Powell street branch of the Ferries and Cliff House Railway was hauled up to the engine-house by thirty-two horses Saturday. The new cable is made of softer wire than the first cable and it will probably stand the wear and tear of the curves better.

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    Casebolt Overhead Cable Road/4

    From the Daily Alta California / Thursday, June 7, 1888.

    Henry Casebolt tried to sell his "Elevated Railroad" system to suburban communities.

    Patents for Califonians.

    Washington, June 6th.-- Patents were issued to Californians to-day as follows : Citizens of San Francisco-- William B. Sargent, necktie-fastener; James O'Donnell, rotary valve ; Oswald Seifert, rotary pump ; Henry Caseboldt (sic - JT),, elevated cable and car propeller; Ed. K. Moris, easel. Citizens of other places -- Denis O'Leary, grindstone-hanger; Prentice S. Elby, Oakland, cartridge-loading machine; John K. Martin, Oroville, hydraulic pump.

    Betting on the Election

    From the The Hocking Sentinel, (Logan, Ohio) / Thursday, November 15, 1888.

    In the 1888 presidential election, Grover Cleveland defeated Benjamin Harrison to become the first Democrat to be elected President since James Buchanan in 1856. I wonder if Hines had to fulfil his bet.

    Cincinnati's Vine Street Cable Railway operated from 1888 to 1898.

    excerpt from SOME FUNNY BETS.

    Quite a novel bet was made between Benjamin Sauftleben and T. E. Hines, conductors on Vine street cable road, Cincinnati. Hines will eat a young St. Bernard pup. This feat is to take place at Hartmann's, on Vine street, opposite Vine Street Cable Driving, as soon as the election is settled.

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    Twenty-Fourth-Street Cable

    From the Daily Alta California, Friday, November 16, 1888. Page 2.

    Twenty-fourth street Cable.

    The branch of the Howard-street cable system on Twenty-fourth street will be in operation next Wednesday. The Potrero-avenue Improvement Club will celebrate the occasion with a banquet in Maennerfond Hall. Cars on the new branch line will run for the present from Potrero avenue to Howard street, where passengers will be transferred to the main line. Cars will run direct to the ferry as soon as the Howard-street cable is laid, and will connect with the Park branch. A horse-car line is contemplated in connection with the cable system running along Potrero avenue to Tenth and thence to Howard.

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    Slot Brake

    From the Sausalito News / Friday, December 7, 1888. Page 3.

    from Brieflets

    The new safety slot brake on the Powell Street Railroad in San Francisco has proved a perfect success, and has been applied to all cars on the road. It has been found to effectually prevent a car getting away on the steepest grades. This is the only cable road in the city which has adopted this style of brake.

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    Omnibus Cable System

    From the Daily Alta California, Wednesday, May 29, 1889. Page 8.


    Tbe Howard-Street Line to be Beady for Travel In August.

    The new cars for the almost completed Omnibus cable system have been received. They cost $2000 each. An engine house at Tenth and Howard, and another at Oak and Broderick, are in course of erection. The former will cost $200,000 and contain a pair of 500-horse-power engines, costing $175,000. When finished the new system will be twelve miles long and will have cost $2,000,000

    The Howard street-line will be open for travel in August. The Oak-street route, with the exception of the Stanyan-street terminus, will soon be ready for use. A franchise has been asked from the Supervisors for a road to begin at the corner of Leavenworth and Eddy, thence to Hyde, thence to Ellis, thence to Broderick, to Oak, to Stanyan, and when this privilege has been obtained the work will be commenced. One also to South San Francisco has been asked for, but is in abeyance. The routes of the new lines will be as follows: The crosstown line will run from Tenth and Howard streets to Larkin, Park avenue, to Post street, to Market, and thence by horse-cars to the ferry.

    The Oak-street line will run without change of cars from the ferry to the Park.

    The Howard-street line will run from the ferry, along East street, to Howard, to Twenty-sixth.

    The Twenty-fourth-street and Potrero avenue line will run from Twenty-fourth street and Portrero avenue along Twenty-fourth street, to Howard, to East, to Oakland ferry without changing cars.

    Mission passengers for the Park will be transferred at Tenth street to the Oak street cars. North Beach passengers for the Park will take the Third and Montgomery-street horse-cars and be transferred at Post and Market.

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    The Post-Street Cable

    From the Daily Alta California, Wednesday, July 10, 1889. Page 8.

    The Post-Street Cable.

    Work was begun at the corner of Post and Market streets yesterday, for the turntable for the Omnibus Railroad Company's cable line, and it is stated the line will be in operation in six weeks. It will go direct to Golden Gate Park via Post to Leavenworth, to Ellis, to Broderick and the Park. It will make connection with the branch that passes the new City Hall and the Pavilion, enabling passengers to take the car at Post and Market and transfer either to the line running to Howard or out Oak street.

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    Vine Street Accident

    From the St. Paul Daily Globe / Monday, July 15, 1889.

    Cincinnati's Vine Street Cable Railway operated from 1888 to 1898.


    A Peculiar Accident Results From Carelessness.

    Cincinnati, O., July 14. -- At 3:25 this afternoon cable cars No. 307 and 319 of the Vine street cable were going northward heavily loaded, every seat being taken. When the cars reached the power house the gripman left the cars and Conductor Goodman took his place. After leaving the power house the speed was increased, it being down grade. The grip loosened and the cable dropped. The momentum increased every moment by the grade and heavy load until a speed of eighteen miles an hour was reached. When Eichler's garden, a pleasure resort, was reached, a passenger requested the conductor to stop the cars. In an instant the brake chain broke and fell on the rapidly revolving front axle. Becoming fastened to it, the flooring of the car was knocked out and a panic ensued, everybody yelling to jump, which the passengers did, and were tossed in every direction, stunned and dazed. After the cars were stopped, it was learned that the following were killed and injured: Killed -- Mrs. William Telgate, of 612 Race street, neck broken and skull fractured. Injured-- Mrs. S. Keller, 485 Walnut street, severe contusions about head and body; Thomas F. Conbey, Newport, Ky., left arm broken, cut on chin and contusion; unknown young woman, eye gouged out and bruises on head and body.

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    Howard-Street Cable

    From the Daily Alta California, Tuesday, August 6, 1889. Page 1.

    Howard-Street Cable.

    By Thursday of next week it is expected that the lines ot the Omnibus Cable Company on Howard and other streets will be in operation. A large force of men are at work closing up the gap on Post street and completing the road from the engine house on Howard street to the Twenty-sixth street terminus. The eastern part of the cable, stretching from the engine house to the water front, will be placed next Saturday night. The equipment for the road will be ready when needed.

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    The Howard-Street Cable

    From the Daily Alta California, Wednesday, August 21, 1889. Page 2.

    The Howard-Street Cable.

    It is expected that the Howard-street cable of the Omnibus system will be in operation by the 1st of September. The Eastern end of the cable has been put in.

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    The Omnibus Cable Line

    From the Daily Alta California, Tuesday, August 27, 1889. Page 8.


    The Howard Street Section of tbe System in Successful Operation.

    Yesterday morning the new cable-cars of the Omnibus Cable Railway Company's Howard-street system were run on that thoroughfare from the ferries to Twenty-sixth street, and the smooth working of the cars and roadway proved highly satisfactory to the officers in charge.

    The first car selected from the ninety now in the company's building on Howard and Tenth streets was No. 30, and the first trip to the ferries was made without a hitch, Superintendent M. M. Martin manipulating the grip in person.

    There were also present President Gustav Sutro, Assistant Superintendents Morrison and Richards, G. W. Douglass, Chief Engineer of Construction; Chief Engineer Fairchild of the Motive Department; J. C. H. Stut, Head Draughtsman; A. L. Anderson, the Civil Engineer; M. D. Stein, son of Vice-President Stein; Directors Eugene Le Roy and A. Hull and others.

    After the first car had been successfully started the others were run by the experienced gripmen. No accident of any kind occurred. The passage of the cable cars along Howard street brought out a line of spectators from Twenty-sixth street to the ferries.

    The cables were not run to their full speed, which, west of Tenth street, is eight miles an hour (the maximum allowed by law) and east of Tenth street seven and a half miles an hour.

    The company expect to displace the horse cars by the end of the present week. Twenty-two additional cars are expected to be received by that time, making the present complement 112.

    The other five divisions of the Omnibus Company's extensive system are nearing completion, and as soon as possible will be in operation. Transfers are to be given at every crossing of any of the divisions of the road, so that passengers can reach any quarter of the city for one fare.

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    Peoples' Cable Railway Seized by Sheriff

    From the Sedalia Weekly Bazoo / Tuesday, September 24, 1889. Page 3.

    A Cable Road Seized by the Sheriff.

    Kansas City, Mo., Sep. 18 -- At 9:30 o'clock to night the engine of the People's Cable Railway, at Tenth street and Euclid avenue, was seized by the Sheriff under a writ of replevin sued out by Hoover & Co of Hamilton, O., to secure a debt of $4,000 owned by the cable railway company on a Hamilton Corliss engine purchased a year ago at the cost of $7,000. The engine was stopped and as the company refused to call its cars in they were left standing along the line of the road, where they will remain until the case is disposed of. The company claims that the only recourse of Hoover & Co. was in a plain suit on account, as the time for filling (filing? - JT) a lien had expired. The suit was brought at this time, as the road will to-morrow be turned over to the bondholders, who will pay off the indebtedness or $110,000. It is said that the People's company will not only resist the claim of Hoover & Co, but will sue the Sheriff on his bond for damages.

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    Peoples' Cable Railway Back in Business

    From the Ste-Geneviève, Missouri Fair Play / Saturday, September 28, 1889. Page 1.

    Resumed Operations.

    The People's Cable railway of Kansas City, the engine of which was stopped by the sheriff, who took possession of it on a writ of replevin sued out by Hoover & Co., of Hamilton, O., the manufacturers, to secure a debt of $4,000, has resumed operations again. Before doing so, however, the People's company gave a bond to produce the engine when the case is called for trial. The road had remained idle twenty-two hours, and it might not be running now if it were not for a clause in its charter which renders it liable to forfeiture if the cars are stopped for twenty-four hours. The directors met in Chicago nnd ratified a resolution passed by the stockholders September 7, by which they turn the road over to the bondholders of Chicago and Cincinnati, who will assume the indebtedness of $llO,OOO. Several chunges in the officers of the road will be made. The officials of the People's company persist in their statement that they will sue Hoover & Co. for damage.

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    Elevated Bankruptcy

    From the Stanford, Kentucky Semi-Weekly Interior Journal / Tuesday, October 8, 1889. Page 2.


    The Kansas City elevated railroad has failed for a million of dollars.

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    Post-street Cable

    From the Daily Alta California, Friday, October 11, 1889. Page 1.

    Post-street Cable.

    Tbe machinery ot the Post-street branch of the Omnibus cable system was started up yesterday and a car sent over the road. This branch starts from the corner of Montgomery and Market streets, the turn-table being in the latter street alongside of the Hibernia Bank. Thence it runs aiong Post to Leavenwortb, down the latter street and across McAllister into Park avenue, across Larkin into Grove, to Polk, to Market, across the latter thoroughfare at Fell street into Tenth, and thence to Howard street. The length of the cable used in this line is 21,950 feet. It is the expectation of the railroad company to have cars in operation on this branch in a few days, as the machinery yesterday all worked smoothly. The line in question belongs to the southern branch of the system, and will be worked by the engines in the house on Howard and Tenth streets.

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    Cincinnati Incline Accident

    From the The Salt Lake Herald / Wednesday, October 16, 1889.

    Cincinnati's Mount Auburn incline sufferred a terrible accident.


    On the Mt Auburn Cable Incline At Cincinnati.

    CINCINNATI, Oct. 15 -- The most appalling accident ever known on incline plane railways in this city happened today about 12 or 1 o'clock on the Mount Auburn inclined plane. It lies at the head of Main street and reaches to a height of between two hundred and fifty and three hundred feet in a space of 2,000 feet. Two cars were employed, one on each track drawn by two steel wire cables wound upon a drum at the top of the hill by an engine located there. Nine passengers had entered the car at the foot of the plane and a number of others in the car at the top. The passage of the ascending car was all right until it reached tho top when to his sorrow the engineer found the machine would not respond and he could not stop the engine. Only one result was possible. The car was arrested by the strong bumper which stops its progress and as the engine continued all its force was expended on the two cables and they snapped like wrapping thread. Then the car with its nine inmates locked within began its descent of the slope. The crash at the foot of the plane was frightful. The iron gate that formed the lower end of the track on which the car rested was thrown sixty feet down the street. The top of the car was almost as far in the gutter. The track itself and the floor and seats of the car formed a shapeless wreck mingled with the bleeding mangled bodies of passengers. Two were taken out dead, a middle-aged lady, Mrs. Ives and a young girl, Lillian Askamp. Another, N. Keiss a teacher, died soon afterward. Five others were injured, perhaps fatally. One man escaped miraculously and was but slightly injured. The names of the injured are not fully ascertained. Hon. J. Hollister and McFadden are said to be two of them and Judge Hollister, who is nearly seventy-two years old can hardly survive such a shock. As soon as could be done the bodies were taken to the morgue to wait full identification. The wounded were carried to the nearest place where an examination could be made.

    I was Judge William Dickson not Judge Hollister, who was on the car. Judge Dickson, like Judge Hollister is too old to escape from such a terrible shock and was one of the first of the wounded to die. He is a well known attorney, retired for a number of years and was a warm friend of President Lincoln. Judge Dickson was the first one who suggested the name of General Rosecrans to President Lincoln for appointment and Rosecrans was made general as the result. He was a lifelong friend of Dickson

    A list of dead now stands: Judge William Dickson, Mrs. Caleb Ives, Miss Lillia Askamp, Michael Keiso, Joseph Hochstetter. Wounded: Charles McFadden, both legs broken; Joseph McFadden, cut on the side and various portions of the body and internal injuries; Mrs Hochstetter, cuts and internal injuries; Mrs Joseph M. Fadden.

    Charles Goebel, the man in charge of the car says he informed the engineer that the cut off for stopping the car was not working properly. The engineer said he had fixed it, but evidently it was still out of order. Engineer Howard Warden could not be found

    Joseph McFadden died at 2:20 p. m.

    At 11:30 tonight it is known that there were eight persons in the wrecked car. The following is a correct list of the dead and wounded: Dead -- Judge William B. Dickson, Michael Ness, Mrs. Caleb Ives, Mrs. Mary Errett, Joseph McFadden, sr. Wounded -- Mrs Agnes Hostetter, Miss Lillian Oskamp, Joseph McFadden. Besides the occupants of the car, several persons standing on Mulberry street were badly hurt. George Miller, believed to be fatally injured, is still unconscious. Joe Auette, aged fourteen, is badly cut about the legs by flying fragments.

    Second Street Cable Railway -- Unpaid Cable Bill

    From the Los Angeles Times / Saturday, October 26, 1889. Page 4.

    The Second Street Cable Railway was the first cable railway in Los Angeles, and the least successful.

    Second-street Road.

    Yesterday afternoon the Second-street Cable Railway Company was attached by John Robeling & Sons of San Francisco for $3100, and gave a bond of $1000 as required in the case. The company did not raise the attachment up to a late hour last night, and it is intimated that its intention is not to attempt to do so. The road has been shut down since it stopped several days since, and the attachment of yesterday is the first break in the monotonous silence which has reigned on Second street since that time. The rains of this week have choked up the conduits, but they have not been cleaned out, and the road at present may be termed "dead horse," as far as the public is concerned.

    Vine Street Cable Railway -- Pretty Teeth

    From the Wichita Eagle / Tuesday, October 29, 1889. Page 6.

    This joke, set on Cincinnati's Vine Street Cable Railway, was so popular it was reprinted in several newspapers.

    Her Pretty Teeth.

    In a Vine street cable car, the other day, were an old gentleman with an ear trumpet and a very pretty young woman, accompanied by a little boy. She smiled at intervals on the boy and showed her pretty teeth in a bewitching way. All at once tho old man, in the way peculiar to so many deaf people who do not know how to modulate their voices, said, in tones so loud as to be audible all over the car: "I only paid $5 for my upper teeth. What did yours cost?" To say that the pretty woman was mad is putting it mildly. She flounced around with a flush of anger blazing in her cheeks, and signaled the conductor to let her out at the next crossing.

    -- Cincinnati Times-Star.

    Second Street Cable Railway -- Conduit Blocked

    From the Los Angeles Times / Thursday, December 5, 1889. Page 2.

    The Second Street Cable Railway was the first cable railway in Los Angeles, and the first to go.

    The Second-street Cable Road.

    One or two workmen were busy yesterday in patching up the holes in the Second-street cable conduit; but whether it was with a view to starting up the road or not, could not be ascertained. The conduit over the hill has been almost filled up with sand and dirt during the recent rains, and it is estimated that it will cost from $1000 to $2000 to put the road in running order. A meeting of the board of directors of the company was called for yesterday afternoon, but if they met at all they kept the matter to themselves. In the mean time a 'bus line makes a stagger at filling the aching void by making occasional trips over the route via Sixth and Pearl streets.

    Philadelphia Conductor Was an Umpire

    From the Saint Paul Daily Globe / Sunday, March 23, 1890. Page 6.

    A reference to the Philadelphia Traction Company's cable cars.

    excerpt from DIAMOND DASHES.

    Notes About Players in Many Leagues.

    Wes Curry, the old umpire, is a conductor on a Philadelphia cable car.

    Telegraph Hill Railroad Property for Sale

    From the Alta California / Thursday, April 10, 1890. Page 2.

    from REAL ESTATE.

    By order of the Omnibus Cable Company there will be offered at the auction of Von Rhein &. Co., on the 24th inst., a large piece of property on Tenth street near Mission, 200 x 113, with improvements, renting for $325. The property is owned by the Omnibus Cable Company, and is disposed of by that corporation because it is no longer needed for the conduct of the road. It will be offered as a whole or in five subdivisions. Also, the property of the Telegraph Hill Railroad on Greenwicn-street Hill, corner Greenwich and Kearny streets, consisting of nearly two fifty-varas, with the large observatory, with a magnificent view overlooking the harbor. This property is sold to close out tbe affairs of the Telegraph Hill Railroad Company.

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    First Cable Arrives for the Consolidated Piedmont

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Friday, May 09, 1890. Page 7.

    The cars that delivered the Consolidated Piedmont's first cable and right-of-way issues.


    Notes From Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley.

    The two flat-cars that arrived with the wire cable for the Piedmont cable road are being fitted up and repaired in the West Oakland yards preparatory to their return East. They are low set heavy structures, weighing nineteen tons each, supported by two double trucks, a total of eight pairs of wheels on each, which is twice the number on an ordinary flat. The cars came West without brakes, and the wheels are being fitted with Westinghouse automatic brakes...

    A conference of the officials of the Oakland and Piedmont Cable and the Pacific Improvement Companies was had yesterday with the Oakland Board of Public Works over the building of the cable tract on Broadway between Fourteenth and Sixteenth streets. The Improvement Company claims that the cable company is encroaching on the tracks of the former's Telegraph avenue line.

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    A Chinaman Injured (sorry about the perjorative)

    From the Daily Alta California, Monday, May 10, 1890. Page 8.

    Sorry about the use of the perjorative name for a person of Chinese descent.

    A Chinaman Injured.

    A Chinaman named Ah Bang was thrown from one of the Omnibus cable cars yesterday on Howard street, near Fourth, and sustained a dislocation of the right hip. He states that he told the gripman to stop at Fourth street, but that party paid no heed to his request, and in attempting to alight half way up the block he was thrown violently to the ground. He was taken to the Receiving Hospital.

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    Struck by a Car

    From the Daily Alta California, Thursday, May 13, 1890. Page 8.

    Struck by a Car.

    George Hereford, an aged man, living at 1212 Howard street, was run into by one of the Post-street cable cars last evening on the corner of Post street and Grant avenue. He was thrown violently to the ground and badly bruised about the head and face.

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    Only a Week to Wait

    From the San Francisco Call, Saturday, May 15, 1890. Page 3.

    South San Francisco was the southern part of the city, not the current city of South San Francisco.


    South San Francisco Soon to Have a Street Railroad.

    Gustave Sutro, President of the Omnibus road, has stated that the branch of the line running from South San Francisco and connecting with the Howard-street cable line will be in operation in about one week.

    The route will be from Railroad avenue, in South San Francisco, along Fifteenth avenue to the San Bruno road; thence on the San Bruno road to Nebraska street; along the latter thoroughfare uutil a connection is made with the Potrero cars; thence on Twenty-fourth street to Potrero avenue. The passengers will be transferred at Potrero avenue to the horse-cars running to Tenth and Howard streets, where connection will be made with the Omnibus cable system.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Nearly Ready for Testing

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Sunday, May 25, 1890. Page 8.

    The Consolidated Piedmont was nearly for a test run on the Piedmont section.


    The Piedmont Cable Road Nearing Completion.

    The experimental car for trial on the Consolidated Oakland and Piedmont Cable Company's line has been built and is now at the car-house. It will shortly be tried on the section between Piedmont and the cable-house before the contract for the rolling stock is let. The section to Piedmont is almost completed.

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    Cincinnati Cable Road in Debt

    From the Daily Evening Bulletin (Maysville, Kentucky) / Monday, June 9, 1890.

    Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway owed money to the city.

    from Sparks From the Wire.

    Mayor Mosby, of Cincinnati, has notified the Mt. Auburn Cable Railway company that unless its indebtedness of $7,472.89 to the city under its charter is paid within ten days he will proceed to collect the same.

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    Fire at Spokane Falls.

    From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Thursday, July 24, 1890. Page 1.

    Fire at Spokane Falls.

    Spokane Falls, July 23. -- Early this morning a fire broke out on the north side of the river on Monroe street, destroying property valued at nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

    There was a woeful lack of water, one of the mains bursting on the island.

    Monroe street bridge, a new structure costing $40,000, was entirely consumed, the department having no water on the north side.

    The losses are as follows: Cable Road Company, $50,000; H. W. Greenberg Co., $18,000; Monroe Street Bridge Company, $35,000; Bonne & Co., $12,000; Cascade Laundry, $3,500; Cutler & Curtis, $7,500; Washington Water Power Company, $18,000; S. P. Packer, $2,000; James Jones, $1,000; Miss Ada Howard, $l,OOO. Total loss, $148,000. Insurance -- Cable Road Company, $15,000; H. W. Greenberg, $6,000.

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    Chicago -- Runaway Horse Car

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Sunday, May 30, 1897. Page 11.

    A horse car of the North Chicago Street Railroad plunges into the Chicago River.


    A Runaway Street-Car Plunges Into the Chicago River.

    "Jump for your lives! We're going Into the river!"

    The driver of the Lincoln-avenue car 178 of the North Chicago Street Railroad Company threw open the front door of his car at 12:45 o'clock, a few days since, and, with a face as white as snow, shouted these appalling words to his passengers, a dozen or more in number. The passengers made a wild rush for the doors. Just as the last man sprang from the step the car and horses went over the brink and plunged into the river. The Clark-street bridge had been turned to allow the passing of the barge Howard J, as the car came into sight on the viaduct north of the bridge. The grade from the viaduct to the bridge is steep. As the car reached the edge of the viaduct the driver applied the brake. It refused to work and the car began to slide down the grade, gaining velocity with every foot toward the river. When within fifty feet of the brink the driver threw himself bodily against the brake. The chain snapped. The car could not be stopped. Then it was that he threw open the front door and yelled to his passengers. Quick to realize the situation the conductor joined in the cry and sprang into the car shouting to the passengers to jump and shaking the sleeping ones. As the car tottered on the brink it was seen that still one man remained inside. He had been asleep and awoke as the vehicle rocked on the verge. A cry of horror went up from the people who had gathered around and his escape from death appeared improbable. As the car began to slide into the stream he made a desperate leap and gained the rear platform just in time to jump to the street as the car toppled over. The last man was John T. McAdee. He was very much excited, but managed to say:

    "I was asleep in the car when I felt a strange motion and awoke suddenly to find myself sliding toward the end of the car. I can't tell how I ever managed to escape a dreadful death. I just jumped and found myself in a big crowd without hardly knowing how I got there."

    An exciting episode of the accident was the summoning of a brigade of fire engines and hook and ladder trucks. The fire-fighters did everything they could to save the horses, but being without proper alliances they were forced to reluctantly abandon the task. The car had turned end over end as it went off the approach, and stands on end in the river, only about four feet of the front end projecting above the water. -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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    GSPO Changes

    From the San Francisco Call / Friday, December 12, 1890. Page 6.

    Amended Articles.

    The Geary-street, Park and Ocean Railroad Company has filed amended articles of incorporatlon in the office of the County Clerk.
    Directors -- Charles Main, Reuben Morton, Samuel C. Bigelow and Andrew J. Gunnison, of San Francisco, and Cnarles F. MacDermot, Thomas R. Hayes and Arthur W. Bowman, of Oakland. Capital stock, $1,000,000. of which $10,000 has been subscribed. The amendment concerns the extension of the road.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Real Estate News

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Monday, January 05, 1891. Page 2.

    The Consolidated Piedmont was intended to promote real estate development in the Piedmont area.


    Henry P. Sonntag, of Shainwald, Buckbee & Co., courteously responded to a request for a review of the business of last year and an opinion regarding the outlook for realty owners and agents...

    "Last year witnessed greater improvements in the matter of laying out and opening up new streets, and grading and beautifying property, than during any single year in the last ten. The cable system has greatly increased the value of suburban property, bringing land on the outskirts nearer to the center of the city, and opening up tracts which formerly seemed inaccessible."


    Mr. Holcomb, manager for E. A. Heron, reviews the market as follows...

    There has been unusual activity during the year in the development of street railroads and cable and electric roads, completed or commenced in 1890, are reaching over the city in every direction, and out into the suburbs and to interior towns, The Piedmont cable-road, opened during the year, has done a business exceeding the expectations of its most sanguine promoters and the magnificent residence territory opened up by it is noticeable in the value of land along the line of the Rapid Transit Company's electric road, and the same is true of Fruitvale property affected by the electric road in construction in that part of the town.

    Some of the large sales made during the year aside from those mentioned ... 20 acres at terminus of Piedmont cable-road, $25,000; a lot 200x300 on line of Piedmont cable-road, $17,500, and a parcel of 13 1/2 acres on same line, $27,000.


    One of the most eligible tracts of land which has ever been opened for residence sites, if not the most eligible, is the Linda Vista Terrace, along the line of the Piedmont cable-road. Situated at a commanding elevation, about midway between Oakland and Piedmont, it combines in itself all the requirements of the most desirable residence land, and stands without a rival anywhere within range of San Francisco.

    Its broad and gently rolling slopes afford the most comprehensive views in every direction, which can never be obstructed. The temperature is even and entirely free from the penetrating chilliness of the levels. The natural drainage is perfect. The property is the most accessible high land, both of Oakland and San Francisco, to be had. Time to San Francisco, 40 minutes, with communication every 15 minutes.

    The avenues are to be sewered, graded and macadamized, and cement sidewalks are to be laid.

    The land is sold in lots of from 70 to 100 feet front and with restrictions as to the value of improvements, thus insuring permanently its character as choice residence property.

    Already a number of fine houses are in course of erection, and several more will he commenced between now and spring. E. A. Heron of 1050 Broadway is agent for the above tract, which has been extensively advertised in The CALL.

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    Cable-Road Matters

    From the Daily Alta California, Sunday, January 25, 1891. Page 8.


    Some Inside Facts About the Los Angeles Enterprise.

    An Interview With a Former Colleague of C. B. Holmes.

    In pursuing inquiries in this city with reference to the Pacific Railway Company of Los Angeles, Cal., which has recently placed its affairs in the hands of a receiver and is now threatened with a number of suits for damages, aggregating $350,000, an ALTA reporter gleaned some facts which are of special interest at the present time.

    The Pacific Railway Company is a Chicago corporation, of which C. B. Holmes is the presiding spirit. The manner of its organization and its growth out of the great cable syndicate of Chicago were recently explained to an ALTA reporter by Colonel J . C. Robinson, a former vice-president of the road and its chief constructor. After the completion of the road Colonel Robinson came to this city and established the "California Contract Corporation," with offices at room 24 in the Chronicle building. Colonel Robinson took a three years' lease of the room, and his office fixtures still remain, but inquiries tend to show that he left this city for the East on Sunday last, intending, as he stated, to take a trip to Europe for the benefit of his wife's health. That be contemplated such a trip is known from the fact that he had in his possession letters of recommendation from ex-Governor Waterman and Governor Markham to the United States Ministers in London and Paris. It is known that Mrs. Robinson was suffering from a serious organic affection, and it was understood that his absence might be considerably prolonged by business engagements in England and France in connection with cable-road projects.

    Colonel Robinson's statement as to his connection with tbe Los Angeles cable system was to the effect that in the summer of 1888 he met C. B. Holmes, the head of the great cable syndicate ot Chicago, and was offered by him the general management of the numerous systems of cable roads about to be constructed in Los Angeles. Colonel Robinson accepted the proposition and went to work at once, arriving in the month of November, 1888.

    The precise nature of the scheme thus inaugurated and Holmes' relations to it appear to have been as follows, according to Colonel Robinson's statement: Before the boom of 1886 the transportation facilities of Los Angeles were of a very primitive and unsatisfactory character. Mule cars predominated, and each passenger had to scramble to the box and deposit his fare in it. There were a few single-horse cars and one or two cable roads, worked in the interests of land agents with the idea of opening up the heights behind the city for residential objects. In 1887 the Presidents of these roads held a consultation, wtth a view to consolidate the system, and to organize the Loe Angeles Cable Railway Company, with a capital stock of $2,500,000. The promoters, after laying about a mile of cable track, found hemselves unable to raise more than $1,500,000. and in the summer of 1888 C. B. Holmes of Chicago was invited to look into the matter. His report determined his syndicate in Chicago to purchase a controlling interest in the company and a majority of the stock was secured. From the commencement of 1889 up to the conclusion of the undertaking the company expended $1,959,140, and the finishing up showed a total capital expenditure on the whole system, including horses and mules, of $3,000,000. Besides the cable-roads, twenty-one miles in length, there were connecting lines of horse cars, twenty-four miles in length, making a total of forty-five miles on the system.

    The construction of the road was attended with phenomenal difficulties, owing to floods and washouts, besides the necessity of constructing costly viaducts at the crossings of three lines of steam railroads, and the viaduct across tbe Los Angeles river, having a length of 578 feet. The length of the principal viaduct over all was 1535 feet. In the great conduit there were used 36,000 barrels of Portland cement, and the track rails weighed 1444 tons; the solid rails the same. The total annual expenditure on the road, including horses and mules on the branch roads, was estimated at $300,000. During the first eleven months of the year the roads carried close on 5,000,000 passengers and covered a total distance of 1,500.000 miles.

    In December, 1889, Colonel Robinson, who had been till then Vice-President of the road, was given a banquet by the city and county officials of Los Angeles, Governor Waterman being President. In January, 1890, in commemoratian of the completion of the construction and organization of the cable system, the employees of the Los Angeles Cable Company presented Mr. Robinson with a valuable diamond ring, accompanied by an illuminated address, as a token of esteem.

    Colonel Robinson is an Englishman and came to this country about four years ago. He traveled nearly all over the United States and Canada before going to Los Angeles. In the autumn of last year he was actively engaged in negotiations with an English syndicate for the laying down of a cable system in Valparaiso and Conception, but the unsettled state of Chilian (sic - JT) politics, and especially the disastrous failure of Baring Brothers and the financial panic in the Argentine Republic, aborted the scheme. It is a curious circumstance that Colonel Robinson received his training in street-car traffic away back in the sixties, from George Francis Train, then visiting Birkenhead.

    Personally Colonel Robinson is a genial and most intelligent gentleman: a man of temperate habits, and an astute financier. He did not convey, when speaking of Mr. Holmes last week, that he anticipated any financial disaster to the Los Angeles cable-road enterprise, or to Mr. Holmes personally. Colonel Robinson did not possess an extended circle of friends in this city, and hence it is only his departure for the East at the time of the crisis in the Chicago corporation's affairs that euggests any connection between the events. It seemed to be inferable from Colonel Robinson's general remarks that he had severed his relations both with Los Angeles and Chicago. The office of the California Contract Corporation has been closed all the past week.

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    The New Cable Road

    From the Daily Alta California, Sunday, January 25, 1891. Page 8.

    This road was never built.


    It Will Greatly Benefit Rincon Hill aud South Park.

    The recent announcement of the incorporation of another cable syndicate to run cars westward to the ocean on streets south of Howard has stirred up considerable speculation as to the effect likely to be produced on Rincon Hill, South Park, and adjacent sections covered with buildings which have considerably depreciated in value of late years. As an illustration of this depreciation, a case was brought under the notice of an Alta reporter where a house for which the owner had paid $2000 was sold for $600, in consequence of the condition of Second-street bridge. It is believed by local property owners that if the new cable road is run by way of Market and Steuart to Second, thence to Brannan, to Harrison, and so to the section in which Market street is to be extended to the ocean, an immense impulse will be given to improvements in the whole of the district south of Folsom street, down to Channel street: while Rincon Hill and South Park will regain some of their old-time prosperity. A local resident pointed out to an Alta reporter that since the Omnibus Cable Company constructed its Howard street line very few passengers are carried on the Mission street cars, and still fewer on the horse-car line running from California and Montgomery, by way of First street, to Folsom. There has been a talk of a cable road on Folsom street for some time, but it would not afford nearly the same conveniences to Rincon Hill and South Park residents as a line running by way of Second and Brannan. Despite the neglect of this portion of the city in recent years there are many beautiful residences on Rincon Hill, and quite a populous section is traversed after the crossing of Third street. The new line would also furnish a swift and easy approach to the Pacific Mail Dock, which is at present very poorly provided with such service. A number of citizens interviewed by the Alta reporter agreed that the new road would open out numerous inducements for real estate investments on the extensions of Harrison and Bryant streets, as well as insuring, the removal of the slums at the city end between Bryant and Channel streets. The turning of the first sod of the new road is anxiously looked for.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Real Estate News/2

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Thursday, January 29, 1891. Page 3.

    The Consolidated Piedmont was intended to promote real estate development in the Piedmont area.


    In Oakland the real estate market is quite as good as usual for this season of the year, and cheaper-priced lots in the neighborhood of Fruitvale are selling with unusual activity, and desirable sites on the the of the Piedmont cable road are finding quite ready purchasers among the very beat class of people who are intending to build houses during the next year.

    There is also an active demand for lots on the line of the new electric road to Berkeley, and quite a number of desirable tracts that have been subdivided are finding ready purchasers...

    W. E. Barnard & Son of Oakland report a healthy market, and say that business is better at present with them than for years.

    M. J. Laymance & Co. are laying out a tract on the Piedmont cable line, and will shortly place it on the market in lots. They report sales of over $100,000 in the last sixty days...

    E. A. Heron is offering many inducements in the way of pretty home sites in Linda Vista, on the Piedmont cable road.

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    Kansas City Industrial Fatality

    From the Wichita Daily Eagle / Thursday, February 05, 1891. Page 1.


    Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 4. -- Elmer Clark, superintendent of the Kansas City Cable Railway company, was killed this morning at the Woodward avenue power house. He was standing in front of a grip car which started to move slowly. Some one attempted to set the brake, but by mistake took hold of the grip lever and tightened the grip on the cable. The car bounded forward and struck him on the head. He lived about an hour. He leaves a wife and family.

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    Union Street Cable Extension

    From the San Francisco Call / Sunday, February 8, 1891. Page 6.

    The horse car line to the Ferry Building remained until the Presidio and Ferries became an electric line after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.


    It is to be Extended Through From the Water Front to the Presidio.

    Visitors to the Presidio will congratulate themselves on the assurance that the abominable steam dummy, running between Steiner street and the Presidio, in connection with the Union-street cars, is to be superseded by a cable road, on which $250,000 will be expended. A new turn-table will be put in at the Presedio, beyond Lyon street. A cable will also be laid from Montgomery avenue and Washington street to the seawall when the new terminus is completed. The Union-street Company's transfers will also be accepted by the California-street line, and passengers will be carried to Market and O'Farrell, or to Golden Gate park. Transfers from the California-Street Company will also be accepted by the Cliff House & Ferries Company from passengers traveling westward.

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    Brooklyn Heights Under Construction

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Wednesday, February 25, 1891. Page 1.

    The Brooklyn Academy of Music was at 176-194 Montague Street in 1891. That building burned down on 30-November-1903.


    Cable Cars Will Traverse Montague Street.

    A Very Solid Roadbed and Costly Cars. The Power Station and General Equipment of the New Road -- The Enterprise Under Way at Last.

    The long talked of railroad on Montague street, from Court to Wall street ferry, gives now promise almost equal to certainty that before the end of the coming spring, it will materialize and carry people up and down the toilsome grade from the water front to the heights and along the smooth pavement of Montague street. President Daniel F. Lewis of the Montague heights railway company, which holds the franchises of the road, said yesterday all the contracts for the constructions had been let. President H. D. Hotchkiss of the Montague construction company, which under a general contract has charge of the building of the road, explained its nature to a reporter yesterday. The road will be a double track cable line extending from the crosswalk at Court and Montague streets to within 8 feet of the Wall street ferry entrance, a distance of 2,600 feet, or a few paces short of half a mile. The power house will be located on what is known as the old glass house property, on State street, near Hicks, which has been acquired by the company for the purpose. The building will be of brick, 70 x 110 feet, and equipped with one 350 horse power tandem condensing engine and two 240 horse power water tube boilers. It will require about 200 horse power to operate the road during the busy hours of traffic. From the power station the cable will run through pipes laid below the surface of the street east on State street to Hicks and thence north through Hicks street to Montague, where it will connect with the railroad. There will, of course, be no tracks on Hicks or State street. At Montague street the cable will split, one strand going up and down on the south track and the other crossing underneath that track to the north track and running up and down it. On Montague street the cable will travel in a conduit made of cement and cast iron, with manholes every thirty-two feet, in which will be the carrying pulleys to support the cale. Every few feet a cast iron yoke weighing about three hundred and fifty pounds will furnish strength to the conduit. On the yokes the rail chairs will be bolted, and to these the rails themselves, the chairs and the rails being supported on all sides by a foundation of rubble. The rails will be of the Lewis & Fowler pattern, which is a modification of what is known as the Liverpool rail, each edge being flush with the pavement and having a groove near the side in which the flange of the car wheel runs. This form of structure of the road, Mr. Hotchkiss says, is the heaviest ever used in cable work and is sufficiently strong to support an 80 ton locomotive The cable will be 1 1/4 inches in diameter, and the ordinary horizontal grip, with the upper part perpendicular, will be used. The slot rail will have an opening 5/8 of an inch in width. In winter this and the track will be kept clear by a sweeper operated by the cable, horse and carts being employed to carry the snow and mud which is thrust aside.

    The equipment of cars will at the start be eight in number and they are to be, Mr. Hotchkiss declares, the costliest ever constructed for street railway use. They will be 18 feet long, or 2 feet longer than the ordinary horse car, and will have a solid mahogany trim. There will be three large lights in the roof instead of one, as is customary. The platforms will be half inclosed by a vestibule front like that of a coupe. Owing to the refusal of the Academy of Music people to consent to the construction of the road if cars of the standard width, 7 feet 6 inches, were to be used, which, they claimed, would not leave sufficient space outside the tracks for carriages to stand at the entrance with safety, an agreement was made by the company to use cars not exceeding 6 feet 8 inches in width, or a little less than the width of the Broadway surface cars in New York. Each car will be manned by a conductor and a gripman. The cars will be run at short intervals, it being estimated that it will require between three and a half and four minutes for the trip from the ferry to Court street, including stops, the cable being run at the rate of six miles an hour. The cars will carry fifty persons each. When not in use they will be stored in the arches under the Montague street slope. As a safeguard against accidents on the hill the cars are each supplied with two independent sets of brakes, one set acting on the wheels like ordinary brakes and the other operating so as to lift the car off the track and clog the wheels. This latter style of brake is known as the track brake and was invented for just such places as the Montague street hill. Under the terms of the contracts that have been let all the cast iron work, rails, etc., and everything going into the street part of the construction must be delivered by March 10. The contractors for the construction will begin operations March 15, weather permitting. They are under penalty to have the road completed by May 15. The power plant is to be delivered by April 10, and the power station is to be completed and everything ready for steam by May 15. The contractors are Rinslee, Cochran & Co. of Louisville, cast iron work; National water tube boiler company, boilers; Wm. Wharton company, Philadelphia, slot rail; Lewis & Fowler, train rail, cars and switches; Walker company of Cleveland, rope winding machiner; C. & G. Hooper company of Mount Vernon, O., engine; Christie & Lows of Kansas City, general contractos. The rate of fare, Mr. Hotchkiss says, has not yet been fixed upon, but the company hopes to be able to make to make one fare cover the railroad and ferry. Whether or not transfer arrangements will be made with surface and elevated roads in Brooklyn cannot be determined until the feeling of the road's patrons in the matter can be ascertained.

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    New Transit Lines in Oakland

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Sunday, March 29, 1891. Page 8.

    New transit lines in Oakland hoped to have the same effect on real estate as the Consolidated Piedmont.


    In addition to the roads now on the point of completion, which will be In operation in a few days, the chief of which is the Oakland and Berkeley Rapld Transit Electric line and the Sessions road, on Thirteenth aud Fruitvale avenues, almost ready to run their cars, there are others deserving of mention. One of these is the Sessions-Vandercook line, which will be operated in connection with the Thirteenth-avenue line, which will open up one of the most beautiful aud attractive parts of East Oakland. It will start from Broadway, will cross the outlet from Lake Merritt and will thence run out Fourth aveuue and render easy of access Lake View, Oakland Heights, Bella Vista Park and the whole of the beautiful higher grounds overlooking ihe upper portion of the city. It will do as much for its section as the Piedmont cable has done for Piedmont. Another line is the Hoskins charter for a cross-town line on Alcatraz avenue from San Pablo. This line will open up Claremont and be a like useful means of development. The electric line to Haywards will serive as a valuable feeder to the city, while there is another cross-town road which also holds a charter and will do a great deal of good. Besides those named there is a projected road from Fruitvale to Alameda, to cross the new steel bridge across the tidal canal. And there is the projected change of the Meerz horse-car line throughout the length of Alameda to an electric line, still another projected line is that between West and East Berkeley, and others...

    M. J. Laymance & Co. report the sale of a portion of the Bowman tract, ou the line of the Piedmont cable, to J. H. T. Watkinson for $96,000. They state that there is a noticeable improvement in inquiry, especially for Piedmont properties, and a splendid outlook.

    W. E. Barnard & Son report that things have brightened up this week with increased inquiry along the line ot the Piedmont Cable Company and in North Oakland, where they have made sales of seven lots for building purposes. They are kept busy showing property.

    E. A. Heron stales that there is continued and increasing inquiry for Piedmont lands and for Linda Vista property, a large amount of improvement being now in progress in that tract.

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    New Cable in Oakland

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Sunday, April 12, 1891. Page 2.

    The Oakland Cable Railway receives a replacement cable.


    Notes From Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley.

    The putting in of the new cable of the Oakland Cable Company was not completed until about noon yesterday.

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    Brooklyn Heights -- Threading the Cable

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Saturday, July 11, 1891. Page 6.

    Note that the Brooklyn Heights line began by using a cable made up entirely of steel wires, rather than steel wires wrapped around a hemp core. The cable had to be welded rather than spliced. I wish they had reported the name of the poor kid who had to crawl through the blind conduit.


    Final Preperations for the Montague Street Line.

    A Boy Crawling Through the Cable Pipe Like a Rat With the Guide Rope -- Cars to Run Every Two and a Half Minutes to Wall Street Ferry.

    Groups of interested people this morning surrounded a handsome new street car on Montague street bearning the inscription, "Brooklyn Heights Railroad Company, Wall Street Ferry and City Hall. No. 1."

    It was the first car of the new cable line from city hall to Wall street ferry, but its appearance did not mean that the line would be opened to-day. The car was being used to draw into place in the underground conduit the steel cable which will furnish motive power to the line, and the cars will not be running until some day next week. The preparation attracted much attention. The cable itself is 9,100 feet long, 1 1/8 inches in diameter, and is of solid twisted steel, instead of being wound around a manilla heart, as the bridge and Harlem cables are. It weighs 2 1/2 pounds the foot or something over eleven tons. Getting it into place was an ingenious operation and began yesterday afternoon. The work will occupy all told about twenty-four hours. The conduit in Montague street is connected with the power house of the company in State street, opposite Willow place, by a brick circular conduit running from the corner of Montague and Hicks streets through Hicks to State and down State to the power house where are engine and spool that will keep the cars in motion. The end of the cable was introduced at the power house and it was done in this way: the conduit through State and Hicks street is seventeen inches in diameter and is only connected with the street by a series of iron convers like those over manholes in a sewer. The covers open upon the pulleys which hold the cable up, like the cable pulleys upon the bridge. A boy started through the conduit from the power house dragging the end of a manilla rope. The boy crawled all the way from the power house to Hicks and Montague streets, dragging the rope behind him to the place in which the cable was to go. As the load became too heavy for the lad men would reach down the conduit holes behing shim, catch the rope and pull it from the power house, leaving the line behind the boy slack. Then the rope was spliced to the end of the cable and this was pulled through by a force of men.

    When Montague street was reached a different motive power could be used. A slot through the surface of the street connects with the conduit, through which the grip on the cable underneath connects with the brakes on the car. The end of the cable was made fast to this grip and the car was then drawn along the track by horses, stringing the cable underneath as it went. The course was from Hicks street thorugh Montague to the Court street end of the line on the up track; then to the Wall street ferry on the down track and back to Hicks street on the up. That work was done last night. This morning the agile boy was called into requisition again to draw the guide rope back through the conduit to the power station while men dragged the cable behind him. When that is done nothing will remain at the power station but to weld the two ends of the cable into one, making it an endless chain. That will probably be done Monday by a new process under the supervision of Allen Rodgers, the superintendent of the line brought from the West, where he has had much experience with cable roads in Denver and Cleveland. The grip underneath the cars is not the spool grip in use on the bridge, but an invention which Mr. Rodgers considers an improvement.

    There will be eight cars on the line, running every two and a half minutes during the busy hours of the day, and less frequently after the rush is over. They are handsome affairs, painted on the outside in black and gold, with compartments on each end for the gripmen, and twenty-five feet long, with a seating capacity of from forty-four to forty-eight people. The cars are finished inside in polished oak, and are handsomely upholstered. They were built by Lewis & Fowler of this city.

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    Brooklyn Heights Demonstration

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Wednesday, July 15, 1891. Page 6.

    The Brooklyn Heights Railroad was the most successful street-running cable car line in the East.


    Travels Over the Montague Street Road

    The Directors and the Officers of the Company Inspect the Machinery and Admire the New Vehicles for Travel.

    At 2 o'clock this afternoon there was a humming noise discernable in the middle of the roadway on Montague street by the passerby who happened to be crossing the thoroughfare at that time. It was the steel wire of the new cable road that was put in motion for the first time, and it made known the fact to the public that the long talked of and much desired road was actually in working order and going to begin business. The news that the cable had been started soon spread about the heights and knots of interested spectators gathered here and there on the Montague street sidewalk, despite the noonday heat, and awaited developments. In a few moments one of the handsomely painted cars of the company hove in sight and rapidly made its way up the street toward the city hall square. It stopped just in front of the People's trust company, where a party of men boarded it. Daniel Lewis, the president of the Brooklyn City railroad company and the Heights cable road, headed the party and he was accompanied by Frank A. Barnaby, ex-Assemblyman Hotchkiss, Henry Cullen, Eugene G. Blackford and the other directors and officers of the Heights railroad company and the Peoples trust company. The latter concern has attended to the financial matters connected with the new road is largely interested in it. The company comfortably filled the car, and when all hands were seated the brakeman in the grip car connected with the cable and the car gracefully glided down Montague street toward the Wall street ferry. A party of men and boys saw the start and gave three hearty cheers when it was successfully made. Everything connected with the road worked to a charm, and the party of invited guests were loud in expressions of delight at the improved means of communication between the city hall and the ferry. One gentleman reminded those present that the first day the Wall street ferryboats ran, a good many years ago, all passengers were carried free, and asked Director Hotchkiss if the cars would be free to-morrow. This question made the ex-assemblyman smile. "Time have changed," he said, "since the ferries began business. If we ran our first cars free they would be so crowded that we could not navigate them at all." Probably the happiest man in town to-day is the policeman on duty at the Wall street ferry. He rapped a regular tattoo with his stick on the ferry house when he saw the car running down the hill. "I have," he said, "been compelled to answer hundreds of questions every day about this cable road, everybody wanted to know when the cars would begin running, for the old stages having stopped, it has been hard work for the people returning to their homes in this city to walk up the steep Montague street hill in this hot weather." After leaving the ferry the car proceeded to the power station on State street, where the party was shown through the building and the working of the complicated and interesting machinery explained to them. The company expect to run cars over the route to-morrow and thereafter regularly. Four out of the six new cars are here and provided with the improved grip, and the other two will arrive early next week.

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    The Omnibus Company Sued

    From the Daily Alta California, Thursday, July 30, 1891. Page 3.

    The Omnibus Company Sued.

    Richard Doyle has sued the Omnibus Cable Company to recover $5000 damages for injuries sustained when a car ran into a hack in which he was riding on December 31st, on Howard street, near Twenty-fourth. Davidson & Elliott, the owners of the hack, have also sued the company to recover $500 for damages douo to the vehicle. Negligence in not ringing the gong is avowed by both plaintiffs.

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    Kansas City Elevated Strike Threat

    From the San Francisco Call / Friday, July 31, 1891. Page 1.


    Grievance of the Engineers of ths Kansas City Elevated Road.

    Kansas City, July 30.-- Chief Arthur of the Brotherhood of Engineers came here today for the purpose of settling a grievance between the engineers if the Kansas City Elevated road and Receiver Edgerton of the road. The engineers object to a reduction of wages from $2.75 to $2.47 1/2 per day and the discharge of seven engineers appointed as a Grievance Committee. Chief Arthur, on behalf of the engineers, made a proposition to Edgerton to work for $2.70 per day, which was refused and the conference ended. It is very probable that the engineers will go out on a strike. Chief Arthur promises them the support of the brotherhood if they decide to strike.

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    The Oldest Cable Road

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Thursday, September 10, 1891. Page 1.

    The Chronicle reported on the last run of the original Clay Street Hill Railroad, which was the first Hallidie-type cable car line. It was taken over by the Ferries and Cliff House Railway and replaced by the Sacramento-Clay line. Note that the date it was built is wrong.

    The Oldest Cable Road

    San Francisco, Sept. 9. -- The Clay street cable road, the first cable street car system in the world, ceased operations tonight. The road was built in 1883, and was a success from the start. The track will be torn up and a new one laid, which will be part of the Ferries and Cliff House .

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    Wild Run of an Empty Cask.

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Friday, January 1, 1892. Page 1.

    The Union Street cable car was on Montgomery Avenue, now called Columbus. I thought Henry D Cogswell's statue and cold water fountain, dedicated to temperance was in Washington Square, so I'm not sure what they refer to here.

    Wild Run of an Empty Cask.

    There was a lively commotion at the Telegraph Hill end of Kearny street, and that no one was injured was almost a miracle. Near Vallejo street, on Kearny, is a wine saloon. The proprietor left a huge empty wine cask on the outer edge of the sidewalk. That part of Kearny street is on Telegraph Hill, the steepest block in the city.

    A man fell against the cask and started it rolling. A second later it was making great bounds through the air and covering twenty feet of street at a single flight. People seeing the danger shouted to those down the street to get out of the way. Broadway was cleared at a single bound, and the cask narrowly missed crushing a laundry wagon into splinters. On it went at a Palo Alto speed, scattering people right and left. A Union street cable car was stopped in time to prevent a collision. The running cask evidently meant mischief, and, apparently to prove the superiority of wine over water, it headed for Dr. Cogswell's fountain on Kearny street and Montgomery avenue.

    A bundle that a frightened pedestrian dropped turned the cask aside so that it barely missed the cold water resort. However, it took its revenge by smashing a small fruit stand all to pieces, scattering the fruit in every direction. The lower deck of a bootblack's stand was carried away, and a cigar stand got a blow that rattled down tbe boxes on the shelves.

    At last the cask was stopped near Jackson street by colliding with a hitching post. The bootblack immediately claimed the cask for the damage to his stand. The owner of the cask stood at the top of the hill and wisely decided that it was better to stay where he was than to venture among those whose places had been wrecked. -- San Francisco Chronicle.

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    Brooklyn Heights Runaway

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Tuesday, February 9, 1892. Page 8.

    Note that "brakeman" is used for gripman.


    A Cable Car Breaks Away on Montague Street

    It Rolls to the Ferry at a Frightful Rate With a Load of Passengers -- Three Persons Injured and the Conveyances Badly Smashed -- An Obdurate Coachman to Blame, It Is Said.

    An accident that occasioned a great deal of excitement and injured three persons occurred this morning on the Montague street cable road. Car No. 6 was rolling down toward the Wall street ferry house at 9:30 o'clock in charge of B. Jay Raymond, conductor, and Thomas Halliday brakeman, when just at the turn of the hill approaching Montague terrace the brake chain slipped and the vehiclestarted on a bound and jump for the ferry house. Brakeman Halliday blames an obstinate coach driver for the trouble. He says that for several days he has been annoyed by a private coachman who persistently drove down ahead of his car in the morning and doggedly kept in the tracks, thereby obstructing the road. The wicked coachman was at his old tricks this morning. He was taking his employer to the ferry and he drove in ahead of car No. 6 and kept jogging along at a tantalizing rate just in from of the brakeman. Halliday shoulted to him to get out of the way, but the driver refused to clear the track. The cable was rolling in its sheaves at a uniform speed as usual and Halliday saw that when the steep hill was reached he would inevitably smash into the coach with his car. So, in order to avoid an accident he dropped the cable and allowed the car to travel on its own momentum, goverened by the brakes, until the coachman finally pulled out of the tracks. Then Halliday tried to pick up the cable again, but in this he failed and the car began to roll down the hill in a threatening way. He attempted to apply the brakes but they would not work, and then the brakeman saw that there was trouble ahead, but he stuck manfully to his post. The six passengers and the conductor were not by any means comfortable and they huddled together at the far-away end of the car. In the meantime pedestrians were becoming interested in the conveyance and its occupants as it rolled down the hill. At one time it seemed as if the vehicle would jump the tracks and crash into the ferry house, but luckily the wheels kept on the rails. There is a bumper or stop about two feet high across the track at its termination near the ferry and this brought the vehicle to a standstill. But the car struck it with an awful thump which threw the occupants in a heap and sent glass and splinters flying in all directions. It is a wonder that Halliday was not killed, for the inclosure where he stood was shattered. He was thrown violently against the dashboard and he is now sufferring from shock and injuries to his side. William Byrnes, aged 43, of 803 Putnam avenue, recieved a scalp wound, and Edward O'Grady, aged 37, of 135 1/2 Greene avenue, was also cut on the head. There was a woman on the car, Mrs. Eliza Woodruff, of 6 Prospect street, but she escaped without injury.

    Several people ran to the assistance of the passengers when the car stopped, and an ambulance was sent for. Surgeon Miles attended the injured, and they were all able to proceed to their houses. Superintendent Rogers of the railroad company made an investigation, but no arrest was made. The disabled car was laid up under the arch at Montague terrace, pending its removal to the shop for repair.

    The driver of the coach was identified by the policeman at the ferry as Ferdinand Cobb, who is employed, it is said, by E. F. Knowlton, of 201 Columbia heights. It is said that Cobb has been warned repeatedly about his alleged habit of obstructing the cable cars.

    Mr. E. F. Knowlton was seen by an EAGLE reporter and said:

    "While myself and Mr. Buffum were riding in my coupe down Montague street this morning from the Brooklyn trust company to Wall street ferry, near Hicks street, we passed a car on the down track, which appeared to be unable to proceed from some trouble with the grip and which was being pushed backward toward the hill, under the bridge. We drove by and down the hill, under the bridge, turning out to the right on the side of the track as quick as the width of the street would allow it, looking back all the while, fearing that they would carelessly risk running down the incline with the grip out of order. We soon saw the car coming, apparently beyond the control of the brakeman. It rushed by us and down the hill, the passengers leaping out and being thrown rolling into the dirt. It smashed into the stopping post or obstructions at the foot of the hill. We most fortunately escaped being run over. but is not this road, thus managed, a dangerous affair? Only yesterday we saw a car stopped for similar reasons, but waiting to be aided down the hill by the car following and then held up for repairs. I hope your paper will fairly ventilate the subject.

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    Kansas City New Cable

    From the Dodge City Globe-Republican / Sunday, February 21, 1892. Page 7.

    Over Four Miles Long.

    Kansas City, Mo., February 6. -- There was received at the Kansas City custom house the transportation papers for the shipment of a wire cable from Hull. England, to Kansas City, via New York. The cable is consigned to the Kansas City Cable Railway company. It is 23,000 feet in length and weighs 68,000 pounds. It wtll come from New York to Kansas City on a flat car specially built for the purpose of hauling it.

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    Mount Auburn Powerhouse Fire

    From the Daily Evening Bulletin (Maysville, Kentucky) / Monday, March 21, 1892.

    Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway lost its powerhouse but was eventually able to resume service.

    Power House Destroyed.

    Cincinnati, March 21. Saturday the great driving station house of the Mount Auburn and Avondale Cable company burned. The loss is estimated at from $75,000 to $100,000; insuranco, $50,000. Traffic will be suspended until the place can be rebuilt. The origin of the fire is thought to bo spontaneous combustion in a lot of waste mingled with grease in the wheel pit.

    Death of Casebolt

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Saturday, September 24, 1892.

    The passing of Henry Casebolt, pioneer cable traction promoter.


    One of San Francisco's Pioneers Gone to His Rest.

    He Was the Man Who Made It Possible for One Cable Road to Cross Another.

    Henry Casebolt died at his home, 2700 Pierce street, near Union, of apoplexy at 4 o'clock yesterday morning at the age of nearly 79 years. He had been downtown attending to business on Thursday, and while he complained of not feeling well, it was not thought by his relatives that death was near.

    Mr. Casebolt was a native of Virginia, born on the 9th of November, 1816 He was apprenticed to a blacksmith, and late in the 50's came to San Francisco, where he engaged in blacksmithing and carriage making on the west side of Kearny street, between Pine and California. He then went into partnership with David Kerr and established a large shop on the corner of Fifth and Market streets, where the Windsor now stands.

    In this new shop he engaged in carbuilding in addition to carriage work, and in this shop the first railroad cars used in San Francisco were built. He also engaged in the building of county roads and at that he made considerable money.

    In l862 he projected a street railroad from the ferries up Sutter street to the sand hills in the Western Addition. As his scheme was thought to be in advance of the times Mr. Casebolt was compelled to furnish the money for the road, which received a charter in 1863. It was soon after built to Larkin street. Later it was extended, by branches, northwest and south. Not long after the success of the cable system was established, Mr. Casebolt introduced the cable on his line, and extended his tracks out Sutter street from Larkin, abandoning the Bush-street route. In 1881 he sold out his interest in the road, and since that time has devoted himself to superintending his carriage business and his patents.

    Mr. Casebolt was the inventor of the device by which one cable-car is enabled to cross a transverse cable line. Mr. Casebolt leaves a widow, three sons and four daughters.

    Mount Auburn Accident

    From the The New-York Tribune / Sunday, October 27, 1893.

    An accident on Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway.


    Cincinnati, Ohio, March 9.-- This afternoon the middle car of a traln of three cars on the Mount Auburn cable road fell from a trestle six or seven feet high, near Avondale. It was nearly full of passengers. John Thompson, of Avondale, was seriously injured internally. Mrs. D. H. Mears, of Racedale-ave., and her daughter Etta were badly bruised and cut about the head and face. Several other persons were slightly but not dangerously hurt

    William Richardson Dead

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Friday, November 18, 1893. Page 4.

    Albert Barnes describes a "disorderly walk" as "conduct that is in any way contrary to the rules of Christ."

    The Passing of Richardson

    He has passed just as he could have wished, not at a discount -- that would have been a sad conclusion of a busy and useful like; but on a rising market, at $250 for $100, twice the recent price in open sales.

    When such an event occurs metaphors jostle each other without regard to mixture. Many will prefer to the figure of Tennyson’s royal hero another familiar and significant local one, and will sorrowfully say, "A landmark gone." Its employment may invite criticism inasmuch as a landmark is commonly a fixture, while the object of this business obituary was singularly active and alert. Yet the mistake is only apparent, for if we allow for a sufficient perspective, taking in the full range of his comprehensive relations, we shall see that while he was apt to be "about," at most times in many places, he was after all a fixture, as those who discovered who often and vainly tried to obliterate or overturn him. A landmark then let us call him, a landmark of transportation, of statesmanship, of legislation, of ecclesiastical affairs.

    Two terms were applied to him oftener, perhaps, than any other. One naturally soothed and delighted him, as if describes the achievement of a worthy ambition and touches the summit of a philanthropic career: "He was a good president for the stockholders." Just as it might be said of another man who had toiled and sacrificed and suffered and prayed for the welfare of his family, "He was a good father to his children.:

    The other term was less pleasing, was in fact distressing, indeed in the whole course of his struggles with enemies no shaft of the wicked wounded him more sorely. When they were most eager to injure him they called him "Deacon." It is well to say at this melancholy moment, as we have often said before, that Mr. Richardson is not, never was, never tried to be, never wanted to be a deacon. His rejection of official station, his shrinking from conspicuity of this sort, was not due to defective love for the church or lukewarm sympathy in its routine duties. He was quite willing to be a "pillar in Israel." He did much work of that upholding and exemplary nature in a modest way, but he insisted that it should be modest, feeling sure that he could effect more good in the ranks than in office. Yet, in the face of this notorious fact, his enemies made their way even into the sanctuary, accusing him of "disorderly walk" one Sunday morning on Seventh avenue, in causing certain work in digging up the roadway on the "Sabbath." The meekness and longsuffering of the president were not often more brightly exemplified, inasmuch as he had a perfect answer to the charge. There was no "walk," disorderly or other, in the case. Instead of walking, it was a matter of riding, in fine cars, behind fleet steeds. But the patient president remained silent under persecution, until the Seventh avenue road was completed and in operation on Sunday and every other day.

    This was only one of his many successful schemes for betterment of mankind, as represented by the stockholders. He was of the fortunate few endowed with a genius for ;doing good by stealth and blusing all over to find it fame. Of course it is chiefly as a leader of transportation interests that the world knows him. Now that he is gone his name must be forever associated with the heart of the business -- with bell punching and double entry bookkeeping in the cars; with wheel flanges and grips, first on the abandoned cable line, later on the coming trolleys. There are other grips, on the legislature, where, exhausted with beneficent labors, he occasionally found recreation in recalling earlier occupations by experimenting with bills, using unequalled arts of persuasion upon good assemblymen, defeating the "strikers" there, who could be more directly and effectually handled than those on the railroad; on the common council and other things.

    If the president had chosen his own time for passing he could scarcely have selected more wisely. His work is triumphantly completed. The tracks are all laid, surreptitiously or other, the extensions are made, the trolley is about ready to run, not only on the routes of the Atlantic avenue company, but also throughout the city, largely through his instrumentality. He has not abandoned his children. He has led them to the high vantage ground of $250 a share for those of them who wanted to sell out, for those who care to stay in a more promising dividend prospect than ever before. William Richardson passes into history having fairly earned the proudest epitaph: "He was a good president for the stockholders." Only the narrow minded will find fault with the inscription. To men of clear vision this means the best president for everybody, because a punctual dividend paying road of course involves the most liberal accommodation for the passengers.

    It is hoped that the landmark will not wholly disappear, but that the ecclesiastical fragment will remain with us. The president may not be separated from his pastor -- not the bird shooting pastor, but the other Dixon -- and may still be recognized, not as the deacon, which he is not, but as a humble servitor, sitting in the appropriate saint’s corner.

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    Kansas City Incline Accident

    From the Chariton Courier / Friday, February 24, 1893. Page 2.


    The grip of a heavily laden train on the Kansas City cable railway incline to the union depot lost its hold of the rope when near the top of the hill on its way up Tuesday morning of last week. The cars dashed back down the steep incline and partially wrecked the waiting room at the bottom. Five persons were hurt, but not dangerously.

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    First Section of Broadway Cable

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Wednesday, April 5, 1893. Page 10.

    The Metropolitan Street Railway's Broadway line would be one of the busiest cable lines in the world.


    The cable on the Broadway line between Thirtieth and Houston streets, New York, was put in early this morning, between 2 and 3:30 o'clock. The rope was put in on the eastern track only. It will be carried back to-night on the west side track and connected at the power house.

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    Completion of Broadway Cable

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Tuesday, May 9, 1893. Page 2.

    Dragging a new cable through the conduit was always hard work.


    A Trial Trip to Be Made To-morrow Night.

    The laying of the Broadway, New York, cable was completed late last night, when the last section was drawn through the conduit from the Houston street power house to the Battery. The great cable, the thickest in use for the purpose and weighing forty tons, was drawn through by means of a smaller or guy cable that had been stretched before. The splice of the two ropes parted in making the turn at Bowling green and several hours were consumed in repairing the break.

    By to-morrow night a single car will be drawn over the downtown division as a test of the machinery and cables. There is still much to be done and it will be two weeks before cars are running regularly over the whole line.

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    First Cable Car on Lower Broadway

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Wednesday, May 10, 1893. Page 4.

    A cable car ran down Broadway from Fiftieth street to Houston and back last night. The success of the experiment was such that the change soon to be completed, though long waited for, promises to accomplish all that was expected of it.

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    Cable Car Safety

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Friday, July 7, 1893. Page 4.

    The Metropolitan's cable lines developed an early reputation for danger.

    Surface Transit in Cities (Excerpt)

    Trolley accidents in Brooklyn are accompanied by cable casualties in New York. The latter system is shown to be as susceptible of derangement as the former. Opponents of electricity as a motive force have contended all along that the cable is far superior to and much safer than the overhead wire method of driving cars. They have maintained that the cable machinery is more easily controlled than the electric motor and that the danger of collision is greatly diminished wherever it has been employed. Cable claims will have to be modified in view of the mishap which occurred yesterday, on Broadway, in the neighbouring city. In the most crowded part of that thoroughfare the grip of a cable car failed to work. The wire rope to which the car was attached became jammed in the underground mechanism so that the driver lost all control. When he tried to stop at Worth street the car continued on its way. Although the gripman acted promptly and intelligently in meeting the perils of his peculiar situation, matters quickly assumed a serious aspect. The car went sweeping along the roadway at a brisk rate of speed. Notwithstanding the ringing of signal bells and the shouted warnings of the driver, many collisions occurred. Other cars on the same track were quickly overtaken and pushed along in unceremonious fashion. From the runaway car and from other cars passengers leaped in alarm. None of them, fortunately, was dangerously injured. The uncontrollable car bowled along, with a mass of wreckage before it, to a point opposite Trinity church. Then the procession of vagrant vehicles was brought to a standstill by shutting off the power at the cable station near Houston street.

    Operating engineers on the cable line say that the accident is the first of the kind that has occurred since the system was devised. It certainly opens up a new field of speculation as to the comparative merits and demerits of the respective methods of propulsion. The Broadway company will have to take radical precautions against repetition of the mishap it it would keep within a reasonable margin of safety. When the attending conditions are allowd for, the escape of the public and the corporation from grave consequences is surprising. An appalling disaster must have resulted but for the self possessed behavior of the driver on the runaway car and the timely assistance rendered by the police. The fault was not with the railroad employes (sic - jt). The accident was due directly to a defect in the machinery. Can effective safeguards against repetition of the casualty be erected by mechanical ingenuity and engineering skill? Experts are confident that it can be done. Unless they are correct, the prospect opened before the people of Manhattan island is not a pleasing one. They will, in the absence of adequate remedies, be subject to embarassments as annoying and threatening as those which afflict residents of communities that look to the trolly as the principal means of transportation. Whether a trolley conveyance, release from human restraint, would have done more damage than the fugitive cable car is an open question. The point of weakness, detected in the cable device will, at all events, discourage the optimists who have insisted that it is the maximum product of inventive genius as directed to the carrying of passengers in populous towns. While New York contgratulates itself on exemption from trolley troubles, Brooklyn can with equal sincerity felicitate itself on freedom from the uncertainties of the cable plan...

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    Broadway Runaway

    From the Trenton, NJ Times / Wednesday, July 16, 1893.

    Runaway cable cars were particularly feared in the busy streets of Manhattan. Thanks to Randall for this article. Visit Randall's Lost New York City site.


    There Was a Lively Scene on Crowded Broadway For a Time.

    New York June 6.

    One of the Broadway cable cars became unmanageable near the city hall park and started on a rampage toward the Battery. The gripman was unable to release the grip, and under the circumstances the brake became useless. In front of the Post Office the runaway car crashed into the rear platform of a horse car ahead.

    The driver of the horse car reined his horses to one side just in time to save them from being run down. Both horses were thrown to the street and the traces were torn away. With the partly demolished horse car ahead, the still unmanageable cable car continued on its mad course. The gripman struggled and strove with all his might to release the grip, failing in which he shouted warnings to everybody in sight. His bell rang at a double rate.

    The passengers in both cars became terribly alarmed, and made a rush for the door, but the conductor obstructed their way and prevented any-body from leaving. Near St. Paul's churchyard, on Broadway, there was a blockade of horses and wagons, and a number of trucks were standing on the track. The runaway cars dashed into the first one. The wheels of the vehicle were torn off and the horses thrown down, while the driver was hurled against the wall of the churchyard. He escaped with light injuries. Still the cars rushed on plowing through trucks and knocking down horses. The drivers usually had warnings and escaped, but owing to the blockade they were unable to save their horses and wagons.

    When the cars had cut a passage through the blockade, seven horses were stretched upon the ground and five wagons smashed. When it was seen that nothing could stop the runaway car, somebody rushed to the nearest telephone and notified the Houston street powerhouse. The cable was stopped immediately, and the cars came, to a standstill below Trinity church. The traffic on Broadway was suspended for awhile.

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    A. Lyon Yakey

    From The National Tribune / August 10, 1893. Page 7.

    C. C. is a Conversation Club.


    Dear C. C. : Though I have been silent for a long time, I still have the interest of the C. C. at heart. I have changed my residence since last writing to the C. C. from Sunny Kansas, and am now living in Cincinnati. O. I will be pleased to see any C. C. who should chance to attend the Sous of Veterans National Encampment, which is held here Aug. 12 to 16. I am employed with the Cincinnati street railway, and can be found by inquiring of any employee of tho Vine Street Cable Division, either on the car or at power house. Yours of the C. C,
    A. Lyon Yakey, Ahrens street, Mt. Auburn, Cincinnati, O.

    Mount Auburn Insolvent

    From the The Wichita Daily Eagle (Wichita, Kansas) / Friday, October 27, 1893.

    Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway enters receivership.

    Cincinnati, Oct. 20. A petition for a receiver was filed in the court of common pleas today by a creditor of the Mount Auburn Cable Railway company, which, he says, is insolvent. The floating indebteduess of the company is $100,000, and the bonded indebtedness, (secured by mortgage), $350,000.

    Consolidated Piedmont Receivership

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Thursday, November 02, 1893. Page 2.

    The Consolidated Piedmont went into receivership as a result of the Panic of 1893.


    It Is Placed in the Hands of a Receiver.


    Oaklanders were treated to a genuine surprise yesterday when the rumor was spread about the streets that the big concern known as the Piedmont Cable Company was in the hands of a receiver.

    The rumor proved only too true, for at about 11 o'clock a bulky document was filed with the County Clerk reciting the main facts.

    Yesterday was the date for the payment of the semi-annual interest on the $1,000,000 bonds outstanding against the company and the payment could not be made. Accordingly, a meeting of the directors was held and the following resolution was introduced and passed:

    Resolved, That this corporation is insolvent, and in view of such insolvency and its inability to pay the interest upon its bonded indebtedness, the California Title Insurance and Trust Company be requested to take such immediate steps as may be necessary and proper for the protection of the bondholders of the corporation under the deed of trust made to the California Title Insurance and Trust Company of date of May 5, 1890, for the protection of the creditors of this corporation.

    A suit to foreclose was instituted by the California Title Insurance and Trust Company according to the request in the resolution above quoted, and Judge Ogden was asked to appoint a receiver to take charge of the property of the company. Ira Bishop, one of the directors of the company, was appointed with bonds fixed at $25,000.

    Mr. Bishop is the principal stockholder in the San Francisco Tool Company, which company built the major part ofthe extension line of the railroad company, and the stockholders In the tool company are also large holders of the railroad stock. S. C. Bigelow and S. H. Meyers are Mr. Bishop's sureties.

    While proceedings were going on looking to the appointment of a receiver the Oregon Improvement Company served an attachment on the railroad company for $18,186. This attachment suit was commenced on October 4, but was postponed with the expectation of a settlement, and he matter was only pushed yesterday when the improvement company got wind of the receivership proceedings.

    With this writ of attachment in his possession the Sheriff proceeded to the cable-house of the company, where he put Deputy Sheriffs Hollywood and Murphy in possession. The operation of the road was not interfered with in any manner.

    The principal points in the document filed by the Calilornia Title Insurance and Trust Company are as follows:

    On May 5,1890, the Piedmout Cable Company executed a mortgage to the trust company for $1,000,000. The bonds of the road were 1000 in number of the value of $1000 each, with interest at 6 per cent, payable on May 1 and November 1. The bonds were to run thirty years.

    To secure these bonds a first mortgage was given to the plaintiff, the trust company, as trustee, this mortgage covering all the property of the company. It was agreed that if interest should go in default six months the trustee should be entitled to take possession of the property and operate the road.

    It is further set forth that 992 of the 1000 bonds were sold and issued; that on October 31, 1893, the directors of the company acknowledged its insolvency: that the debt amounts to $992,000; that the same has not been paid; that the property can best be operated as a whole; that the plaintiff has been requested by holders of more than half the bonds to foreclose the mortgage; that the sum of $10,000 is a reasonable fee for foreclosing, etc. Therefore the plaintiff prays for foreclosure and sale by Sheriff, and that pending the action a receiver be appointed.

    The trust company's attorneys are Pane, Eelis & Wheeler, and Chickering, Thomas & Gregory.

    The Piedmont Cable Company was incorporated on April 19. 1890, with seven directors, as follows: Phoebe A. Blair, E. A. Heron, Wilson B. Morse, Montgomery Howe, Samuel Howe, Daniel Meyer and Ira Bishop. The capital stock was $2,000,000, divided into 20,000 shares of the value of $100 each. The amount of stock subscribed at the time of incorporation was 817,000, or $1000 for each mile of road contemplated.

    The parties subscribing at that time were as follows: Phoebe A. Blair. $2500; Montgomery Howe, $2500; Samuel Howe, $2500; Daniel Meyer, $2500; Ira Bishop, $2500; E. A. Heron, $2500, and Wilson B. Morse, $2500.

    When first started the company did not include the Fourteenth-street line, but in 1892 the corporation was reorganized and the latter system was purchased, the company again starting out with $2,000,000 of stock and $1,000,000 of bonds, $992,000 of the latter being sold.

    When Mr. Heron, the president of the road, was seen yesterday he stated tbat the appointment of a receiver for the road would in no wise interfere with the running of the road.

    Secretary Garthwaite, who is also superintendent of the road, said that there was very little floating debt and that all the gripmen, conductors and others in the employ of the company bad been paid up to yesterday. "They will not lose a dollar," he said.

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    Chicago City Railway Kills Actor

    From the New-York Tribune / Wednesday, November 6, 1893. Page 7.

    The Chicago City Railway was a frequent subject of stories about accidents

    Killed by a Cable Car.

    CHICAGO, Nov. 5. -- Daniel J. Hart, an actor, forty-three years old, was knocked down and mangled by a cable car on State Street, near Jackson, this afternoon. He died in St. Luke's Hospital at 5 o'clock. Mr. Hart was a member of William Newell's company.

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    A Later Car Service

    From the San Francisco Call, Monday, January 29, 1894. Page 2.

    A Later Car Service.

    The time table of the horse car line running from Tenth and Howard to South San Francisco has been changed. The last car connecting at Twenty-fourth street and Potrero avenue with the yellow Howard-street cable cars will leave the points mentioned at 12:40 a. m. instead of midnight as formerly. The last car from South San Francisco for Twenty-fourth street leaves at 1:10 a.m. Theater goers are enabled to spend forty minutes additional seeking pleasure. Formerly there was little margin to catch the last car after a performance.

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    Kansas City Juror Shennanigans

    From the Saint Landry Clarion / Saturday, March 10, 1894. Page 4.

    A Premium on Ignorance.

    Because a juror looked at a cable train as it sped past him, Judge Henry granted a new trial of the five thousand dollars damage suit of Frank Jackson against the Kansas City Cable railway, in which Jackson was recently awarded fourteen hundred dollars damages. Mr. Ashley, for young Jackson, contended that if a new trial were to be granted in suits against cable companies every time a juror happened to glance at a cable car, no verdict for the plaintiff could ever stand. He also said that if a man were so deaf, blind and stupid as not to notice passing events such as the approach of a cable train, he had no right to a place on the jury. Judge Henry held, however, that the inspection of Juror Hickman was sufficient to warrant the granting of a new trial. Trial by jury, he said, would be a farce it jurors were permitted to get information out of court. -- Kansas City Star.

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    Superintendents Resign

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Tuesday, May 29, 1894. Page 7.

    Oakland Cable Railway superintendent and his son resign.

    The Lorings to Resign.

    G. Y. Loring, superintendent of the Oakland Cable-road Company and the Oakland Electric Company, and G. A. Loring, the assistant superintendent, will resign their connection with the roads, to take effect on the first of the mouth.

    They have been connected with the roads since the cable was built and are perfectly conversant with every detail of the business. It is rumored that their resignations were requested.

    G. A. Loring has an offer to go to Guatemala and put in an electric road, and It is probable that he will accept it.

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    Martin Succeeds Lorings

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Friday, June 1, 1894. Page 3.

    New Oakland Cable Railway superintendent

    From NOTES

    Mr. Martin of San Francisco, an experienced railroad man, will succeed the Lorings, father and son. in the superintendency of the San Pablo avenue cable-road and the Telegraph avenue electric line. He will assume charge to-day.

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    Kansas City Elevated Taken Over

    From the Salem, Oregon Capital Journal / Friday, June 8, 1894. Page 2.


    The Kansas City Elevated railway has practically passed Into tho hands of the Metropolitan Street Railway company by the purchaso of a majority of its bonds.

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    Sydney/King Street Line Opens

    From the Adelaide Advertiser / Thursday, September 20, 1894. Page 5.

    Sydney's New South Wales Government Tramways opened its second cable tram line in 1894.


    Sydney, September 19.
    The new cable tramway from Erskine-street, Darling Harbor, to Ocean-street, Woollahra, a distance of about two miles, was opened for traffic to-day. The line, which traverses King-street and opens up the eastern suburbs around the harbor, has been a very costly one, £160,000 having been expended upon it.

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    Kansas City Consolidation

    From the Omaha Daily Bee / Wednesday, November 21, 1894. Page 1.

    Street Railways Consolidating.

    KANSAS CITY , Nov. 20. Robert Fleming, who is the chief financial backer of the Kansas City Cable railway, has recently purchased a large interest in the West Side Electric road in Kansas City, Kan. W. N. Coler. the New York banker and capitalist, is buying stock in the Kansas City Cable railway. This places the two roads under one control, and it is said to be only a matter of a few days until both will be under the same management, with the same president and the same directors. Mr. Fleming's purchase is equivalent to a consolidation. It is following out almost exactly the same plan as that which was adopted by the Metropolltan In assimilating the "L" road and the Vine Street electric, except that the Kansas City Cable railway does not assume any responsibility for the West Side electric or guarantee its bonds. In fact the company as such does not appear in the deal. it is now In litigation over the consolidation of last spring.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Hard Feelings

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Tuesday, December 11, 1894. Page 9.

    The Consolidated Piedmont's recevership led to many hard feelings.


    Garthwaite No Longer in Contempt.

    Oakland.-- There is no longer a conflict of authority in the management of the Piedmont Consolidated street Railway. Up to last evening it looked as though the battle between Superintendent Garthwaite and Receiver Bishop might be followed by a stream of blood, but now all is peace. The courts have stepped in and Mr. Garthwaite has stepped out.

    The trouble really began when Garthwaite did something the receiver did not like, and the latter posted the following notice:

    Notice is hereby given that H. P. Garthwaite is no longer connected with this railway, and from this date and until further notice the employes of the Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company will receive their orders and instructions from the undersigned or from F. A. Ross, who is now acting superintendent.

    Receiver Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company.

    Mr. Garthwaite saw this notice and went the receiver one better, for just beneath it he posted this notice:

    Notice is hereby given that the undersigned is superintendent of this road until January 1, 1895, and that at that date either Ira Bishop, the present receiver, or the undersigned will retire from the management of this road, indications being in favor of the retirement of Ira Bishop.

    H. P. GARTHWAITE, Superintendent.

    Some funny man saw the two notices and proceeded to embellish the Garthwaite notice in bis own way by underscoring certain words. The Garthwaite manifesto in itself was sufficient to arouse the ire of Receiver Bishop without the emphasizing interlineations, and Mr. Bishop was so mad that he immediately hunted up his attorney, Mr. Wilton, and the latter gentleman almost pulled the tacks out in tearing down the superintendent's notice.

    The removal of the notice did not iritate Mr Garthwaite in the least. but he continued in come to the office and do business at usual, until Mr. Bishop finally wrote him a letter threatening to call in the courts if the superintendent did not keep away.

    And Mr. Bishop did finally call upon the courts to see if Mr. Garthwaite was not in contempt.

    A citation was issued on Saturday night asking Mr. Garthwaite to appear before Judge Ogden and show cause why he should not be punished for contempt.

    This morning Garthwaite came into court, and at the request of Judge Ogden. Judge Greene decided to hear the matter. Judge Ogden was called to the bench with him and as a mater of courtesy, Judge Cadlin of Sacramento, who was present, was also asked to sit in the case. The three jurists then heard the proceedings.

    Receiver Bishop was first called to the stand. He said that he had discharged Mr. Garthwaite, discharged and even wanted to fight Bishop and called him improper names and had threatened to have him ousted from the control of the road. Garthwaite had told him (Bishop) that he was superintendent, and proposed to be continued as such.

    Mr. Garthwaite was put on the stand and questioned as to the part he had taken in the running of the road after he had been discharged. He also stated that he had paid out money for the road, but all that he had done he had done for the best interests of the concern and not to handicap it in any way.

    When asked by his attorney. Mr. Fitzgerald, if he had underscored the notice he posted he said he had not.

    The three Judges now put their heads together and concluded that except for the notice Mr. Garthwaite had shown no contempt for the court, but in that he was clearly in contempt. Even in that, they said, he would be excused If he would but apologize. Mr. Garthwaite arose, glad to get off so easily, and said he would apologize to the court, "so far as the court is concerned."

    "But," said Judge Greene, "Mr. Bishop is an officer of the court, being receiver, and you must apologlze to him."

    Mr. Garthwaite paused a moment and then said: "I apologize to the court and to Mr. Bishop as a court officer, but not to Ira Bishop, the individual."

    Mr. Bishop scowled at Mr. Garthwaite and Mr. Garthwaite scowled at Mr. Bishop, and the matter was ended.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Hard Feelings/2

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Saturday, January 05, 1895. Page 9.

    The Consolidated Piedmont's recevership continued to fuel hard feelings.

    He Wants to See the Books.

    H. P. Garthwaite, late secretary of the Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company, is not fully satisfied that Ira Bishop, the receiver of the same company, is doing work to the best interest of the company, Bishop is, or was up to a late date, manager of the San Francisco Tool Company. The cable company is indebted to the former for $65,986 54. which, Mr. Bishop claims, they are about to demand of the company. To protect himself as secretary and a director, liable for a share of that amount, Mr. Garthwaite filed an affidavit with the County Clerk last evening, through his attorney Carl Abbott, in whicb be sets forth the above facts and goes on to say:

    That to ascertain this alleged indebtedness as a stockholder to said San Francisco Tool Company and to ascertain his alleged indebtedness to other creditors of said defendant, and for the purpose and necessity of using the said books and records of said defendants as secretary and as director thereof in the usual course of business, and to defend himself properly against possible suits, and to save himself costs and expenses of suits, It will be and is necessary for this affiant to have access to and permission to examine without let or hindrance statement of accounts and books of account kept by said defendant of the different business transactions which said defendant has had with said San Francisco Tool Company and other person.

    With this is an order in blank, drawn up for the Judge to sign, granting the prayer of the petitioner.

    In addition to the above Ira Bishop will be compelled to appease the wrath of Mrs. Phoebe Blair, who is after him with a sharp stick. John Yule, her attorney, applied for and was granted permission a few days ago to go througb tne books and papers in the possession of the receiver. H. P. Garthwaite was employed to do the work, but he thought that Mr. Bishop was not giving him all of the freedom he should have had so he reported to Mr. Yule, who started in himself, but was unable to get the matter be desired.

    It is claimed now that Mr. Yule will ask the court to cite Mr. Bishop for contempt for not obeying the order and allowing them free and full access to all of the books, papers, accounts, etc. Some go further and declare that some of the stockholders will file a petition to-day asking for the removal of Mr. Bishop on the ground that his annual accounting is misleading and incorrect.

    From present indications, such as the sale of bonds for 50 cents on the dollar, these varied petitions and Mr. Garthwaite's sworn assertion that the San Francisco Tool Company was to close its indebtedness, it looks like a dark road that is ahead of the stockholders of the Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company. The proceedings will be watcbed with great interest by the public.

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    Baseball Field Unprofitable

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Saturday, January 05, 1895. Page 9.

    The Consolidated Piedmont had built a baseball field as a traffic generator. The economic downturn made it unprofitable. Colonel Tom Robinson was a pioneering professional baseball promoter in Oakland. Note that baseball was usually spelled as two words at this time.

    A Relic of Robinson.

    When baseball was booming and Colonel Tom Robinson was at the top notch of bis glory the Piedmont baseball grounds were fitted up for him and a big fence erected to keep out the impecunious. Yesterday the Piedmont Railway Company began demolishing this fence and taking down the grand stand, which properly belongs to it The reason is that the grounds do not pay. The land belongs to the Valdez estate, and will be turned over to it, the lease having expired.

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    Kansas City Corliss Engine

    From the Kansas City Daily Journal / Sunday, January 06, 1895. Page 2.


    Directors of the Kansas City Cable Railway Visit the Power House at Eighth and Woodland.

    The directors of the Kansas City Consolidated Railway Company held a meeting yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock at the headquarters of the company, Fifteenth and Grand avenue. Robert Fleming, of London, England, who negotiated the consolidation of the old "Ninth street" and Grand avenue systems, was present. A large amount of routine business was transacted nnd various matters of interest to the development of the systems were discussed.

    At the conclusion of the meeting of the directors all those who had attended the meeting inspected the monster Corliss engine at the power house at Eighth and Woodland, which has been recently put in, and which has materially increased the speed of the consolidated systems. One of the interesting features of the inspection was the making of a temporary splice of a cable, which was highly entertaining and pleasing to Mr. Fleming, to whom it was something new. The splice was made in seven minutes.

    The engine at Eighth and Woodland is the one used at the world's fair, and was set in motion in Chicago by President Cleveland.

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    KC Cable Car Crews Get Free Coffee

    From the Butler Weekly Times / Thursday, December 10, 1903. Page 8.

    The Metropolitan Street Railway of Kansas City installs urns in all its cable terminals and will serve coffee free of charge to the gripmen.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Foreclosed

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Sunday, January 13, 1895. Page 8.

    Foreclosure opened the way for the Consolidated Piedmont to be sold at auction.

    The Piedmont Foreclosure Is Finally Entered.


    The judgment and decree of foreclosure in the suit of the California Title Insurance and Trust Company against the Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company, which was entered upon default of the defendant upon the 23d of October, 1894, has been entered at the request of the attorneys for the plaintiff.

    The judgment as entered is for $1,050,197 33 and $2500 allowed as compensation to the trustee and $2500 for attorney fees. The decree provides for the sale of the property in one parcel by the Sheriff. When the foreclosure was entered it was thought by the creditors of the company that if the sale was staved off the road might be operated by the receiver so that it could finally be gotten out of its financial difficulties. The recent application of the receiver for permission to borrow $20,000 in addition to the $63,000 of receiver's certificates already outstanding shows that a considerable barrier of prior liens is piling up between the bondholders and their security as the receiver certificates are a prior lien.

    This is supposed to be the cause for entering up the judgment at this time. It is rumored that the sale of the road under the decree may be proceeded with in the near future.

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    Sudden Stop on Montague Street

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Friday, February 1, 1895. Page 1.


    Singular accident on the Montague Street Railroad

    Something unexplained happened at 8:15 o’clock this morning to car No. 5 of the cable line, which runs down Montague street from the city hall to the ferry. The car had just started on its way down the hill toward the hill when it stopped suddenly with a jar which threw all the passengers about like corn in a popper. Herman Beck, aged 15 years, of 188 Van Buren street was standing looking through the glass of the front door at the moment of the accident. He was thrown through the window but escaped with a cut chin.

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    Chicago -- Halsted Street Runaway

    From the Saint Paul Daily Globe / Monday, February 25, 1895. Page 1.

    The Halsted line belonged to the West Chicago Street Railroad.


    Train Runs Into a Horse Car -- Chicago Cable Car Accident.


    Chicago Gripman Unable to Release His Grip.

    CHICAGO, Feb. 24. -- A collision on the Halsted street cable line this afternoon caused a great deal of excitement, and resulted in three women being badly bruised, although at first it was thought a number of persons had been seriously injured. The accident was caused by the gripman being unable to release his grip from the cable, on account of a broken strand becoming entagled in the grip, and the train crashed into one ahead. Many passengers escaped by jumping, while a number were thrown to the floor of the cars by. the collision. Those injured are: Mrs. Ellen Cronin, Miss Margaret Cronin and Miss Ida Martin.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Sold at Auction

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Wednesday, March 20, 1895. Page 11.

    I have the feeling that auctioneer/receiver Ira Bishop sold the company to his brother.


    The Consolidated Piedmont Is Bought In by Banker Bishop.

    An extended street railroad system was sold by auction yesterday in front of the courthouse, in Oakland. The railroad was the Consolidated Piedmont, and the auctioneer was Commissioner Ira Bishop. The purchaser was Charles R. Bishop, vice-president of the Bank of California, and the price paid was $82,000.

    Among the capitalists present were: John Yule, Charles R. Bishop, S. C. Bigelow, president of the Savings and Loan ation; John L. Howard, John Morris, Montgomery Howe, E. A..Heron, J. H. Brewer, E. C. Sessions, E. P. Yandercook, Frank Woodward, Attorney Eells, E. J. Pringle, George K. de Golia, George W. Reed, J. B. Richardson, Henry Squires, M. T. Holcomb, W. F. Dingee and W. R. Boardman.

    Commissioner Bishop stepped forward into the crowd at the hour of noon and opened proceedings by saying: "How much am I bid for this road, gentlemen?" Then came an awkward silence of a few minutes and the auctioneer added: "Ain't it worth anything? Don't I hear a bid?" Then C. R. Bishop, who holds $100,000 of the company's bonds, said: "I bid $82,000."

    The auctioneer tried hard to get a raise on the bid, assuring the crowd that the road cost more than that amount; but no one present cared to invest in cable road. The third and last call was made and Mr. Bishop got the road.

    The Piedmont road was completed a few years ago at a cost which made it possible to bond the line for $1,000,000. The property was considered such a good one that these bonds found plenty of purchasers, In due time came competition and the Piedmont suffered to such an extent that many bond-holders lost all they had put into the concern.

    Ever since the road began going down hill (lol - JT) it has gone rapidly, and lawsuits against it have multiplied to such an extent that it is doubtful if it will ever be free trom litigation.

    Among other liabilities was that of the California Title Insurance and Trust Company, as trustee, which corporation held the bonds of the road. This company obtained judgment for $1,050,197 33. It was under this judgment and decree that the road was sold yesterday.

    Since the judgment was obtained the road has been in the hands of a receiver, and besides its many other debts it has run behind in the receiver's hands something like $90,000, for which amount receiver's certificates have been issued. There has also been an order issued requiring the receiver to hold out $25,000 subject to the determination of a suit by Margaret Wallace, now pending. The receiver has also been ordered to pay deposits by employes amounting to $1200. As only $82,000 was received for the road, there will be a deficiency judgment of something like $968,197 33 on the face of the mortgage.

    Yesterday afternoon after the sale two additonal attachments were levied on the property. One by A. A. Black for $10,000 and the other by Samuel Howe, Martin Howe and Phoebe Blair for $18,840.

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    Notice to Stockholders

    From the Kansas City Journal / Sunday, March 31, 1895. Page 19.

    NOTICE TO STOCKHOLDERS- Notice to the stockholders of the Grand Avenue Railway Compuny is hereby given that a meeting of such stockholders will be held at the office of said company, No. 1500 Grand avenue, in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday, the first day of June, A. D. l895, at 9 o'clock a, m.. for the purpose of voting upon the following propositions:
    1. To increase the capital stock of said company from $l,200,000, its present amount, to $5,300,000.
    2. To increase the bonded indebtedness of said company from $l,200,000, its present amount, to $5,300,000.
    3. For the transaction of such other business as may be brought before such meeting.
    Kansas City, Mo., March 29, 1895.
    WALTON H. HOLMES, President.
    DANIEL B. HOLMES, Secretary.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Assessment

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Thursday, May 16, 1895. Page 13.

    Assessor Dalton had a lot of trouble with railroad and street railroad assessments.

    The Piedmont Cable.

    The managers of the Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company have filed a statement with the Alameda County Assessor. They value the road at $80,000, which is the amount the road sold for at public auction. Mr. Dalton says he will not accept these figures and will place a valuation of his own on the road.

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    Kansas City Consolidation

    From the Guthrie Daily Leader / Wednesday, May 22, 1895. Page 1.


    The street railways of Kansas City to be Owned by One Company.

    Kansas City, Mo., May 21. The consolidation of all the street railways of Kansas City under one management is practically assured. The stockholders of the Metropolitan company met yesterday afternoon and voted to increase the capital stock of the company from $3,600,000 to $8,500,000 and acquire by purchase the entire stock of the Kansas City Cable Railway Co., the Grand Avenue railway, the Kansas City and Independence Dummy line. The total street railway mileage in the consolidation is 128.5. C. F. Morse, of the Metropolitan company, will be president, and Walton H. Holmes, of the Kansas City Cable railway, secretary. It is expected the new order of things will go into force and effect June l.

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    Kansas City Lawsuit

    From the Kansas City Daily Journal / Sunday, June 16, 1895. Page 6.

    Court Notes.

    Because Summit street, at Twenty-thlrd, was so rough as to throw him off his load of hay, to his great injury, P. Trainer has sued the Kansas City Cable Railway Company for $2,000 damages. His contention is that the company is required to keep its tracks in good repair and pave the street between the tracks. This pavlng was so poorly done, he alleges in the position filed yesterday, as to make It impossible to drive with safety along the street, hence the damage suit.

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    Peoples' Cable Railway at Auction

    From the Portland, OT Beaver Herald / Thursday, June 20, 1895. Page 1.

    Cable Line at Auction.

    Bondholders of the Tenth Street Line In Kaunas City Tired of Their Burden.

    Kansas City, Mo., June 15. -- L. C. Krauthoff, attorney for the bondholders of tho People's Cable railway, better known as the Tenth street line, has asked Judge Philips in the United States circuit court for an order authorizing the sale at auction of the property. The property embraces a big power house and shop at tho corner of Tenth street and Euclid avenue and the cablo line running on Tenth street from Main street to Brooklyn avenue, and south on Brooklyn avenue to Twenty-seventh street. The debt of the road Is nearly $1,000,000, in round numbers, nnd its net revenue is said never to have been sufficient to pay the interest on the bonds. It is usually from $6,000 to $12,000 behind at the close of each year's business.

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    Union Cable Railway Not Being Sold

    From the Kansas City Daily Journal / Thursday, July 07, 1895. Page 6.

    from Court Notes.

    The property of the inactive Union Cable Railway Company was not sold at sheriffs sale in front of the court house yesterday afternoon, as intended, the proceedings being stayed by nn order from Judge Henry's division of the circuit court, extending the date of the sale sixty days. M, M, Broadwell secured the postponement by alleging that his wife had various interests in the property that would suffer If the property was sold at forced sale.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Sale Contested

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Wednesday, July 10, 1895. Page 11.

    Bondholders sue over the sale of the company.


    Stockholders of the Piedmont Cable Company Sued by Holders of Piedmont Cable Bonds.

    James T. Boyd. William T. Walcker and A. D. Grimwood, holders of ten bonds of the Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company, have sued the stockholders of that company upon their statutory liability for the bonds. They allege that when the sale of the road was made on the 19th day of March, 1895, all of the proceeds went for the payment of the receiver's indebtedness, leaving no part for the payment of the bonds.

    The stockholders against whom judgment is asked are: E. A. Heron, 776 shares, $583 61; Phoebe H. Blair, 3783 shares, $2844 11; Charles R. Bishop, 2537 1/2 shares, $1908 40; John R. Spring, 1100 shares, $827 28; F. A. Huntington, 525 chares, $394 84; Mabel E. Blair-Squire, 654 shares, $491 86; J. L. Bradbury, 1000 shares, $752 07; J. H. T. Walkinson, 523 3/4 shares. $393 90; H. Abraham, 500 shares, $376 03; W. H. Lermert, 823 shares, $618 96, and W. J. Dingee, 500 shares, $376 03.

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    This Is a Danish Count.

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Thursday, July 11, 1895. Page 1.

    This Is a Danish Count.

    SAN FRANCISCO, July 10.-- Otto W. Mall, conductor on the Union street cable line, bas fallen heir to a fortune of half a million dollars and now says he is a Danish count. Mall has worked as conductor for several years and has never made known tbe fact tbat he belonged to tbe Danish nobility. Today he received $500 from Denmark and was notified tbat his draft tor any reasonable amount would be honored. His aunt recently died in Copenhagen and left him half a million dollars. Mall says he never announced bis title because he was poor and thought no one would believe him and he did not wish to be taken for an imposter.

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    Consolidated Piedmont -- Bitter Feelings

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Wednesday, August 14, 1895. Page 11.

    Some people did not trust Receiver Bishop.


    Another Row Over the Piedmont Cable Company.

    The troubles between Receiver Bishop of the old Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company and some of the original stockholders, including H. P. Garthwaite and Mrs. Phoebe Blair, had another airing in court to-day. The hearing of the contest against the acceptance of the receiver's second annual account brought Mr. Garthwaite to the stand as a witness for the contestants. Mr. Garthwaite accused Mr. Bishop of peculiar tricks with reference to a franchise which had been obtained from the Council for a few blocks down Washington street. He stated that Mr. Bishop, claimed that he had obtained this franchise personally from the Council in connection with Mr. Heron. When other roads were given the privilege of traveling over the road covered by the franchise Mr. Garthwaite affirmed that he had collected the money at Mr. Bishop's request and had turned it over to him. Mr. Garthwaite was cross-examined by Attorney Wilson as to his personal relations with Mr. Bishop. He acknowledged that he had been discharged by that gentleman, but hinted that it was because he had circulated a petition among the bondholders asking for the removal of the receiver.

    "They did not take your advice and have him removed?" queried the attorney. "Unfortunately not," was the sharp reply.

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    Peoples' Cable Railway Sold at Auction

    From the Omaha Daily Bee / Sunday, March 15, 1896. Page 6.


    The People's Cable railway, built in Kansas City during boom days at a cost of $750,000, was sold Saturday at auction for $185,000.

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    Passing of the Cable

    From the Daily Alta California, Friday, April 25, 1896. Page 5.


    An Eastern Railway Journal Says It Is Doomed in San Francisco.


    May Soon Be in Effective Operation on All the City Railway Lines.

    A recent number of the Street Railway Journal of New YorK, under the head of "The Doom of the Cable in San Francisco," has some interesting things to say concerning the development of the electric street railway in San Francisco and the possible supplanting of the cable by electricity throughout the entire Market-street system, and, indeed, the whole City.

    In the Hobart building the Journal's deductions were not accepted. "The Market-street Railway Company," say the authorities, "has substituted electricity as a motor on four horsecar lines and on one cable line. "What we will do further is another question. We do not claim to know -- in fact we do not know. There are some lines upon which the cable will probably always be used, because it will always be the best and most economical power."

    Of the cable the article in the Journal says that started twenty-two years ago the cable road was a success mechanically and financially from the first, and its fundamental features were quickly copied on other roads in this City and in other cities. The Journal continues:

    Articles have appeared in Eastern journals from time to time to encourage San Franciscans in the belief that the cable system was really more economical than the electric, except on long suburban lines, but for about a year and a quarter the Market-street Railway Company has owned electric roads of its own and has been making data for itself. Snow has not bothered the company at all on its cable roads, nor has the frost closed up the slot. The expense for cables has not been abnormal, and the original construction was most substantially done in iron and concrete. In fact, the conditions for cable-road traction in San Francisco are the equal of any in the world, and the construction and operation of these roads are unsurpassed. The Market-street Company, however, has become convinced that the people prefer to ride on the electric-cars, and that the electric-cars carry the people more cheaply than does the cable.

    These results were not obtained from a few electric-cars run on level lines and at high rates of speed, but from the operation of upward of 150 cars at from 1 1/2 to 2 /12 minute headway at times and on lines havihg grades as high as 14 1/2 per cent. Most of these cars are subject to frequent interference from the heavy wagon traffic on the downtown streets, and all of them are governed by the rule ordering a reduction of speed at the crossing of each intersecting street.

    The company began cautiously by changing its old horsecar lines to electric lines. Later it decided to equip with electricity the route of a franchise designed to be a cable road and for which $30,000 worth of cable material had already been bought. The routes of all new franchises were then ordered to be equipped as electric roads, and finally it was decided to abandon the use of the cable on one line -- Ellis street -- and substitute electricity.

    This last decision is considered significant and one foreshadowing the changing of not only all cable roads on the level to electric roads, but the changing of all cable roads accessible to electric cars, and not only the cable roads of the Market-street system, but also those of the other cable roads in the city. The Market-street Company maintains at present six cable power-houses and each has its two large monthly items of fuel and labor. Every time a cable power-house can be dispensed with and the lines operated by electricity that power-house item, labor, is wiped out and the item of fuel is reduced both on account of the less fuel required per car mile for an electric road as against a cable road and because the cable-houses are usually run non-condensing, whereas In the electric power-house the engines are run condensing.

    * * * There is a cable line on Oak street requiring a cable 26,000 feet long that is now under reconstruction as an electric road. When this road is changed the large cable power-house at Oak and Broderick streets, from which both Oak and Ellis have been run, will be shut down.

    The grades on the Howard, the Post and the McAllister street lines are all perfectly practicable for electric cars, and in case they are changed from cable to electricity two more power-houses can be dispensed with.

    Electricity has, perhaps, replaced the cable on the level and on easy grades, some cable men say, but on heavy grades the cable will always be retained.

    When we see the dally spectacle of electric-cars unaided climbing 14 1/2 per cent grades in San Francisco and 15 per cent grades in Oakland, and by means of a simple auxiliary device ascending a 25 per cent grade in San Francisco, where no cable grip could be made to hold, the impregnability of any cable proposition is open to question.

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  • Union Cable Railway May Come Back (Topeka State Journal, Thursday, June 11, 1896)

    Union Cable Railway May Come Back

    From the Topeka State Journal / Thursday, June 11, 1896. Page 3.


    Melville E. Stone and Others to Build Up the K. C. Union Cable Line,

    Kansas City, June 11. -- President Melville Stone of the Associated Press, accompanied by several capitalists of Chicago, will be in Kansas City today. His errand is said to be connected with a revivification of Mr. E. Broadwell's Union Cable railway.

    This street railway was built to tap the northeastern part of Kansas City, a region which is stiil without adequate street car facilities. When completed, however, not only did the "shallow conduit" system prove a mechanical failure, but the financial vicissitudes of the enterprise culminated in bankruptcy. Since then the roadbed and powerhouse have been severely dealt with by time and lack of attention and look like a wreck.

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  • Union Cable Railway To Be Sold (Kansas City Daily Journal, Tuesday, September 15, 1896)

    Union Cable Railway To Be Sold

    From the Kansas City Daily Journal / Tuesday, September 15, 1896. Page 3.


    Special Judge Lucas Orders the Sale of Union Cable Railway Assets.

    Attorney W. H. Lucas, acting as special judge in Judge Henry's division of the circuit court, ordered the sale of the assets of the Union cable railway, together with its franchise, yesterday. Mr. Lucas ordered the payment of $500 to William Weston for each year he has spent as receiver of the road. The arguments and testimony which led up to Mr. Lucas' decree yesterday were heard by him last June. The Union cable railway was a boom enterprise. It was to have laid track around the block bounded by Oak, Sixth, Walnut and Missouri avenue, but It never did so. The tracks it did lay were laid from Missouri avenue and Oak street to Fifth street and thence east to the city limits. The project was abandoned during the boom and the property and rights of the company have been in litigation ever since. No date has been fixed by Attorney Lucas for the sale. Whether the road still owns its franchise is a mooted question.

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    Stopped Too Suddenly.

    From the San Francisco Call / Sunday, February 21, 1897. Page 10.


    Four Passengers More or Less Injured on a Union-Street Cable-Car.

    Four passengers on a Union-street cable-car were more or less injured yesterday morning, and two of them, Frank Vernon, stenographer in Judge Conlan's court, and his son Howard, stenographer in Judge Campbell's court, were taken to the Receiving Hospital.

    Tbe Vernons rode downtown together, seated on the dummy. They had been chatting with Anson Duffy, an employe, of the Market-street Railroad, and as the car reached the terminus at Washington street and Montgomery avenue the three rose from their seats to alight. Just then the car stopped with a sudden jerk, and the three were thrown backward over the dashboard to the cobblestone pavement.

    The Vernons were badly stunned by the fall. Howard had a scalp wound on the back of his head and his father was wounded on top of his head, the wound extending several inches. Duffy escaped with a shaking up to his system.

    Joseph Moser, another passenger was seated inside the car. The shock threw him from his seat and he escaped with a few abrasions on his head. The conductor was standing near the door opening to the dummy and the jerk threw htm against the glass of the door, which was shattered into pieces.

    The two Vernons, after having their wounds stitched and dressed at the hospital, were sent to their homes.

    It is supposed that the sudden stoppage of the car was due to a strand in the cable.

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    Kansas City Oiler Killed

    From the Caldwell Tribune / Saturday, April 03, 1897. Page 1.


    Terrible Death of an Oiler With the Kansas City Cable Railway.

    While John Lasalle, an oiler, was putting in a new pully wheel in the Brooklyn avenue cable road conduit at Tenth and Harrison streets, Kansas City, he was caught by the shank of a grip on a passing car and dragged to the Troost avenue line, where his body was caught and held by the intersecting cable rope. His body traveled almost 300 feet and smashed three large pully wheels nine inches In diameter. His back and nearly every bone In his body was broken. The watchman at the cable crossing heard his groans and telephoned to the power house and stopped the rope, which had almost sawed Lasalle's body In two. After an hours' work Lasalle was removed from the conduit, but died in a few minutes after being taken out. This is the first accident of the kind that ever happened in the United States.

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    Chicago -- Cable Cars to Carry Bicycles

    From the Saint Paul Daily Globe / Sunday, May 30, 1897. Page 11.

    The North Chicago Street Railroad may install bicycle racks. Charles T Yerkes, owner of the North Chicago company, was famous for doing what was needed to make money.

    Street Cars May Carry Wheels.

    From Chicago comes the announcement that one of the big street car companies is considering a plan to carry wheels on its cars. It is said that the plan meets with the approval of the astute Mr. Yerkes, and it is likely that this is a fact, for Mr. Yerkes, has ever been keenly alive to Mr. Yerkes' interests.

    The Chicago movement is the result, doubt less, of a previous movement in New York. Some weeks ago the elevated roads of New York put on special bicycle trains. The patronage was so large that the number of trains was increased and the plan was declared to be a big success.

    The story from Chicago is to the effect that in a short time the North side street cars will carry bicycles. The matter will be considered at the next meeting of the officials of the North Chicago Street Railroad company, and it is said on high authority that Mr. Yerkes approves of the scheme. The plan was proposed by Mr. Winston, a director, and it contemplates hanging hooks or other suitable devices on the rear dashboards of street cars, to which three bicycles can be attached. There is a string tied to the scheme, however, for such hooks only can be used for bringing crippled wheels down town.

    Mr. Winston's sympathies for unfortunate bicyclers were excited when he heard some young women of the North side, who were caught far up toward Evansten with crippled wheels, and were compelled to walk several miles before they could get assistance. Then and there he formulated the plan which, when realized, will transform the rear dashboards of cable and electric North side cars into portable hospital wards for wounded wheels.

    If the plan is adopted -- and there seems to be little doubt that Mr. Winston's idea will be accepted -- every car on the North side will be decorated with three bicycles hanging to hooks on the rear platforms. It will be an easy matter for a weary pedal-pusher to let the air out of his tire, unscrew the bolt in his chain, or make a cripple of his wheel without damage to it, and thus put it in condition to pass the civil service examination of the conductor. When these little schemes were given to one of the officials of the North side system yesterday he laughed and said:

    "Well, the fact is we long have had an idea that it would be a good thing for the cars running out to Evanston, and other electric cars reaching Into the wilds, to, carry bicycles. There are hundreds of bicyclers who are deterred from attempting long gut of the city rides because of the distance, their inexperi ence, or because the wind is blowing in the wrong direction. If they find out that it will be possible to ride in toward home on a street car for a nickel, with their bicycles nicely and securely hanging from the rear platform, they will be tempted to make longer runs, and the company will get their fares for the run in.

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    Battle Over Assessments

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Thursday, July 15, 1897. Page 11.

    The Oakland Cable Railway's owner fights for lower assessments.


    Mr. Black Ryan and the Assessor Have Their Annual Seance.


    Other Corporations File Applications to Have Their Assessments Reduced.

    Oakland Office San Francisco Call, 908 Broadway, July 14.

    The real battle over the assessments of Assessor Dalton commenced to-day when E. Black Ryan, tax agent of the Southern Pacific Company appeared before the Board of Equalization and handed in a number of applications. The company asked that the assessment be placed at the same figures as those decided upon by the board last year.

    Mr. Ryan was accompanied by several engineers of the company, who were prepared to testify as to the value of its property, and no time was lost in considering the application.

    The ground was all gone over very thoroughly a year ago. The questions were examined into at length, and piers, lines, ferryboats and their values were the burden of several long sessions. It ended by the board, largely on account of the advice of the State Board of Equalization, making large cuts in the Assessor's figures.

    In some instances it was shown that the same property had been assessed twice, once by the State and once by the county; and as equalizers cannot strike an assessment from the rolls, these properties were reduced to a nominal figure.

    This year the Assessor made the figures the same as last year, thus placing the responsibility of making the cuts again with the Supervisors.

    The reductions asked for by the company are as follows:

    Improvements at the end of the wharf depot from $45,000 to $25,000; Centerville horse railroad, from $3500 to $1000; 2.09 miles electric railway on Telegraph avenue, from $40,950 to $11,500; 2.35 miles of cable on San Pablo avenue, from $83,225 to $47,000; franchise on the same, from $71,000 to $10,000; 2.04 miles electric road in Berkeley, from $43,350 to $15,125; .35 of a mile of cable-road near Park avenue, from 11,750 to $3500; 1.4 miles electric road near University grounds, from $25,500 lo $5700; .23 of a mile of electric road on Alcatraz avenue, from $2525 to $1300; franchise on these last two lines from $6000 to $1000.

    Sixty acres of marsh land west of the line of Market, street, Oakland, from $18,000 to $1800.

    A tract of marsh land comprising 447.50 acres, bounded north and east by the Oakland harbor, from $134,225 to $65,000.

    An undivided interest in a tract of marsh land, bounded north and east by Oakland harbor, comprising 430.37 acres, from $129,100 to $65,000.

    Ferry depot at the end of the broad-gauge mole from $150,000 to $85,000, improvements at long wharf, from $15,000 to $7000.

    Three and a half miles of road with roiling stock, $175,000; forty miles of sidetracks, $60,000; franchise, $250,000; 8000 feet of long wharf, $250,000, making a total of $735,000, which was asked to be reduced to $10.

    With a few exceptions the reductions asked are the same as those granted last year. A long inquiry into the values of the properties of the company took place. It was stated that the Telegraph-avenue electric road was paying a little, but the San Pablo cable road is operated at a loss.

    Mr. Ryan argued that the properties should not be assessed at what they cost originally, as much of it is old and worn out. He asked for an assessment at the figure they would bring if sold in open market. He stated that the Seventh-street line was a part of the main line just as much as the narrow-gauge branch, and being assessed by the State board should not be assessed in this county.

    Mr. Dalton argued that the Seventh-street local line and the mole were part of a system wholly operated in this county and should be assessed by this county and not by the State board. He said the narrow-gauge line is a part of the main line, but the Seventh-street local is not.

    Several times during the day the opinions of the District Attorney were sought on various points. Assistant District Attorney Church declined to advise the Supervisors, because he has a brother on the board, and all matters were referred to Mr. Snook.

    After a morning and afternoon of argument the board voted to reduce the assessments on the Seventh street and Berkeley lands to ten dollars as they are assessed by the State board. The vote was, ayes, Talcott, Mitchell and Church; noes, Wells and Roeth.

    The board also voted to reduce the assessment of the Piedmont and Mountain View Railroad Company to about the same figures as those on which taxes were paid last year.

    An application was received from the Adams estate heirs asking that the assessment on Oakland property be reduced from $156,000 to $30,400.

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    Kanasas City New Street Railway

    From the Kansas City Daily Journal / Saturday, July 17, 1897. Page 4.


    The building of an electric street railway to the East bottoms within the current year will be one of many enterprises that mark the present revival of prosperity in this city. There is considerable satisfaction in the emphatic announcement that this line will be built. It will give direct connection to a part of the city that has been retarded in the matter of securing street railway facilities. One of the most promising of the undeveloped resources in and about this great commercial center is the East bottoms, with their abundant switch facilities, water supplies and other advantages for the establishment and operation of great manufacturing plants. The scope of these lands is so large as to afford ample room for the building of any number of small dwelling houses near to the great factories that will undoubtedly occupy this territory in the Greater Kansas City.

    But the particular satisfaction in the present undertaking is that it promises to be a finally successful solution of a problem that has had many experimental attentions. The old Fifth street dummy line was never completed to Its proposed destination, and lacking transfer privileges it was unsuccessful as an independent short line and had to be abandoned. Its franchise having been annulled only the other day for non-operation. Then the Union cable railway, which was to have an uptown terminus somewhere near Seventh street and Grand avenue, was partially laid when the collapse of the boom suspended operations. The aim of this line was substantially the same as that of the road about to be built. Its eastern terminus having been designated as Helm's brewery.

    With the transfer concessions secured from the Metropolitan company there can be little doubt but that the new road will be a profitable as well as a useful one.

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    San Francisco's Street Cars

    From the Los Angeles Herald, Thursday, August 5, 1897. Page 3.

    The Park and Ocean steam road mostly ran on H Street (now Lincoln Way).

    San Francisco's Street Cars.

    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4. -- Work will be soon commenced reconstructing the cable and steam roads operated by the Market street systems. The first improvement that the company has in contemplation is the reconstruction of the D street, or Park and Ocean steam road, that runs south of the park, connecting the Haight street cable with the Cliff house. The dummy line on California street north of the park will also be transformed Into an electric road. The substitution of electricity for the cable roads on Post, Leavenworth, Tenth, Howard and Twenty-fourth streets will be completed before the end of the year. The Post street line will be extended to MontgomeTy street and other changes are contemplated.

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    Don't Put Your Feet on the Seats

    From the Marietta Daily Leader. (Marietta, Ohio) / Saturday, August 21, 1897.

    An incident on Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway. The newspaper liked the story so much, it had alrady printed it on 02-August-1897. It was also picked up by other newspapers.


    An Order That He Had Neglected to Obey.

    "I had a queer experience with a gripman on a Mount Auburn cable car this morning," said a Fifth street cigar dealer to a Cincinnati Tribune man. "You know there is a sign in the car which reads: 'Don t put your feet on the seats,' or something to that effect. Probably they were afraid that you would scratch your shoes on the rough seats. Anyhow, the sign's there. "On the car there was but one other passenger, evidently a friend of the gripmnn. He was sitting in the seat next to the official, and the two enjoyed a long and animated discussion concerning the system of transfers soon to go into operation. over the new extension of the Oak street line. In a careless way I had placed my foot upon the seat, or rather my toe was against the edge, but in no danger of harming the wood-work. The gripman reached over and in an authoritative tone said:

    "'Yous must take yer feet off the seats. See the sign? Them's our orders from headquarters, and we must obey them.'

    "'Is that so?' said I. 'Do you obey all the orders that are given out?'

    "'Sure.' said he.

    "'What's that order up there?' said I.

    "'Which?' said he.

    "'That one that says: "Don't talk to the gripman." You have been talkiing to your friend for 13 minutes and never once told him to stop talking to you.' "He looked dazed for half a minute, and then said:

    "'That's one on me, partner. Let's saw wood, and say nothin.'"

    Broad Gauge Replaces Narrow

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Sunday, September 4, 1898. Page 15.

    This article about the beginning of the process to convert the former South Pacific Coast line to standard gauge mentions that the Oakland Cable Railway's was going to be converted to electric operation.


    The Unpopular Narrow Gauge Torn Up.


    Next Monday the First Broad-Gauge Train May Run Along Webster Street.

    Oakland Office San-Francisco Call, 90S Broadway, Sept. 3.

    Before another week passes it is expected that the narrow gauge system, which has been so unpopular for many years, will be a thing of the past. The beautiful steel bridge has been swung across the estuary and the machinery is in perfect order. The new tracks have been laid from Harrison street to Webster, and to-day several gangs of men are laying a broad gauge track on Franklin street in place of the narrow gauge. Next week all this will be completed and the new system will be in operation. At present it is thought the work will be sufficiently advanced to run the first broad gauge train on Webster street next Monday.

    Last Thursday evening the last pieces of the bridge were completed, and when the big draw, which is one of the finest in the State, started to revolve it was found that the intricate mechanism was perfect, and the electric machinery a great improvement over the old hand system. New cars and engines for the new line were built in Sacramento and arrived in this city yesterday. There are fourteen cars of the latest broad-gauge pattern, fitted with the improved Pintsch gas apparatus. For a time there will be one narrow gauge track kept on Webster street for the purpose of accommodating the freight service of the narrow gauge road to Santa Cruz.

    Work on both moles is being rushed and several hundred men are at work In each place. On the broad-gauge mole track laying has already commenced to accommodate the twenty-minute service which will be inaugurated as soon as the new ferry boat is completed by the Union Iron Works.

    The railroad company has also contracted for the material for changing the San Pablo cable road into an electric system, the contract being contingent on the permission of the City Council to make the change.

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    From the Kansas City Journal / Tuesday, September 24, 1898. Page 12.


    Victims of Wrecks, of Cable Trains, of Faulty Sidewalks and of Matrimony File Pleas for Compensation or Relief.

    Ben W. Small was a conductor and he sues the Grand Avenue Railway Company for $2,500 because he was thrown off his feet one day while on duty and broke a wrist.

    W. S. Thomas wants to recover $3,000 from the Metropolitan Street Railway Company because one of its cars started too soon and he had his right knee crushed.

    David S. Boyd says that he got on a crowded street car on Main street one day, and while standing on the footboard of the grip car it started suddenly and he was thrown to the street, fracturing his skull. He wants $10,000 damages from the Metropolitan Street Railway Company.

    Barney Herbes wants $3,000 from the Metropolitan Street Railway Company because while a passenger on a car, a sudden jerk threw him down and his right arm and hand are crippled permanently.

    Auzllla Anderson was thrown against the seat of a street car in a violent manner by the sudden stopping of the car, and she says that she received a serious spinal complaint thereby. She asks damages of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company in the amount of $3,000.

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    Leaking Gas Pipes Cause an Explosion.

    From the San Francisco Call / Friday, January 20, 1899. Page 9.



    Leaky gas pipes passing under the wheel pit of the Union Street Cable Car Company at the junction of Montgomery avenue and Washington street nearly cost Peter Aggesson, an oiler, his life yesterday morning. Aggesson had descended into the trench at the point mentioned at half-past 11 for the purpose of oiling the gear of the revolving wheel over which the cable passes. He detected no odor of gas, and after a time lighted a small jet used to light the dark pit. For a few seconds nothing happened, but gas which had been escaping from leaky mains soon ignited and a terrific explosion occurred. Simultaneously with the report forks of flame shot out of the slot for a distance of 300 yards in each direction.

    When the excitement subsided those who had gathered on the scene found Aggesson lying underneath the machinery badly burned. His arms, face and hands were severely scorched and he was in an unconscious condition. An ambulance was summoned, and he was hurried to the Receiving Hospital. There it was found that in addition to his exterior injuries he had breathed considerable flame into his lungs. It is not believed his injuries are dangerous.

    The accident was caused by the explosion of gas which probably had been accumulating for several hours. The shock was sufficient to cause a general destruction to windows in the vicinity.

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    Worker Died From His Injuries.

    From the San Francisco Call / Monday, February 13, 1899. Page 5.

    "Pinch bar" is another name for a crowbar.

    Died From His Injuries.

    Edmund J. Bovett, 30 years of age, died at his home, 984 Union street, yesterday morning from injuries received while working at the Union street cable house on February 8. Bovett was fixing a pump on that date and a pinch bar he was using slipped and struck him in the stomach. The deceased leaves a widow.

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    Gripmen Need Protection

    From the Kansas City Journal / Saturday, February 18, 1899. Page 12.


    Street Railway Men Say They Cannot Protect Grlpmen With the Appliances Now In Use.

    In referring to the bill recently introduced In the Missouri legislature compelling street railway companies to protect their motormeen or gripmen, Manager Walton Holmes, of the Metropolitan system said yesterday:

    "If they will show us a way in which we can protect our grlpmen from the wlnd and storm we will gladly adopt it and save them the trouble of compelling us. As a matter of humanity we have tried, and are anxious to find some plan by which we can save our employes some of the exposure to which they are now subject. In our electric cars the problem is not a dlfficult one, and as a proof of what I just said I call attention to the fact that when the law was first introduced to put vestibules on electric cars, our cars were already supplied. All our electric cars are ordered with vestibules and would be, with or without the law. As will be remembered, we tried a grip car with windows and the objections to it were manifold. The grip has to take the brunt of the rough usage and on those the windows were soon shattered. The opening In the bottoms of the cars kept the gripmen's feet as cold as they get in an open car while the warm air collecting above Increased the discomfort of his work. On severe days the windows covered with frost so that it was Impossible to see the track ahead and along the sides, both of which a gripman must do to have control of his car. Our steep grades Increase the need of having an unobstructed view, for a window, though clear, would sometime command only a view of the sky and at other times, of a few feet of track at the lower angle of a grade. On some cable cars, where the ground is level, a screw grip Instead of the long lever we have to work with here, Is used. With this it is no more difficult to protect the gripman than it is a motorman. He can stand near the window at all times and get a good view ahead and on both sides."

    Mr. Holmes further said that in Chicago, from which place he has just returned, the operators of the cars worked through all the terrible cold, without protection either on cable or electric trains. Kansas City, he said, makes a better showing than almost any other town in the amount of protection given street railway trainmen.

    General Manager W. H. Lucas, of the Brooklyn Avenue Railway Company, made substantially the same answer as Mr. Holmes to the reference to the proposed law.

    "If the way can be found," he said, "the law will not be necessary. The matter has long had our earnest consideration. There is no class of outdoor workers who require the nerve to stick to their posts of duty more than the gripmen. They deserve every bit of the sympathy and more than the honor they get for the way they stand in the cold ten hours every day no matter what comes. A different grip may be devised but, with the present one, windows could not be depended on to give a sufficient view of the track and street. The problem will be largely solved in the change from cable to electricity which is going to be a popular one."

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    West Side and Yonkers/26

    From the Brooklyn Eagle / Sunday, February 26, 1899. Page 16.


    "B. W." -- The first cars run over the Greenwich street, New York, elevated railroad, were on July 3, 1869. That was the first section built from the Battery to Courtlandt street.

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    Howard Street to be Converted

    From the San Francisco Call / Wednesday, March 8, 1899. Page 6.


    Messrs. d'Artenay and Wynne reported that Manager Vining had no intention of taking the cable cars off Twenty-fourth street and operating the Howard street cars on Twenty-sixth street. It is the intention of the railroad company to change the Howard street cable system to an electric line. If it be decided to run the Sixth street line down Post from Taylor to Montgomery it will be the means of hastening the reconstruction of the entire Post street system. It is contemplated by the company to change the Sansome and Montgomery street horse systems to trolleys.

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    Chicago -- Making Money From Cable Cars

    From the Omaha Daily Bee / Saturday, July 1, 1899. Page 6.

    Charles T Yerkes sold the North Chicago Street Railroad and the West Chicago Street Railroad for an obscene profit.


    Sample Instance of the Value of Street Railway Franchises.

    Chicago Record, June 28.

    Today Mr. Yerkes will be paid $10,000,000, iho price of the stock of the West and North Chicago street railroads, which he sold to the new traction company. It was thirteen years ago In May that Mr. Yerkes made his original investment In those properties. The amount invested Is not known. Probably it was a tenth of the sum realized today.

    The case is of interest, because it has a certain bearing on a subject that has received much discussion of late -- namely, the compensation of capital.

    There is a rough and ready fashion of taking the prevailing interest rate and saying that money is worth that much, no matter what the particular enterprise may be. But the fact is, as all experience shows, that the element of risk governs each particular case. Capital never has been and never will be available at current interest rates for an undertaking the outcome of which is supposed to be in any way uncertain. Only recently Mr. Yerkes and his associates paid a bonus amounting to about $1,000,000, in addition to 5 per cent interest, for a loan of $4,500,000 at eighteen months for use in an elevated interest. This would amount to something like 20 per cent a year, the exact rate depending on the market value of the securities given as a bonus, although plenty of money could be had at 3 1/2 per cent on municipal or state bonds.

    The question of risk in most businesses turns In part on the question of competition and this is one of the strong arguments in favor of the plan of guaranteed and supervised monopolies in public utilities.

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    From Cable to Trolley

    From the San Francisco Call / Sunday, November 12, 1899. Page 9.


    Work to Commence Immediately on the Reconstruction of Howard and Post Streets.

    The long-contemplated reconstructioo of the Howard and Post street cable lines into a trolley system is about to materialize at last. By to-morrow morning a gang of men will be put at work under the supervision of Chief Foreman T. B. Egan of the Market street combine to effect the change on Howard street frum the ferry to Tenth street. While this branch of the road is being reconstructed all cable cars of the Howard street line will stop at Tenth street, to which the passengers from the Post and Leavenworth street lines will be transferred as usual and carried from Tenth to Potrero avenue over the present route.

    On the completion of this the first section, the cars will then be run from Tenth street to the ferry and the services of the Mission street line will be invoked to carry passengers southwest with the aid of the Bryant street trolley line. The passengers patronizing the Howard street system will be carried to East Mission along Twenty-sixth street.

    Immediately on the finishing of the Howard street line the work of transforming rhe lines on Post and Leavenworth streets will be commenced.

    Valencia street cable will soon follow into the rusty pile of castaway wire cable. It is only a question of time, and brief at that, when cable service through the Mission will be a thing of the past.

    In addition to the changes mentioned there are a few more which will be hailed with delight by the residents of the Mission road. In future between 5 and S:3O a. m. and from 4 to 7 p. m. cars will be operated every six minutes to China avenue. Every other car will run to Ingleslde, which will give the people of that section a 12-minute schedule from Twenty-ninth street to the ferry a three-minute service will be maintained. From 8:30 a. m. to 4 p. m. there will be a six-minute service to Twenty-ninth street and a 12-minute service to China avenue.

    Better service, both by faster time and more frequent trips, has been scheduled for Folsom street. The travel over this line since the trolley service was extended along the San Bruno road justifies a better service than formerly.

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    Reconstruction of Howard Street Line

    From the San Francisco Call / Friday, December 8, 1899. Page 9.


    The Work of Substituting Electricity for Wire Cable Service Commenced.

    With a working force of 200 men Foreman Thomas B. Egan of the Market Street Hallway Company made a start yesterday morning on East street for the reconstruction of the Howard street cable line into an electric service. Previous to this commencement of doing away with cable service on all streets south of the slot. Chief Constructor H. H. Lynch had connected the San Francisco and San Mateo trolley line with the Howard street track at Spear and Howard. A suitable spur has been connected with the Spear street track of the two-county electric line by which the San Francisco and San Mateo cars will switch into Howard from Spear and by this facility gain a final terminus on the big checkered turntable right In front of the ferry building This, however, will not take place until the lower portion of Howard street undergoes its reconstruction, which will be but a few weeks at the utmost.

    As soon as this change takes place that portion of Spear street between Howard and Market, over which the Harrison street cars now run. will be discontinued and all the electric and cable cars terminating at the front will congregate on the big checkered turntable.

    By the beginning of next month the Post street cars will be pulled off and the work of reconstructing this branch of the Howard street line will be commenced and prosecuted to a finish. After the entire work has been completed the Post, Leavenworth and Tenth street brunches will be extended to Bryant street and the Howard street branch will run three blocks further east on Twenty-fourth street, which will bring that line to Rhode Island street.

    The power and carhouse at the corner of Tenth nnd Howard street will still remain standing and become the carhouse of all cars running over the newly constructed roadways.

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    Weehawken Viaduct Removed

    From the New York Tribune / Monday, March 5, 1900. Page 8.

    The North Hudson County Railway had another viaduct, connected to a set of huge elevators.



    The last tower of the Weehawken viaduct which extended from the West Shore ferry to the Palisades is being removed, and In a few days nothing will be left of that large structure, which had been considered a remarkable feat of engineering skill. The viaduct was built as part of a general plan to provide rapid transit for the northern part of Hudson County, N. J.. and to accommodate the crowds that visited the old Guttenburg racetrack which at the time was at the height of its popularity.

    Preliminary surveys, borings for the foundations, plans and estimates of the cost of the structure were made in the fall of 1889 but the work of construction was not begun before the next year. The structure was designed to carry a double track railroad, to connect with the surface car lines on the summit of the Pallisades. The viaduct was 873 feet long and 153 feet above mean high water. It was built of steel. At the east end of it were three large Otis elevators, which carried passengers from the street to tne cars above. The elevators were the largest of their kind ever made. They were operated by water pressure on the combined gravity and pressure tank system from a compression tank placed in the top of the tower. Each car was 22 feet long by 12 feet 6 inches wide and was capable of lifting one hundred and fifty persons. The viaduct was designed by Thomas E. Brown, jr. It cost about $500,000.

    When the hand of the law fell on the racetrack and the crowds no longer rushed across from New-York and fought their way into the elevators to be carried to the cars on top of the viaduct, the North Hudson County Railway Company, the owners of the structure, decided that the little local traffic did not warrant the operation of so costly a plant. The viaduct was then abandoned and an electric line was constructed up the face of the Palisades to take Its place.

    About a year ago a Philadelphia concern purchased the structure for less than the value of old steel, and began at once to tear it down. The removal of the viaduct was attended with much difficulty, and only a few days ago the last tower was taken down.

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    Non-Union Pavers Expensive

    From the San Francisco Call / Saturday, March 24, 1900. Page 9.

    Non-Union Pavers Expensive.

    In a communication sent from the San Francisco Labor Council to Chief Constructor H. H. Lynch of the Market Street Railroad Company, who is employing non-union pavers in the reconstructing of the Howard and other cable lines into trolley service, it was shown that the non-union pavers are more expensive than their brothers belonging to the union. It was shown that a block of 412 1/2 feet paved by non-union pavers costs $2l5.50, as against the cost of the same number of feet paved by union pavers at $132. With this showing the communication urged the Market Street Company, as a matter of economy, to employ union hands,

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    Last Cable Cars on Broadway/1

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Sunday, May 19, 1901. Page 4.

    Cable operation on Broadway lasted into the Twentieth Century.


    To Be Operated in Manhattan in a Week

    The last cable car will be run on the Broadway line, Manhattan, on Saturday nght next, and the whole Metropolitan system will be then operated by electricity. It was thought that the cable would be cut last night, but, owing to a delay in the perfection of the plans, the work had to be postponed for a week. The Lexington avenue road changed from cable to electricity two weeks ago and the Columbus avenue one week ago.

    The work on the Broadway line has been going on for some time and the officials of the Metropolitan fear no serious suspension of traffic after the cutting of the cables. They say that all the cars will be operated by electricity on the following Monday morning. At the offices of the Metropolitan Traction Company it was said that possibly horse cars would be run over the Broadway line to Fifty-ninth street while the work of adjusting the electric wire was going on. This, however, has not been definitely decided upon.

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    Last Cable Cars on Broadway/2

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Sunday, May 26, 1901. Page 10.

    Cables replaced by conduit electrics.


    Work of Removing the Cable Began at 8:30 Last Night -- Traffic Stops Until Tuesday

    Shortly before 9 o'clock last night workmen began the work of substituting electricity for cable power on the Broadway car lines. With the removal of the cable from Broadway the entire system of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company will be operated by electricity.

    The work of changing the motive power on the cable line was started four weeks ago, when the cable was removed from Lexington avenue. A week later the cable was removed from Columbus avenue, and for the past two weeks the cable line has extended only from Fifty-ninth street to the Battery.

    The work of substituting the motive power has been going on for many months. Owing to the character of the work involved, the engineers have been extremely careful in having every detail worked out before stopping traffic. They expect that the entire line will be opened by Tuesday, but in the meantime they hope to operate the road as each section is completed.

    According to the engineers in charge of the work there are under the road nearly five thousand moving parts, all of which must be taken out in pieces. Besides there are 3,500 sheave wheels on which the cables rested and which will be taken out through the various manholes.

    Before the electric current can be turned on more than 200 connections will have to be made, 8,000 plugs removed, and about 40,000 bolts set. one of this work can be done, however, until the cable has been removed.

    The last car that carried passengers on the lower section of Broadway left Houston street shortly after 8 o'clock and the Battery at 8:27 o'clock. Starter Thomas Doyle, instead of giving the signal to start the car with his whistle, discharged a revolver. The car contained sixteen passengers.

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    Mishap on Montague Street

    From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Friday, August 15, 1902. Page 1.


    Basis of a Damage Suit for $1,700 Instituted by Miss May Against W. J. Cockle.

    Miss Lauretta V. May is suing William J. Cockle, a real estate dealer at 164 Montague street, in the Supreme Court, for $1,700 damages and the basis of her suit is an alleged bath of red paint which the fair plaintiff says she received on June 4 last and to which the defendant contributed because of his runaway horse. Miss May says she was damaged $200 to her clothing, $500 injuries done her hair and skin and that the nervous shock, ridicule and embarrassment caused a further injury of $1,000.

    According to the story disclosed by the papers Miss May was walking along Montague street on the day of the accident when she heard the noise of a running horse. Looking about she saw that the animal had been frightened by a cable car, and, attached to a wagon, he had taken to the sidewalk and was coming her way. She quickly withdrew to one side but the flying heels of the runaway came in contact with a pot of red paint standing on the sidewalk and it rained a deep carmine upon the plaintiff. It ruined her dress and hat and caused her cheeks to blush vermillion. Miss May says that the accident caused her much mortification and mental distress.

    The case was sent to a Sheriff’s jury by Justice Dickey late yesterday afternoon and the damages, if any, will be assessed by a panel of jurors drawn by Sheriff Dike.

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    Runaway on the Incline

    From the Bisbee Daily Review / Saturday, August 23, 1902. Page 1.



    One Killed and Twenty Injured -- Car Dashed Down Incline and Collided With Another.

    Kansas City, Aug. 22 -- A cable car crowded with passengers got away from the gripman at the top of the steep Ninth street incline at the Union station here at 6 o'clock this evening and dashed to the bottom at a terrific speed. The car crashed into a train that had become stalled there. Passengers were hurled in every direction and the grip car on (the - JT) runaway train and the rear coach of the other train was reduced to a mass of twisted iron and splinters. W. B. Taylor, gripman on the first train, was killed instantly and at least twenty persons were injured, perhaps six of them seriously.

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    Runaway on the Incline

    From the Rock Island Argus / Saturday, August 23, 1902. Page 1.


    Street Car Travels Down an Incline with Eighty Passsngers on Board.


    Loses His Life as a Consequence -- Score of Other Persons Reported Wounded.

    Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 23 -- A cable car crowded with passengers got away from the gripman at the top of the Ninth street incline at the Union station here last evening and dashing to the bottom at a terrific speed crashed into a train that had become stalled there. The passengers were hurled in every direction and the grip car on the runaway train and the rear coach of the other train were reduced to a mass of twisted iron and splinters. One man, the gripman on the first train, was killed instantly and at least twenty persons were injured, perhaps six of them seriously. The dead man was W. B. Taylor, gripman.

    Incline is a Death Trap.

    The incline, which has been the scene of several fatal accidents, is 300 yards in length, and starting at the top of the bluff at Penn and Ninth streets overlooking the railway station descends at an angle of forty-five degrees to an elevated platform. At the time the accident happened the cars were crowded with persons going to and from the station. A grip car and one coach had safely reached the bottom incline, and was being switched to the opposite track, preparatory to the climb back toward town. Before this could be accomplished dozens of persons crowded into the train.

    Eighty Passengers in the Runaway Car.

    In another minute a train appeared at the top of the hill heavily laden with passengers. The gripman had lost control of his car and in another instant eighty passengers were being carried down the steep hillside at lightning speed. A panic ensued, both on the descending car and among the crowd below. A score of passengers on the runaway train jumped from the sides of the cars, rolling over and over on the trestlework. The train struck the platform with a terrific crash. Gripman Taylor was found dead, buried under the wreckage, while two dozen persons sprawled about. Half of the injured were only stunned or bruised.

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    Dummy and Car Come Together.

    From the San Francisco Call / Tuesday, November 18, 1902. Page 14.


    Smashup Occurs at Corner of Mason and Union Streets.

    Small Number of People on Vehicles at Time of Accident.

    Dummy No. 5 of the Union street cable line crashed into car No. 414 of the Powell street line last night shortly before 10 o'clock at Mason and Union streets. The dummy was in charge of Gripman Barrett. Car No. 414 was in charge of Conductor T. W. Montgomery and Gripman Frank Stegeman.

    It was a miracle that no one was seriously injured. An aged lady. Mrs. Gordon of 1527 Powell street, fainted from fright, and a young lady whose name could not be ascertained had her ankle sprained.

    There were few people on either of the cars at the time of the accident, otherwise the list of injured might have numbered more. One of the gripmen received a black eye.

    According to the story of Conductor Montgomery the Union street dummy, which was running alone, failed to sound any warning. "We have the right of way," he said, "on account of the steep grade between Green and Union streets and also because we have to release the grip and glide over the crossing with the momentum we gain in coming down the hill. The Union street cars have to come to a full stop, as it is impossible for us to do so. Last night the gripman sounded the gong repeatedly on approaching the crossing. I heard no bell from the other car and did not see the dummy until It was within ten feet of us."

    Gripman Barrett claimed that he released the grip preparatory to letting the Powell street car pass, that in some unexplainablc way it again became attached to the cable and before he could let it go again he had collided with the other car.

    The crashing of breaking glass and the rending of the timbers in the side of the car run into caused great excitement in the neighborhood. The men and women on the two cars jumped for their lives and many of them received bruises in that manner. A large crowd soon gathered and wrecking crews from the car barns endeavored to replace the vehicles on their respective tracks. It was long after midnight when the track was cleared.

    The Powell street car was turned over at an angle of thirty-five degrees, and would have fallen on its side but for the grip, which stuck in the slot. Its side was stove in and nearly every window was shattered.

    The cable on the Union street line was stopped and traffic for the night arrested. The Powell street cars were run between Market street and Washington, where there is a turntable.

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    Consolidated Piedmont Fraud Alleged

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Sunday, April 05, 1903. Page 33.

    Consolidated Piedmont's troubles dragged into the new century.

    Piedmont Cable Company Officers Say There Is No Fraud.


    Oakland Office San Francisco Call. 1118 Broadway, April 4.

    The charges of fraud preferred by John Yule in his suit against the board of directors of the defunct Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company to recover a personal judgment on a note of $10,000 were denied by J. R. Spring, J. H. T. Watkinson, E. A. Heron and Charles R. Bishop to-day in an answer to the complaint. The other directors sued are W. J. Dlngee and John R. Bradbury.

    Yule claims that when the directors realized the affairs of the company were hopelessly insolvent they induced Mrs. Phoebe A. Blair to indorse a note of $10,000, which she had to pay after the street railway concern was declared bankrupt in 1893.

    Yule obtained an assignment of Mrs. Blair's claim and has since been prosecuting the case. He contends that the directors to escape a personal liability transferred large blocks of stock to other parties, and the answer filed to-day makes both general and specific denials of these charges. This suit will open up some of the history of this bankrupt cable road.

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    Consolidated Piedmont -- Revenge of Mrs Blair

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Sunday, May 17, 1903. Page 33.

    Mrs Blair wants her money back.


    Dingee Sets Up Defense in Old Suit Against Him.

    New Phase of a Case That Has Been in Court for Years.

    Oakland Office San Francisco Call. 1118 Broadway, May 16.

    After a number of years of litigation between Mrs. Phoebe A. Blair and John Yule, her assignee, against William J. Dingee and the other directors of the defunct Piedmont Cable Company, the suit is about to go to a retrial. In the meantime years have slipped by and in his answer to the suit to-day Dingee pleads, the statute of limitations as a bar to further proceedings.

    Mrs. Blair complains that in 1893, at the request of Dingee and others, she indorsed the note of the Piedmont Cable Company for $10,000 when the directors knew that the company was insolvent and that a few days afterward she was called upon to pay the note. The suit was instituted by John Yule, to whom Mrs. Blair has assigned her claim.

    The case was tried, a decision was rendered in favor of the directors of the company and an appeal was taken to the Supreme Court. The case was sent back for a retrial, and complaints and answers have just been filed. It is said C. R. Bishop and J. R. Spring have made good their proportion of the amount, which aggregated $2268 20.

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    Consolidated Piedmont -- Attempted Suicide of Receiver Bishop

    From the New-York Tribune / Sunday, November 06, 1904. Page 8.

    Ira Bishop, who had been the court-appointed receiver of the Consolidated Piedmont company and faced many problems because of it, used a gun the next year.


    Ira Bishop, a well known manufacturer of electrical supplies, attempted to commit suicide this week while suffering from depression, due to ill health. He turned on the gas in his room, but the odor led to his discovery before It was too late.

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    Court Flight Delayed by Rain

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, January 1, 1905. Page 3.

    Typical California winter rains damaged Court Flight while it was being built

    Attorney Blackburn, the McCarthy real estate firm and other parties interested in the new incline railway project on Court street celebrated the last day of '04 by viewing the damage done to their pet enterprise by the driving rain of Friday night. Real estate kept sliding down hill Into Broadway while the promoters of the improvement were at their homes asleep, and the morning showed what the elements can do when they get busy. Resolutions will not repair the damage. It will take a bunch of cash.

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    Court Flight Real Estate Ad

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, January 8, 1905. Page 6.

    People hoped Court Flight would increase real estate values



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    Court Flight Fights A Competitor

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Saturday, January 14, 1905. Page 7.

    Court Flight fought off a proposed competitor



    Contest Between Residents of Court

    Street Hill Ended by Board of

    Public Works

    The long-drawn battle between Court street hill residents to whether they would ride on an incline railway or an elevator came to an end yesterday when the board of public works denied to D. P. Donegan the right to put in an elevator.

    Some months ago a franchise was granted the McCarthy company to construct an incline rallway up the hill. Later Mr. Donegan wanted another part of the street for an elevator, intending to serve the public at a small fee and also to connect with a new hotel that he intends to erect.

    This application aroused opposition from the owners of the incline railway franchise. They claimed that the sale of the franchise gave an implied promise that no dangerous rivalry should be fostered by the council.

    The residents on the hill took the same view of the matter and lengthy protests against the elevator, signed numerously, were presented to the council. For months the matter has been held before the board of public works. Mr. Donegan said that the protests did not represent public sentiment on the hill, and offering to bring in as long a list of prospective patrons who desired an elevator. He failed to do so, and Friday the board killed his enterprise.

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    Angels Flight Sued

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Saturday, January 28, 1905. Page 7.

    A former Angels Flight concessionaire sues



    Alleges Company and City Conspired

    to Oust Him From His Place

    of Business

    G. W. Jones, who formerly conducted the refreshment booth at the summit of Angel's Flight, yesterday filed suit in the superior, court against the Los Angeles Incline railway for damages in the sum of $5000.

    He declares in his complaint that the defendant company has failed and neglected to secure him in the possession of his stand under the covenants of a lease, and that the railway company has caused and suffered him to be ousted from and denied possession of the premises.

    His troubles appear to be twofold, for he asserts that the city of Los Angeles, aided and abetted by the railway company, demanded the possession of the premises at the summit of what is known as Angel's Flight.

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    Angels Flight Real Estate Effect

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, January 29, 1905. Page 10.

    Angels Flight led to increased development on Bunker Hill.


    Apartment House for the

    Use of Bachelors on

    Olive Street

    "Hill Crest Inn" is the well-selected name for the noticeable improvement at 256 South Olive street, just completed by the Olive Heights Realty company, of which Col. J. W. Eddy, Judge J. D. Pope, and H. A. Cogswell are the principal Stockholders. The handsome frame building, which occupies a lot at the top of the Third street hill, directly north of the Angeles flight observation tower, was planned by Architect H. A. Cogswell for a modern apartment house, furnished especially for use of bachelors and that the forty-seven sunny rooms will be popular is shown by the fact. that over half of the suites have already been engaged, although Hill Crest Inn will not be formally opened until next week.

    Mrs. L. T. Logan, who has had considerable experience in the management of apartments in San Francisco, has secured a long lease on the Inn and will furnish it throughout in elaborate style.

    The building fronts on Olive street and is 44x90 feet in dimensions. Two storles rise above Olive street. The Inn is five storles at the rear, and the upper rooms being clear of all obstructions a splendid view of the mountains and of the city is had from the dining and bedroom windows. The bedrooms are arranged to be let singly or in suites, and in each room is a lavatory and closets, while bathrooms are on each floor. The walls of the halls and bedrooms are tinted in a tasteful manner.

    The dining room or cafe is 44x59 feet, occupying a space on the second floor at the east end of the building, and adjoining on the north side is the kitchen. The cafe is a great distinguishing feature of the improvement. The windows on the three sides of the room give a fine view of the city, mountains and valley as far as the eye can reach. Fine mirrors fill in all the wall space between the windows and the woodwork is weathered oak. Bay windows are the ornamental features of the south side.

    A novelty in the line of supplying hot water for the rooms is the installment of a gas heater in the kitchen that has an automatic attachment, on the principle of the device used in the bath rooms. Hot water can be furnished for any room in a very few moments.

    The Inn improvement Involved an expenditure of nearly $20,000, and Mrs. Logan has contracted for about $10,000 worth of furniture to fit up the establishment.

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    Consolidated Piedmont -- Death of Receiver Bishop

    From the San Francisco Morning Call / Thursday, February 23, 1905. Page 9.

    Ira Bishop, who had been the court-appointed receiver of the Consolidated Piedmont company and faced many problems because of it, committed suicide in Golden Gate Park after sufferring a stroke.


    Paralytic Stroke Drives Him to Deed.

    Worn out with sickness, and with all hope gone of a restoration to health, Ira Bishop, proprietor of the Hotel Kyle at 230 Powell street, went to Golden Gate Park last Tuesday and shot himself through the brain. Mr. Bishop was a prominent man in the business community. He was at one time proprietor of the Piedmont Baths in Oakland, and was manager of the Oakland street railway system at the time of its sale to the Oakland Transit Company. He leaves a wife and two sons, nineteen and twenty-seven years of age. One son, Angus Bishop, is clerk at the St. Francis Hotel. Last June Mr. Bishop was seized with a stroke of paralysis, and despite the best of medical aid and care, he grew worse, so that he could walk only with great difficulty. He often threatened that he would take his own life rather than live to be a burden to his friends and himself.

    The body was seen in a clump of bushes 100 yards west of the lodge in Golden Gate Park last Tuesday afternoon by Catherine Ronning of 417 Ashbury street, and Catherine Thorne of 1550 Page street. They thought it was the body of a drunken man asleep and did not approach to make a closer examination. Miss Thorne visited the place again yesterday morning and saw the same body lying there. Approaching more closely she saw that the man's face was bloody and she gave the alarm. Some money and checks were found on the body. A cheap pistol was found near the right hand of the corpse.

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    Incline Accident Fraud

    From the Chariton Courier / Friday, March 24, 1905. Page 1.

    W. C. Yard, the Brunswick blacksmith and machinist who has gained a good deal of unenviable notoriety in connection with an accident on the Ninth street incline of the Metropolitan street railway at Kansas City in August, 1902, by claiming to have been seriously injured in the wreck, when he was not even on board the cars at the time the accident occurred, pleaded guilty to the crime of perjury in the circuit court at Kansas City, Kas., Monday the sentence has not yet been passed upon him. Yard is a fine, machinist, and it is a pity that he has seen fit to sink to the depths he has.

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    Mount Lowe Trolley Accident

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Thursday, April 27, 1905. Page 1.

    An Alpine Division electric car at Mount Lowe has an accident with visitors from the Woodmen of the World fraternal organization convention






    Mrs. W. O. Morton Saved From Possible

    Death by Head Banker

    Cooper -- Other Narrow



    Mrs. William Owen Morton of 553 South Hope street, Los Angeles; several ribs fractured and left arm severely bruised.
    C. V. Cooper of Portland, Ore.; arm and hand severely bruised.
    W. J. Whltlock, of Pueblo, Colo.; ankle sprained.

    Three persons injured and nearly 100 others panic-stricken is a result of an accident which occurred on Echo mountain shortly before noon yesterday.

    That someone was not killed is regarded as little short of a miracle, for in the rush of a throng of Woodmen to board one of the moving cars on the Alpine tavern electric line the people were crowded in between the tracks and a stone wall, a distance of six feet apart.

    While they were pushing and shoving madly to keep out of the way of the oncoming car Mrs. William Owen Morton, wife of the recent Democratic candidate for congress in this district, and C. V. Cooper, head banker of the Woodmen of the World, narrowly escaped death. Mrs. Cooper was rescued Just in time to save her from a fall which might have resulted seriously, and W. J. Whitlock, a delegate to the Woodmen's convention in Los Angeles, sustained a painful bruise on one of his ankles. Mrs. Morton was saved from death by Mr. Cooper, who pulled her from harm's way.

    Victims Brought Here

    The victims of the accident were taken to Alpine tavern, where their injuries were treated. Later In the day they were brought to Los Angeles, Mrs. Morton being, taken to her home and the others to their respective hotels.

    There is a substation at Echo mountain where the incline railway cars of the Mount Lowe line meet the Alpine tavern electric cars. A stone wall several feet in height runs along the side of the mountain and there is a 15 foot trail on the outside of the wall. This was built to safeguard pedestrians, as there is a steep slope of the mountain at the edge of the pathway.

    About 100 persons, mostly Woodmen and their families who had gone to Mount Lowe for a day's outing, were waiting in the six-foot path between the wall and the tracks of the electric road for the Alpine tavern cars. As these cars only accommodate about thirty persons each there was, of course, a rush when one approached.

    Car Backed Down

    The car, which, it is said, was backing down at the rate of about four miles an hour, carried a trailer. This was in front, and the conductor appeared on the front end of it. The motorman was operating the rear car by direction of the conductor.

    The waiting passengers thought the car would stop and rushed forward. When they discovered it was going farther on, however, there was a panic. In trying to squeeze in out of the path of the car several were forced on top of the wall. Whitlock fell to the trail below, a distance of six or eight feet, and a man named Nannin, another Woodman delegate, caught Mrs. Cooper when she was about to be pitched headforemost over the stone structure.

    Mrs. Morton was shoved upon the tracks, being separated from her husband, and Mr. Cooper, seeing her, sprang forward and attempted to pull her back. The car struck his arm, which hit Mrs. Morton"s left side, knocking her several feet away and fracturing her ribs.

    Speaking of the accident, Mr. Cooper said last night:

    "There were many delegates with their wives and friends waiting for the car at the station. When we saw the car coming every one expected it to stop a short distance away from us as there was no way in which we could get out of its path without leaping over the wall on the south of the track.

    "The motorman sent the car and the trailer into the midst of us. I saw it coming and throwing my arm around Mrs. Morton sought to draw her off the track. I succeeded in doing this, but, caught between the crowd on one side and the car on the other, my arm and hand were badly bruised and Mrs. Morton sustained a fracture of several ribs. I believe those in charge of the car showed lack of Judgment."

    At a meeting of the Woodmen last evening resolutions were passed commending Head Banker Cooper and Neighbor Nannin for the bravery they showed In rescuing Mrs. Morton and Mrs. Cooper. The delegates also expressed sympathy for the victims.

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    Angels Flight Burgled

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Wednesday, June 7, 1905. Page 8.

    Burglars strike the Angels Flight powerhouse



    Colonel Eddy, proprietor of the Angel's Flight, reported to the police yesterday that burglars had entered his power house by means of a skeleton key and stolen $12 in cash and $25 worth of tickets. As the tickets are valued at just one cent apiece a detective will be detailed to watch for a man who rides on the flight with 2500 tickets in his pockets.

    Mrs. M. F. Carner, proprietress of the Oranvllle apartments, 225 North Olive street, reported to the police that a burglar entered her hotel some time Monday afternoon and stole $21 in silver from her writing desk, $5 In gold from the room of a guest and considerable miscellaneous jewelry.

    Mrs. K. P. Clarkson, who resides at 1707 West Pico street, reported yesterday that a burglar entered her apartments during the afternoon and stole a gold watch; as yet no arrest has been made.

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    Angels Flight Burglars

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Thursday, June 8, 1905. Page 6.

    So far this is the only article I have found about Angels Flight that makes a joke about the name

    from Editorials

    Hopelessly lost must be those burglars who did not even respect Col. Eddy's Angels' flight, but entered the power house thereof and "swiped" cash and flight tickets. There can be no hope for them to "climb the golden stairs."

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    Construction Begins on the Playa del Rey Incline

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Monday, July 17, 19055. Page 5.

    The Playa Del Rey Incline Railway is not well documented.



    Extensive Improvements Under Way

    and Projected. Mr. Lawton Has

    Narrow Escape

    Special to The Herald.
    PLAYA DEL REY, July 16. -- Real estate at Playa del Rey is booming again. The recent advance in prices both at Redondo and Venice has been reflected here, and during the last three months the realty company has sold over $500,000 worth of property. The work of improving is now going on rapidly. The dredger is at work in front of the auditorium, widening the channel and clearing out the sand piled up by the recent high tides, while the retaining wall along both sides of the lagoon is being rushed to completion. This wall is to be topped by electric lighted walks twelve feet in width and a mile in length. Plans are already completed for the new concrete bridge over the lagoon and bids for the work will be opened this week. The bridge is designed by Michel de Palo, the Italian engineer who built the water tower in the City of Mexico, and is to be sixteen feet wide, with a main span of 100 feet. For the accommodation of launches and small yachts the height of this span will be twenty-two feet.

    The architect's plans call for an expenditure of $11,000 for the completion of this work.

    The present week also marks the beginning of work upon the inclined railway which is to run from Del Rey heights to the lagoon properties. Unlike the Echo mountain road, after which it Is modeled, this road will be double tracked throughout. Meanwhile the grading of the lagoon subdivision will be rushed by the same company so as to enable the property to be placed on the market during August.

    H. C. Wyatt has finished the plans for his two story residence to cost $4000.

    Manager Scott of the Los Angeles branch of the Cudahy packing company has let the contract for a story and a half bungalow to cost $2500.

    T. J. Ashby of the Pasadena city council is to build a bungalow on the Del Rey heights.

    Manager Lawton of the Auditorium cafe yesterday had a narrow escape from being drowned while sailing in the lagoon. Mr. Lawton had just landed his wife from the sail boat and turned to run up the lagoon, when a cross chop and sudden gust of wind from down the lagoon upset the boat and left him struggling in the water. Help reached him, however, before he was utterly exhausted, and today he is a little the worse for his experience.

    Mayor Waterhouse of Pasadena and Councilman T. J. Ashby spent yesterday at Playa del Rey.

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    Playa del Rey Incline Construction Starts Soon

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Saturday, July 22, 1905. Page 5.

    The Playa Del Rey Incline Railway is not well documented.



    Attraction at Playa del Rey Costing

    $80,000 to be Finished

    by September

    Special to The Herald. -
    PLAYA DEL REY, July 21. -- It Is announced that work on the new observatory which is to be built on the Playa del Rey Heights will be begun at once. Rails and lumber are already on the ground for the inclined railway which is to be built from the pavilion to the mountain. Plans for the observatory have been completed and Architect Eager expects his $80,000 attraction to be finished by September 1.

    Plans have been drawn and lumber ordered for the $10,000 iron suspension bridge across the lagoon. This bridge is to be decorated by over 100 lights and will be one of the greatest attractions on the lagoon.

    The crew of St. Vincent's college is to begin practice on the Del Rey lagoon the first of the month and has already ordered a shell for the purpose.

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    Catalina Inclines Under Construction

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Saturday, July 22, 1905. Page 5.

    The Santa Catalina Island Incline Railway had two inclines.


    Railway to Pebbly Beach Will Be Rapidly

    Pushed to Completion

    Special to The Herald.
    AVALON, July 21. -- Railroad ties and building materials for the construction of an incline railway between this point and Pebbly beach arrived today and the work will be hurriedly pushed to completion.

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    Playa del Rey Incline Under Construction

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Saturday, July 29, 1905. Page 7.

    The Playa Del Rey Incline Railway is not well documented.


    Property Changing Hands Rapidly and

    Building Contracts Let

    Special to The Herald.
    PLAYA DEL. REY, July 28. -- Work began today upon the new inclined railway which is to connect the sand properties with Del Rey Heights. The fact that this improvement is going on and that the speculators who have been delaying the improvement of Playa del Rey have begun to unload their holdings upon legitimate purchasers who will build and otherwise improve their properties has caused the contracts to be let and work to begin upon the store and bank buildings. More than $20,000 worth of property has changed hands about the lagoon during the past week and no desirable lot at this beach can now be purchased for less than $1400.

    The Gateway, or partial canal, which is to connect the lagoon with the sea, is being dredged out so that launches and other craft of the mosquito fleet can have a chance at open water.

    A race between four-oared shells will take place tomorrow over the lagoon course and will be followed by an effort for the Lawton cup which was sailed for but not awarded last Saturday.

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    Catalina Inclines Near Completion

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Saturday, July 29, 1905. Page 7.

    The Santa Catalina Island Incline Railway had two inclines.


    Special to The Herald.
    AVALON. July 28. -- The incline rail way between this point and Pebbly beach is beginning to take definite form, and today a large gang of men is engaged in laying the tracks and ties from the foot of Crescent avenue to the top of Abalone mountain.

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  • Court Flight Approved (Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, August 13, 1905)

    Court Flight Approved

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, August 13, 1905. Page 19.

    Court Flight was often referred to as an "Angels Flight"






    The House on Top of the Hill to Be

    Pergola Style - Enterprise

    Will Enhance Value of

    All Property

    The members of the Observatory Improvement company that planned the tower enterprise and incline railway at Court street, off Broadway, several months ago, has at last secured a favorable decision in the superior court and the injunction has been dissolved on an agreed stipulation providing for a change in plans for the construction work.

    Officials of the company state that within a short time handsome open cars will be running up and down the hill for the accommodation of the public. The closed frame building at the top of the hill, where the observation tower to be erected, will be reconstructed. The building will be of the pergola or open style, this change meeting with the approval of the property owner on Olive street who was instrumental In starting the injunction proceedings.

    Property owners on the hill as far over as Hope street and north to Sunset Boulevard assert that the improvement will add considerably to property values, as the railways will save much climbing up Broadway, Temple and California streets, and will be at once of great convenience.

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    Court Flight In Progress

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, August 27, 1905. Page 21.

    Court Flight was a little late in opening

    New Incline Railway

    on Broadway Will

    Soon Be Ready

    Changes in the plans of the incline railway improvements on Court street, west side of Broadway, are being made by the Tower Observatory company, and it is expected that cars will be going up and coming down at an early date.

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    Griffth Park Incline Proposed

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, August 27, 1905. Part III, Page 2.

    Colonel J. W. Eddy built and operated Angels Flight



    The Mount Hollywood Scenic Railway company, incorporated for $500,000, has bought the franchises originally granted to Col. J. W. Eddy for an incline railway to the summit of Mount Hollywood. A large assembly hall, a band stand and pavilion will be built on the summit, which lies in Griffith park. This improvement will be an added attraction for the Hollywood section.

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    "carried more people per mile of track than any railway In the United States"

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Saturday, September 9, 1905. Page 4.

    Angels Flight was always a major tourist attraction in Los Angeles


    Truly one of Los Angeles' greatest attractions is the Angels' Flight, with its rest pavilion, park, electric fountain, observation tower, camera obscura and searchlight. The most unique, interesting and accessible pleasure resort in the entire country is this beautiful flight, situated in the heart of Los Angeles, at Third and Hill streets, overlooking the entire city and surrounding country for miles about. No tourist should miss a visit to this interesting resort. The fare Is only five cents, with liberal ticket reductions. Speaking of the Angels' Flight, the Scientific American says: "The Angels' Flight Is the shortest, most unique and Interesting little railway In the world. It runs from Hill to Olive street, one block, hauled by double cable and operated by electricity. Statistics of the United States bureau, Washington, D. C, show that In 1902, 1903 and 1904 the Angels' Flight carried more people per mile of track than any railway In the United States. It is the only railway In the world running three years without the slightest accident.. " It was under the able supervision of Col. J. W. Eddy, one of Los Angeles' oldest and most highly respected citizens and business men, that the Angels' Flight came to pass. Col. Eddy drew the plans, superintended the work of construction, and is now managing the operation of the Angels' Flight. To him belong the thanks of the whole city, for not alone has this unique enterprise aided the city as a resort, but It has helped to build up a section of the city that is now one of the most fashionable residence centers, this being accomplished by the shortening of distance effected by the railway.

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    Court Flight to Open Monday

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, September 24, 1905. Page 2.

    I don't know if the tower or the hotel at the top of Court Flight were ever built


    Incline Cars on Court Street to Be

    In Regular Action


    The first car on the incline railway on Court street, off Broadway, made the ascent Saturday in the presence of the offlclais of the Observation Tower company and E. Avery McCarthy, who secured the franchise for the improvement and has been active in promoting the enterprise.

    The twin cars on this new angels' flight will be in operation for the use of the public tomorrow.

    It is the purpose of Seaman & Potter to erect a hotel to cost $100,000 on the top of the hill adjoining the observation tower.

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    Angels Flight: Unfair Competition

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, October 15, 1905. Page 4.

    Angels Flight was sensitive to competition

    from Editorials

    Col. Eddy of the Angels' Flight has published a letter complaining that the proposed site of the public library at Third and Olive streets would conflict with his franchise. But the colonel is not happy in his argument The proposition is not to interfere with the Angels' Flight, but to run an elevator in the public library building that would carry the patrons to the second floor and surely the right of a building to its own elevator is inherent. The Angels’ Flight carries passengers to the street, which is another and entirely different proposition. In fact, there is no reason apparent why the public library building should not be erected at Third and Olive streets.

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    Court Flight a Success

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, October 15, 1905. Page 2.

    This report says Court Flight was a success


    The enterprise of the Observation Tower company in operating the Court Street incline railway at a cent a ride to the top of the hill from Broadway, has proven an instant success. R. E. Blackburn Is the president and S. G. Vandergrift secretary.

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    Mount Lowe Recovers From Fire

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Tuesday, January 2, 1906. Page 7.

    Mount Lowe, like many California mountain institutions, was frequently hit by wildfires


    Service to Alpine Tavern Will Be Renewed

    by Pacific Electric


    The Pacific Electric Railway company has repaired the damage done by the fire about five weeks ago when the incline railway on Mount Lowe was destroyed and service will be renewed Wednesday.

    The Pacific Electric claims this to be a record breaker In reconstruction. Owing to the engineering difficulties of building the incline railway the work was necessarily slow but the work of reconstruction was begun almost before the last ember of the fire had died out, and a large force pushed it to completion.

    The incline railway is one of the exhibits of Southern California and tourists have been eagerly awaiting another chance to see it in operation.

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    Chicago City Railway Harrassed

    From the New-York Tribune / Thursday, January 18, 1906. Page 14.

    The Chicago City Railway was preparing to convert its cable lines to electric.


    The City Begins Active War on Street Car Company.

    January 18, 1906, Thursday

    CHICAGO, Jan. 17. -- Maurice F. Doty, traction expert for the City of Chicago, peremptorily stopped traffic to-day on the two cable lines of the Chicago City Railway Company, running in Wabash Avenue and State Street. The reason given was that the lives of passengers were imperiled by the gates on the left side of the cars being left open while the cars traversed two squares on Wabash Avenue, between Randolph and Madison Streets.

    As soon as informed of to-day's action, General Manager Mitten of the City Railway Company hastened to the City Hall and proposed to Mayor Dunne that the question of franchise extension, rejected by the company a few days ago, be again taken up. The Mayor agreed and an order was then given allowing the cars to run as before.

    Suits were filed by the city to-day in the Circuit Court against the Union Traction Company for $1,500,000 and the Chicago City Railway Company for $500,000 for alleged violations of city ordinances. The actions are based solely on the overcrowding of cars in December. There are 15,000 cases against the Union Traction Company and 5,000 cases against the City Railway Company.

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    Cal Cable Reconstruction

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Friday, June 15, 1906. Page 8.

    The California Street Cable Railroad was severly damaged in the earthquake and fire, but was able to return the main line to service by early August.


    Cable Road Expects to Resume Operations by First of August

    "I expect to be running cable cars on California street by August 1st," announced Superintendant Harris of the California-street cable road yesterday. "I may be mistaken as to the exact date when service will be restored, but if my present expectations are fulfilled it will not be long after August 1st. In other words, our original estimate, made shortly after the fire, that cars would be running again within four months, will turn out to be a pretty good guess.

    "When I say that cars will be running on California street by the end of next month I do not mean that we will have the California-street system in operation. At the start, we will probably run cars on California street only between Kearney street and Presidio avenue. This part of the road is in excellent shape, with the exception of two small stretches of track at the Larkin and Polk street crossings. Below Kearney street the roadbed will require considerable repair and rebuilding. The earthquake did considerable damage to the track below Sansome Street. The slot is closed in places and the track is very uneven. Most of the damage, however, was caused by the fire. This is particularly true of the track on O'Farrell, JOnes and Hyde streets, where the heat was so intense that it warped the track and slot rails out of shape. It will take longer to get this portion of the system in shape for operating; so we have decided, as a starter, to get the California-street line running.

    "Unfortunately, we lost all of our cars. We had fifty-two cars, but operated normally about thirty-nine or forty. To me the immediate needs of the company, we are having twenty-five cars built at the Hammond shops at Seventh and Berry streets, and they will be ready in six weeks.

    "We are doing everything that is possible to hurry the work of repairing our plant and getting it in shape for operation, but it is such a gigantic job that it is quite impossible to tell just how we are coming out. We have had teams working for weeks removing the debris from the power-house, and how we have things quite tidy.

    "While the engine-room, which occupied the basement of the building, was thoroughly burned out, the steel girders and concrete flooring of the second floor remained intact so that the engines were not damaged from any cause except the fire. The fire in the engine-room was very intense, however, for it melted the babbit metal in all the bearings. We have a machine shop working and are rapidly restoring the machinery, but we haven't been able to determine as yet all of the repairs that will be necessary. Both of our boilers have been fired up, and we are now using one of them to run our machine shop."

    Superintendant Harris says that new cables will have to be installed before cars can be run on the California and Hyde street lines. The cable sufferred considerably from the fire, notwithstanding the fact that it was eighteen inches below the surface of the street. One of the curiosities of the conflagration is to be seen in the north slot of the California-street line close to the Hyde street crossing. Here the cable was subjected to such intense heat from the flames of the adjoining buildings that at one place the wire strands completely melted.

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    Court Flight Tax Plea

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Tuesday, June 26, 1906. Page 12.

    The owner Court Flight makes a sarcastic plea to the city council, "asking that his cars be taxed according to the length of the railway and not the width."





    President of Observation Tower Company

    Writes Humorous Letter

    of Protest to City Council.

    On the ground that the city tax of $6.25 a quarter for street cars is unjust when applied to his incline railway on Court street, R. E. Blackburn, president of the Observation Tower company, yesterday addressed a sarcastic letter to the city council, asking that his cars be taxed according to the length of the railway and not the width. According to Mr. Blackburn he is in business for pleasure and health and not for profit, and he dislikes to be taxed so severely for the amusement he receives from running empty cars up and down the incline. His letter to the council is as follows:

    "Some two years ago your honorable body perpetrated on us a franchise for an inclined railroad and steel observation tower on Court street. The only friend we had in the council at that time was Doc Houghton, who voted against the franchise. We did not appreciate his kindness then, but we do now.

    "It Is true we asked for the franchise, but we were just from the country and knew no better than to look around for gold bricks. In our guileless credulity we never even suspected you would sell us anything that had a bug in it, and straightway we began to build the road and tower.

    "Then our troubles began. A property owner jumped on us after we had gone too far to stop, and as a result a permanent injunction was placed on the construction of the tower, leaving us with the road and nothing to attract people to ride on it.

    Amusement Is Expensive

    However, we get considerable amusement operating it, but since your license collector began to visit us we have not enjoyed it much. We not only find the amusement too expensive, but we feel hurt that you should rub it in on us by charging us $12.60 a quarter for running a pair of empty cars back and forth, less than half a block, when you allow other railway magnates to run their cars over miles of streets at the same price. It would seem more in consonance with the eternal principles of Justice to levy this license tax in proportion to the length and not according to the width, and we hereby bend the pregnant hinges of the knee and respectfully pray that you tax us according to the length and not according to the width of our road.

    "Lest you feel justified in continuing this onerous tax because of the reported merger between this road and the Huntington system, permit us to disclaim in emphatic Italics a foot high any knowledge whatsoever of such a deal."

    The finance committee will consider the case.

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    Cal Cable To Reopen

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Wednesday, August 8, 1906. Page 8.


    Car Service on California Street to Be Resumed Shortly.

    The California street line will operate on Thursday of next week. Superintendent Harris has been busy since the fire in straightening things out, and a trial of the machinery made yesterday revealed the fact that everything is in good order. One shaft was sprung by the heat of the fire, but that will be repaired in a few days and the line will be ready for operation. The cable slot and tracks along California street are in good order, and as soon as the crossing at Polk and California streets is fixed cars will be ready to run. The switch at that place was being installed by the United Railroads, but the strike of the trackmen retarded the work, and it will be finished by the California street Cable Railway Company.

    Twenty new cars ordered by the company are beginning to arrive and these are in the barn at Hyde and California streets and will be ready to run in a few days. The first trial car will be sent over the route on Monday next and a few days will be required to attend to the details and get everything in order before service is restored permanently.

    The cars will start at the ferry and run out California street to Presidio avenue where transfers will be made to the United Railroads for the Cliff House.

    The machinery at the power-house at Hyde and California streets, although somewhat damaged by the fire is now in better order than ever. The triple engines have been turned over and all the weak points have been found and repaired. The slots in which the cables move have been smoothed out, and it is thought that the cars will run smoother than ever.

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    Cal Cable To Reopen Soon

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Tuesday, August 14, 1906. Page 8.


    Cable Cars to Operate This Week Over Uninjured Roadbeds.

    A trial trip over the California-street line yesterday demonstrated that the cable slot was in the best of condition, and had been injured by the fire to a slight extent only. One of the new cars was run over the entire line. The machinery in the power house at Hyde and California streets stood the strain easily, and literally jerked the cable car over the steep hills.

    The line will be in operation for passengers on Thursday morning unless the plans of Superintendent Harris miscarry. He is unwilling to resume operations unless he has a sufficient number of cars in service to supply all demands. At present there are only eight of the new cars in the barn and these are being painted up. Twenty have been ordered, but the remainder of the shipment has not yet arrived. At a pinch the line will operate with the eight cars already on the ground, but it is doubtful whether these can be put into shape by the appointed time.

    The line is in condition for traffic now, and the machinery is kept in motion. Two or three of the new cars will be sent over the line to-morrow, both to test the line again and to see that the cars themselves are in working order. The officials are unwilling to start it unless all the cars are ready and the schedule can be carried out without a hitch.

    Cars will start at the ferry and go out California street to Presidio avenue, where transfers will be made to the United Railroads.

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    Cal Cable Test

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Thursday, August 16, 1906. Page 8.


    Successful Test of the Cable Line Which Will Soon Be in Operation.

    For the first time since the fire a car was run over the California street cable line yesterday afternoon. Cheers greeted the car's appearance all along the line.

    The car started from the barn at California and Hyde streets promptly at 1 o'clock and ran out to the western terminus of the road. It then returned and crossed the hill to the other end of the road, at Drumm and California streets. The trip was made to test the road and the new cable, and proved in every respect satisfactory.

    Among the passengers on the car were: John B. Stetson, president of the road; Alfred Bowes, master mechanic; J. W. Harris, superintendent; George Hare, adjuster; A. McLean, chief engineer; John T. McGee, assistant superintendent; John C. Coleman, a director; Albert Simpson, assistant superintendent; Daniel Buckley, the builder, and Chief of Police Dinan.

    "The cars were built by J. Hammond & Co. and I think they deserve a great deal of credit for their quick work," said President Stetson. "They are the first cars to be built in San Francisco since the fire, and were constructed in less than ninety days. We will have four cars carrying passengers tomorrow, and we expect to have eight running by Saturday. Four of these will go out unpainted. We are to have twenty cars built.

    "We want to speak a word in appreciation of the conductors and gripmen, who set to work cleaning bricks or doing anything they could to help us get straightened out."

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    Mount Washington Auto Climb

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, July 11, 1909. Page 9.

    The Mount Washington incline could not resist automobile competition


    When the people who live in Los Angeles want to go to the summit of Mount Washington they make a climb of a mile In the cars of the Los Angeles & Mount Washington Railway company. One resident of that city however not long ago decided that he wanted to make a more thrilling ascent than that of the ordinary passenger on the inclined railway He was Ralph C. Hamlin and he maintained that he could climb to the top in his Franklin motor car, driving up the roadbed of the railway. Moreover he proposed on reaching the summit to turn around and drive to the bottom.

    The grade for 200 feet is 42 per cent and for the rest of the mile about 30 per cent with the exception of about 600 feet at 15 per cent but this did not deter him. His car which he calls the "Greyhound II," is the successor of the "Greyhound" I in which he last year in California performed a number of reord-breaking feats.

    Between and beside the rails planking had been laid and over this the car went, Hamlin guiding it steadily up even the steepest grade until the top was reached The ascent presented the greatest difficulty of the entire test for the car but it was after Hamlin had turned about and started downward that the supreme test for the driver was met. Where the mile up had been difficult the mile down was perilous. When Hamlin reached the 42 per cent grade he slid its entire length with locked brakes.

    "I don't want to come down that way again," he said in telling of his experience but I am ready to go up again. No other motor car has ever made the ascent but if an attempt is made to send one to the top Mr Hamlin is prepared to put the "Greyhound II" in competition with it. The railway company has decided that while it does not object to the ascent it will not give permission for any more automobiles to be driven down the mountainside over its roadbed.

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    Geary Street, Park and Ocean Reconstruction/1

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Friday, June 15, 1906. Page 8.

    The Geary Street Park and Ocean Railway would be the first San Francisco cable car line to resume service after the Earthquake and Fire of 18-Apr-1906.


    The work of repairing the big brick chimney of the Geary-street cable road was completed yesterday. The chimney which was 125 feet high, did not topple during the earthquake, but was badly cracked for some distance from the top. The upper sixty feet of brickwork have been removed, and A. D. Shephard announced yesterday that the Geary-street Company is ready to resume operations as soon as certain repairs have been made to the track. The slot is closed in places, but he believes that it can be put in shape to permit the running of cars with comparatively little expense and trouble.

    "We are ready to resume operations and intend to resume operations," said Mr. Shephard, "but just when we will get started, I am not in a position to say. Before the fire we were operating the road under a temporary permit, revocable at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors. This arrangement has never been revoked, and I presume continues in force today."

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    Cable Car Replacement/1

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Saturday, June 16, 1906. Page 14.

    The United Railroads took advantage of the earthquake and fire to replace most of their former cable car lines with electric traction. It was not always an immediate success.

    The Affiliated Colleges are now the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).


    Service on Hayes Street Line Abandoned Until New Rail Can Be Laid.

    The United Railroads has found that it cannot operate electric cars on Hayes street with safety or certainty, and the service on that street, inaugurated several days ago, was suspended yesterday. The entire road must be rerailed before it can carry heavy electric cars. The rails of the old cable road are too light and too much worn to meet the requirements of the service, and since the day the road was opened as an electric line cars have been jumping the track with a regularity that kept the company in a continual state of excitement.

    Thursday one of the company's big electric cars, on which Superintendant Hibbs was a passenger, jumped the track, dashed across the street and hit a trolley pole before it could be stopped. The same evening four other cars left the rails, but no one was hurt.

    That settled the operation of the Hayes-street line as an electric road, and orders were given to tear up the old rails of the cable road and install heavy rails of the Trilby type with as little delay as possible.

    A big force was put to work on the rerailing of the line yesterday morning. That portion of the road between Market and Fillmore streets will be rebuilt first. Later the road between Devisadero and Stanyan streets will be laid with new rails and at the same time, probably, the company will endeavor to solve the question of how can get cars over the steep blocks between Fillmore and Devisadero. A reduction of grade on the four blocks in question has been suggested and the officials of the United Railroads think it can be done without much expense.

    While the Hayes-street line is being rerailed, the Masonic line to the Affiliated Colleges will be operated by way of Turk and Eddy streets.

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    Geary Street, Park and Ocean Reconstruction/2

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Friday, June 22, 1906. Page 8.

    The Geary Street Park and Ocean Railway became the first San Francisco cable car line to resume service after the Earthquake and Fire of 18-Apr-1906.


    Road Soon Put in Shape for Use -- Terminus at Fulton Street

    Cable cars were running on the Geary-street line yesterday for the first time since April 18th. As announced in the "Chronicle" several days ago, the Geary-street road was in shape for operation on Saturday last, but the managers of the property decided to test the machinery thoroughly and to go over the roadbed again before undertaking to resume regular passenger service. Since the work of lowering the cracked brickwork of the big chimney at the power-house was completed some days ago the machinery has been carefully tested and has been found to work as smoothly as before the earthquake. The officials of the company say they were quite sure of the machinery, for the reason that the cable was operated for some hours on April 18th, following the earthquake. In fact, two cars were run down town on the morning of the first day of the calamity, but for the reason that they were stopped by soldiers and prevented from reaching the turntable at Kearney street they did not succeed in getting back to the car barn and were burned on Geary street the following day.

    The Geary-street road passed through the calamity with surprising good fortune. Whereas the cable of the California-street road, resting on the pulleys eighteen inces below the surface of the street, was melted in places by the intense heat, the tar was not even melted from the Geary-street cable at any point in the burned district. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week the cable was run through the slot and carefully examined as it passed over the drums in the power-house, and was found to be intact and in good shape, barring an accumulation of dirt that had sifted into the slot. The company also found that at no place had the conduit sufferred from the earthquake and fire, although the slot rails at places in the burned district were badly warped. A few workmen straightened out the slot rails with sledge hammers and wedges in an incredibly short time, and with this work finished the road was ready for operation.

    A work car was run over the road Wednesday, and it was operated so successfully that the company decided to resume operations yesterday morning. Accordingly, three cars were started out of the car barn at First avenue during the forenoon, and before the day was over the company had twenty cars running out of a total of something over thirty owned by the company.

    A. D. Shephard, secretary of the company, was much elated at the early resumption of operations on the Geary-street line.

    "I told you the Geary-street road was all right," he said. "We knew that from the first, for we were running ours after the earthquake. The warping and closing of the slot rails at places in the burned district toruned out be a slight source of trouble, for the slot was readily put in shape with the aid of wedges and hammers. We expect to be able to afford a regular service on the Geary-street line from now on, or as long as we are permitted by the city to operate the road."

    The Geary-street cars were will patronized yesterday and contributed much to relieve the congestion of traffic on the electric lines of the United Railroads. In resuming operations with it cable cars the Geary-street road has found trouble only at one point, and that is at the outer end of the line. Heretofore the cars have turned into Fulton street at Fifth avenue and continued out Fulton street to the Chutes, using the cable of the McAllister-street line for several blocks on the latter street. As the McAllister-street cable is no longer running, the Geary-street cars can be operated only as far as Fifth avenue and Fulton street, and must be switched at the outer terminus by horses. As a temporary makeshift, however, the arrrangement works satisfactorily.

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    Elks Building

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Thursday, July 19, 1906. Page 45.

    The Elks Lodge provided traffic for Angels Flight





    Local Lodge Will Erect an Imposing Building of

    Magnificent Appointments on Olive Street

    Lot, Adjoining Angels Flight

    The Los Angeles lodge of Elks now owns the Crocker mansion property on the southwest corner of Third and Olive streets, adjoining the Angels Flight railway on the south.

    Negotiations for the purchase with Crocker heirs were concluded yesterday through K. D. Silent & Co., the reported consideration being $65,000.

    The lot fronts 120 feet on Olive street and extends east 165 feet to Clay street, which Is 20 feet In width.

    The north half of the ground is improved with a large frame building, familiarly known as the Crocker mansion, while on the Clay street frontage is a large apartment house. J. W.Eddy, owner of Angels Flight, occupies the Crocker mansion, while the building at the rear has a large number of tenants.

    Site for Elks' Building

    The property was purchased by the Elks order, which represents about 600 of the leading professional and business men of Los Angeles, after many months had been spent in looking around for a suitable site for the magnificent building the Elks will erect. Over a year ago the order bought the lot on the corner of Olive and Fifth streets and plans were drawn for the building herewith presented, but later the lot was sold for about $200,000 and plans for building were abandoned.

    Several members of the order were at the Crocker mansion yesterday forenoon and afternoon Inspecting the property and making suggestions as to what should be done with the buildings now on the lot, and speculating on the size, cost and style of the Elks' club house.

    Better Railway Service

    Mr. Eddy said: "No finer site could have been chosen by the Elks. They will have 120 feet frontage on Olive street and 165 feet fronting on Angels Flight. Plans have been made for the Elks' building to occupy the high ground, the lower portion of the lot to be the site of a modern apartment house. The $65,000 valuation Is a bargain, in my opinion, while the location affords a splendid opportunity for establishing excellent income property for the order."

    "I will have to improve the facilities of my incline railway by placing double deck cars. I had thought of doing so some time ago, and now I will have to get busy to provide satisfactory accommodations for the Elks, their friends and the regular patrons of the railway."

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    State Street Last Run

    From the San Francisco Call / Monday, July 23, 1906. Page 2.

    The Chicago City Railway's State Street line was the first Hallidie-type cable line in the United States outside of San Francisco


    Old Cars Splintered and Smashed by Relic-Hunters on Final Trip.

    CHICAGO. July 22. -- State street bade an unregretful farewell to the last cable train of the Chicago City Railway Company this morning in the dark and early hours when good people were asleep and the roysterers were enjoying their fling.

    Groaning and wobbling as one decrepit and having earned a long rest, the final cable train rattled and bumped around the loop and swung into position for its "positively last performance" at 1:35 o'clock a. m. The train consisted of a battered grip car and a twenty-year-old trailer. Just behind it moved the first real State street trolley car, belated forerunner of faster transportation.

    By the time the old cars reached their destination they were much splintered, and smashed by "relic hunters."

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    "the shortest railway in the world"

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, July 29, 1906. Page 45.

    Angels Flight was always a major tourist attraction in Los Angeles

    The Angels' Flight

    Los Angeles boasts of many attractions, but none are more unique than the Angels' Flight, with its rest pavilion, park, electric fountain, observation tower, camera cbscura and searchlight. Tourists who have visited the foreparts of the earth say this Is the most interesting and accessible pleasure resort in this country, if not the world. It is situated in the heart of the city, at Third and Hill streets, and overlooks the municipality and country for miles around. Easterners anxious to view the ocean ascend the flight, and in doing so they get an excellent view of the surrounding country. On a clear day Catallna Island, the enchanted Isle of a summer sea, can be plainly seen from the top of the flight. No tourist should miss the opportunity of visiting this most interesting of all the interesting resorts In Los Angeles and the southland.

    The credit for this unique resort is due to Col. J. W. Eddy, whose brains and money made it into a grand reality. Not alone has the Angels' Flight aided the city as a pleasure resort, but it has developed the property on the hills back of it, increasing values immeasurably In all directions. Many persons who heretofore lived down town on account of the hills being too steep for them to climb have come into their own by building fine residences near the top of the flight. They step out of their front doors now and In a minute or two are in the heart of the city, amid all its rustle and bustle of metropolitan life.

    The flight is the shortest railway In the world, running one block, from Hill to Olive, street. The cars are hauled by double cables, so that there Is no possibility of serious accident. The fare for single rides is five cents, but commutation tlckets may be purchased for the sum of $1 and they entitle the holder to a hundred rides.

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    Cable Car Replacement/2

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / August 3, 1906. Page 14.

    Not everyone was happy with United Railroads' hasty implementation of electric traction to replace cable.


    McAllister Street Residents Would Have Old Line Run Again.

    The McAllister-street Improvement Club, which has been recently formed in the interests of residents and merchants of that street, has adopted resolutions which are intended to compel the United Railroads to resume the use of the cable system on McAllister street at once. In the resolution, they also demand the removal of the "unsightly poles" which have been placed on their street. President N. Schwartz states that unless the United Railroads comply with their request that the line be put into operation they will go before the Board of Supervisors and demand the revoking of the franchise as he period of abandonment of the line has been sufficiently long to warrant such a stand. President Schwartz also says that he has men of sufficient capital behind him who are willing to take on the management of an underground system.

    It is the plan of the club to demand electric lights in the near future and also a repaving of the street. The club will keep a close watch on conditions which concern their locality, and plan many improvements from time to time. The club (which - JT) was formed about a month ago is holding weekly meetings.

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    Fillmore Hill Runaway

    From the San Francisco Call / Wednesday, August 8, 1906. Page 14.

    The Fillmore Hill Counterbalance allowed electric streetcars to climb and descend the steep Fillmore Hill.


    Fastenings Give Way and Passengers Narrowly Escape Serious Harm.


    Fillmore-street hill, between Broadway and Green street, which the spieler of "Seeing San Francisco" is wont to proclaim the steepest grade in San Francisco climbed by a street-car line, and which has been fertile in spectacular accidents, was the scene yesterday afternoon of a wild dash down the incline by a car of the United Railroads. The score or more of passengers who were tossed about when the car came to a sudden halt at Green street accounted themselves fortunate when they picked themselves up and found their injuries to comprise a few bruises and a bad jarring.

    The accident was due to the parting from the cable of the drag or plow attached to the car, which was proceeding in the direction of the bay, and occurred half a block from the terminus, of the slot at Green street. The freed car sped down the grade with accelerated motion and was brought up with a sharp jerk at Green street when the drag reached the end of the slot, which it tore up for a distance of five feet.

    F. C. Dibbern, the motorman, did much to prevent a serious accident. The moment the fastenings of the cable and drag gave way he set his brakes hard and then turning to the passengers prevented many of them from jumping. He also prepared them for the sudden stop and, acting upon his advice, none of the passengers in the front part of the car were thrown off.

    As soon as the down car gave way the ascending car at the other end of the cable, then near the top of the hill, started to back down the hill toward Green street, and had it not been for the splendid condition of the brakes, together with the weight of the heavy cable, there is no doubt a catastrophe would have occurred.

    A few days ago the down car on this line Jumped the track near Green street and several passengers were thrown to the ground. Monday the trolley wire was broken at the Green street crossing, and lay on the ground for some time, a menace to all who passed that way.

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    Gives Permit for Trolley Line.

    From the San Francisco Call / Wednesday, September 12, 1906. Page 6.


    Board Grants Privilege to Convert Union Street Into an Electric System


    The Board of Supervisors yesterday finally passed the ordlnance granting to the Presidio and Ferries Railway Company a permit to convert the Union street cable road into an overhead electric trolley system. There was no discussion on the ordinance, the vote in its favor being unanimous.

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    Violence on the Flight

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Saturday, September 15, 1906. Page 7.

    Someone wanted to ride Angels Flight after closing time

    Jeweler Is Puncher

    Adolph Russell, a jeweler, who has a store at 242 South Broadway, punched the head of Valentine Hall, who is the night operator of the Angels' Flight car, would not take him up the Flight after the cars had stopped running last Tuesday night. Russell was arraigned yesterday in Police Justice Chambers' court and fined $5.

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    Court Flight Inspires Hotel

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Sunday, October 21, 1906. Page 19.

    Court Flight had a positive effect on local real estate development





    Building to Include Thirty two Three-Room

    Apartments - Plans for

    Homes and Other Improvements

    Plans have been completed for, the early erection of a handsome hotel of thirty-two three-room apartments on the southwest corner of Hill and Court streets, near the station of the Observation Incline Railway company. The building will be erected for H. Freeman & Co. William Holmes drew the plans. All of the rooms will have outside windows. At the entrance are four immense columns running three stories high, and with the broad steps rising to the entrance give a great deal of dignity to the building. The first floor, is heavily, buttressed with either granite or artificial stone. The balconies which are shown in the drawing will form another attractive feature, of this building. All the most improved appliances in modern apartment houses will be found In this structure.

    The building will be forty-six feet front and 143 feet in depth. The site affords entrancing views to every point of the compass, including the heart of the city and the magnificent mountains away to the north and east.

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    Crime Near the Flight

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Wednesday, November 14, 1906. Page 5.

    An Angels Flight passenger hit by purse snatchers


    Mrs. D. W. Ross, who lives at the Hotel Cumberland, 243 South Olive street, was robbed of a purse containing $20, three packages of tickets on the Angels' Flight railway and a bunch of keys by a bold purse snatcher at 10:46 last night.

    Mrs. Ross stated to the police that she left the car on the Angels' Flight on Olive street and started for home. When she crossed the street a man about 20 years old ran up behind her and snatched the purse. He then ran down Olive street to Second. Mrs. Ross states that she believed he met a confederate there and that both men ran down Second street toward Hill.

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    Court Flight Losing Money

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Friday, February 8, 1907. Page 5.

    Court Flight Losing Money was losing money



    Court Street Angels' Flight Asks City

    to Lift Tax on Its Two Cars

    Because of a Faulty


    Alleging that the enterprise is being operated at a loss the Observation Tower company yesterday filed a petition to have the tax of $12.50 a quarter on its two cars operated at Broadway and Court street abolished because a court injunction prevents the company from carrying out the provisions of its franchise.

    President R. E. Blackburn explains that the company obtained its franchise about three years ago to erect an observation tower at the top of the hill there. The company built a railway to carry its material up the hill and before work on the tower was commenced an injunction barred further operations. The railway has since been operated from the base of the hill at Broadway to the summit, but because of a permanent injunction the company could not avail itself of the tower, the proposed profit earner of the company.

    Though cut off from these profits the stockholders still hope for a settlement with opposing interests and, thus hoping, keep on operating the inclined road.

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    Presidio and Ferries Conversion Schedule.

    From the San Francisco Call / Tuesday, February 12, 1907. Page 15.


    The board passed to print an ordinance granting the Presidio Railway Company nine months' time to complete the conversion of the Union street cable road into an electric system under a bond of $50,000. The ordinance requires that the road westerly from Stelner street to the Presidio must be operated in ninety days and if the conditions are not complied wlih the sum of the bond will be forfeited to the city. On Furey's motion the company was directed to reconstruct the road from Mason street to the ferries at once.

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    From the Los Angeles Herald / Monday, March 4, 1907. Page 6.

    This poem about Angels Flight refers to "Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures," a humorous series by Douglas William Jerrold about a lady who likes to lecture her husband about sobriety


    Up "Angel's Flight" I took my way;
    'Twas at the closing of the day.
    Weary I was, and full of care;
    I thought to find my heaven there
    Where wlfey sweet awaited me
    With good things ready for my tea.
    Up Angel's Flight!
    Up "Angel's Flight"; unto my flat;
    I softly entered, doffed my hat,
    And turned my loving spouse t' salute --
    What greeted me? Her voice! "You brute,
    I told you that I hated you!
    You're very drunk! I smell It! Phew!"
    Up Angel's Flight!
    Up Angel's Flight! To heaven? Ah, no!
    Who ever'd guess I'd find It so?
    The Caudle lecture that I got
    Would melt an iceberg, 'twas so hot!
    A heaven there for me? Ah, well.
    Much more It struck me, 'twas a hell,
    Up Angel's Flight!

    -- W. H. C.

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    Making Money From the Flight

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Thursday, June 20, 1907. Page 10.

    Angels Flight had to pay 2% of its gross receipts to the city in return for its franchise





    Jefferson Street Line and Angels'

    Flight Are Notified to Pay 2 per

    Cent of Annual Gross


    Los Angeles will in a few years get a growing income from franchises through the provision which, after five years, forces all franchise recipients to pay 2 per cent of gross earning to the city. The city has just served notice on the officials of the Los Angeles Interurban line that its proportion of gross receipts was due June 6 for the Jefferson street line franchise from Western avenue to the city limits. The company responded that its clerks are now at work on the books to determine the proportion, as the line is a mere spur of its system. This franchise was granted June 6, 1901, and every year hereafter till the end of the twenty-five year franchise the municipality will get its share of the gross proceeds.

    In February next year the Home Telephone company must begin making similar returns on its gross receipts. This will bring thousands of dollars Into the city treasury.

    Other franchises include Col. J. W. Eddy's Angels' Flight enterprise, which is stated to be overdue in payment, and proper notice has been sent.

    The Union Oil company sent a check for $135 to the city clerk the other day under the same act as its contribution.

    Many street railroads, belt lines and other franchises will help to swell the sum in time to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

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    Crash on Fillmore Hill

    From the San Francisco Call / Monday, July 8, 1907

    Abe Ruef was the former Union Labor Party political boss of San Francisco. Elisor Biggy was William J Biggy, an officer of the court assigned to keep Ruef under house arrest. Carmen of the United Railroads of San Francisco were involved in a major strike which they ultimately lost.


    Rod Gives Away, but Cable Holds and Serious Mishap Is Averted

    Two cars being pulled up Fillmore street hill by cable were derailed at Jackson street last, night and 100 passengers were frightened almost into a panic. No one was hurt, either by the shock of the accident or in the wild rush to get out of the derailed cars.

    Two cars attached to the lower end of the cable were being pulled up the hill by a single downbound car. When the two lower cars were directly opposite the house occupied by Abe Ruef and Elisor Biggy a rod, which was being used by the rear car to push the other up the hill, gave away and the two cars came together with a crash. The rear end of one and the forward end of the other were telescoped and many of the windows in each were broken. The cable, which was attached to the rear car did hot become detached and a serious accident was averted. A wrecker was employed for three hours in placlng the line in working order again.

    Other than the accident on the Fllmore hill, yesterday was marked as the quietest day since the beginning of the car strike. No disturbances of any kind, and not a single arrest in connection with the running of the cars was reported. Traffic no heavier than usual, and the usual number of cars were running. All business of any character was suspended by the carmen's union, not a meeting of any sort belng held.

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    Injured By the Flight

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Thursday, July 18, 1907. Page 12.

    Angels Flight sued for damages



    H. E. Franklin Sues for Damages,

    Alleging Neglect

    Alleging that through the premature starting of one of the Angel Flight cars his right foot had been crushed, H. E. Franklin yesterday brought suit in the superior court against the Los Angeles Inclined Electric Railway company for $2400 damages.

    In the complaint it is set forth that February 7 the plaintiff rode from Olive to Hill street and when he attempted to alight at the Hill street terminus of the incline the operator cased (sic -- JT) the car to start suddenly, crushing his right foot so that it was useless for four weeks.

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    Colonel Eddy Gets Burned

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Wednesday, August 7, 1907. Page 12.

    The owner of Angels Flight had a medical problem



    Manager of Angels' Flight Suffers from

    Complication Produced by Electric

    Rays in Search of


    Col. J. W. Eddy, owner and manager of the Angels' Flight at Third and Olive streets, is slowly convalescing from a serious foot wound which he sustained twelve weeks ago. It is expected by his doctor that he will be out and able to attend to his affairs within a week or ten days.

    He is just out of bed now and able to walk with the aid of crutches. He ran a needle into his foot, and when the doctors attempted to get It out they kept the X-ray machine too long on the foot. An internal burn was produced and serious complications set in.

    He has been greatly missed by the patrons of Angels' Flight, and his many friends will be glad to hear of his improvement.

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    Griffth Park Incline Needs More Time

    From the Los Angeles Herald / Thursday, November 28, 1907. Page 7.

    Colonel J. W. Eddy built and operated Angels Flight



    Col. J. W. Eddy has been granted an extension of time until January 31 for his incline elevator enterprise at Griffith park.

    It is proposed to build a view tower there operated by electricity, but as certain preliminaries have been allowed to drag by others the franchise owners have asked the council to grant further time, which has been done.

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    Sacramento/Clay Line Returns

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / June 9, 1908. Page 5.

    The Sacramento/Clay line was rebuilt and the direction of the one-way streets was reversed.


    Cars Are Operated in Two Streets for First Time Since Big Fire

    The rehabilitated cable line in Sacramento and Clay streets was put into operation by the United Railroads for the first time since the fire. Big, green cable cars, specially constructed for this line in the company's shops, made the trips between Fillmore street and the ferries without a hitch, giving a five minute service.

    Instead of going west on Sacramento and east on Clay street, as formerly, the cable has been reversed In order to provide a route to the Fairmont hotel direct from the ferry. The new cable line will relieve Sutter and Fillmore cars materially and will prove a direct service from north Fillmore. to East street. Many people patronized the new cars yesterday.

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    End of Geary Street, Park and Ocean/1

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Sunday, May 5, 1912. Page 28.

    The Geary Street Park and Ocean Railway had been the first San Francisco cable car line to resume service after the Earthquake and Fire of 18-Apr-1906. The first electric line of the new San Francisco Municipal Railway replaced it. The line's Market and Kearney turntable was next to the Chronicle's offices. George Ade, "The Aesop of Indiana", was famous for his 1899 book Fables in Slang. I was a little offended when the author called the GSPO a "low-grade cable line", but then I realized what he meant...

    This Familiar Picture Will Become a Memory After Today


    Market-Street Corner Will Stand Still When Machinery Stops Tonight

    Another landmark of the old San Francisco will be erased with the passing of the Geary-street cars.

    Tonight the machinery will stop, the trundle of the cable in the Geary street slot will no longer be heard, and the blue cars of the "before the disaster" type will join the memories of the days
    When Chinatown was greasy and Market street was wood
    When half the town was restaurants and all of them were good

    Banished to some "Carville" the Geary, Park and Ocean lamp-lit and easy-going conveyances may pass the remainder of their days in peace. They have lost their grip. The municipal motorman will henceforth mote merrily over their roadbed. Not yet, but soon.

    When George Ade never returns to San Francisco, there will no longer be any excuse for his hallucination of the corners of Market street swinging in a circle, for the turntable at Kearney and Market streets will turn no more.

    The last of the low-grade cable lines passes into history this night, and the only cable lines remaining in San Francisco are those on streets where the grades are prohibitive for the trolley.

    But the Geary-street cars were no quitters. Their franchise expired, but they continued to run. They were condemned time and again, but still they ran. Michael Casey strung a trolley over them a year ago, but that did not worry them. The officials of the road declared that the cable was worn out and ready to break, but it didn't. They continued to bump the bumps of the wornout roadbed, while municipal authorities talked of progress and many elections were held to decide their fate.

    One after another they will trundle home for the last time tonight. They outlived their day and their end has arrived.

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    End of Geary Street, Park and Ocean/2

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Monday, May 6, 1912. Page 14.

    James O'Neill (1847-1920), famous for playing in The Count of Monte Christo, was the father of playwright Eugene O'Neill. Emilie Melville (1851-1932) was an actress whose career started in the 1860's and lasted long enough for her to make at least one talking movie. Clara Morris (1848-1925) was an actress famous for playing Camille in La Dame aux Camelias. She later became a writer.

    The Passing of the Geary Street Cable Road

    Reliable Old Friend of the City is Now Only a Memory


    Opened for Traffic Thirty-Two Years Ago With Terminal In the Sand Hills

    When the last Geary street cable car trundled its way into the west last night, the city lost a faithful old servitor, and Gripman Will Fisher and Conductor James McLean, who have been on the road since it was opened thirty-two years ago, were not the only ones to feel a suspicious moisture in their eyes and experience a strange lump in the throat and queer tug at the heart strings.

    Gray haired men of business today remembered when, as boys, on their way to hunt rabbits among the sand hills, the Geary-street line was an accommodating vehicle. They would "jump the dummy," and, as the conductor came along they would drop off and catch the rear platform, or, reversing the situation, run ahead and catch the dummy.

    It wasn't difficult; the cars could be "jumped" anywhere along the line. It was always an entertaining, happy-go-lucky sort of road; passengers would amuse themselves counting the rail joints; it was as good for the liver as a horseback ride. Either the dummy or the trailer had a habit of leaving the rails once in a while, then it was everybody ashore while the huskies among the male passengers lifted the car back on the track; one did not have to wait for the trouble car and a derrick.

    But the city liked the old line, if it did swear at it, and its management. It was reliable, and, plugging along in its own way, would take you where you were going. The Western Addition has good cause to remember the line. In times of stress and misunderstandings between employers and employees of the modern electric lines when the latter were not carrying passengers, the "old reliable Geary" was the artery through which coursed the business life of the city, and at such times, every available inch of room was taken, even to the roofs of the cars.


    Just about half an hour past 12 o'clock this morning a car gong on a Geary street cable car tapped significantly on the turntable terminus in front of the Chronicle Building. A gripman threw forward the lever, and the conductor pushed the old blue car off the turntable and across the United Railroad's Kearney street tracks. A few minutes later, the cable below the surface of the street sang its own swan song as the car slowly moved out Geary street in its own leisurely and inimitable fashion on its last trip.

    Illuminated with red fire and carrying youths and men who hung on from any part of the car they could grasp and covering the roof, the last car on the Geary-street line started on its final trip. On the roof of the car were boys armed with wash-boilers, horns, and dinmakers of evey description and ranging in size from a tin whistle to a circus calliope. Several hundred night workers employed in the vicinity of Third and Market streets and late home-goers cheered as the car passed on its route.

    This morning the Geary-street cable line is a thing of the past. When the old blue car reached the big brick barn at Geary street and First avenue the gong tapped farewell and when Gripman Will Fisher and Conductor James McLean tried to say something but couldn't, but turned and walked away from the barn, there was none about them to laugh or scoff. Sentiment is something that few ever get away from and when the old cable ceased its whine, after dragging its last car, it seemed to some that it was drawing a thin curtain over one of the last visible reminders of the old San Francisco. And with the memory of the old San Francisco sentiment will ever be synonymous.

    STARTED IN 1880

    The line was opened for regular traffic February 16, 1880. Its Market-Kearny street terminus was then directly in front of Phil McGovern's place, on the site of which now stands the Chronicle building. Pretty nearly every one who has lived here for any comparatively great length of time remembers McGovern's place. Out at the First-avenue terminus Calvary Cemetery was located. Beyond that there stretched great sand dunes and vegetable farms. Today there flourish in that territory a residential district tightly webbed with pretty homes. At that time James O'Neill, the actor, was being featured for the first time and he was appearing in the "Queen's Shilling" at the old Baldwin Theater, winding up his performances with a song. At the Bush street Theater the old Emilie Melville Opera Company, forgotten by few who ever patronized it was playing and at Dashaway Hall, Post street, between Kearney and Dupont, Clara Morris was appearing in the now-forgotten drama "The Soul of an Actress."

    It's been a long time -- thirty-two years -- since Charles Main and Daniel F. Mayer and Superintendent Reuben Morton beamed with satisfaction as this cable line was opened and the first car started out from Lotta's Fountain.

    And yet during the thirty-two years of the cable line's existence, it has seen San Francisco grow into the busy metropolis.


    It has seen Geary street grow from a simple and sparsely settled residence thoroughfare into a thriving, bustling avenue of metropolitan traffic. It has seen its Kearney street terminus expand into the busiest center of activity in a great modern city. It has seen its First avenue terminus develop from a cemetery location into a great residential district. It has seen skyscrapers creep up in the place of little one and two story buildings all along its line. It has seen old landmarks give way to the imperious demands of a busy and restless age until now it is even relegated among the things of the past itself, in order to give a speedier, more convenient service.

    "The old order changeth" and the last old Alice blue car has trundled its way alone into the night. No matter how proud one may be of the great modern San Francisco of today, when he crossed Geary street this morning, he cannot help feeling that little tug at the heart strings at the stillness of the cable, and realize that one of the last links binding the old to the new is severed; that modern progress has shouldered into the past a reminder of the time when the city was not in such a hurry and a man had time to stop and chat with a neighbor.

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    Last Horse Car in New York

    From the New York Times / Friday, July 29, 1917. Page 12.

    New York's last horse car survived until 1917 to protect a franchise.


    Bleecker St. and Fulton Ferry Line Abandons Franchise and Will Tear Up Tracks.
    Antiquated Vehicle, with Smoke Pouring from Stovepipe, Rattles Lazily to its Barn.

    Fifty-three years ago, when George Opdyke was Mayor of New York and goats browsed along what is now Riverside Drive, the people were startled to learn that a company had been incorporated to operate a car line through the most populous and select streets. When the first car of the Bleecker Street & Fulton Ferry line pulled out and went gliding along behind a team of horses caparisoned with bells even the most pessimistic admitted that New Yorkers were up and doing. It would take a lot of space to print the route of that wonderful line.

    It began on the west at Eleventh Avenue and Fourteenth Street, traversed Greenwich Village, passed through Crosby Street, and finally reached Park Row and Fulton Street. Part of the distance of many miles there was a double track, but mainly the track was single. Passing through many changes, the line kept its honored place in the municipal railroad world until yesterday morning, when the last of the dirty old cars, with their faithful horses and husky drivers, were withdrawn, never again to reappear. What glory, therefore, that came to this giant and progressive city for maintaining the last horse-drawn car disappeared forever. We are now no more notable in transporation than Chicago or Philadelphia.

    The men who did this thing were the officials of the New York Railways Company, aided and abetted by the Public Service Commission. The reason they gave was the sordid one of lost money and lack of public necessity. For many months only one car has been operated on the line in West Street and thence by devious ways to Broadway and Bleecker Street. The car used was a sight but it was as good as any that drooped in the car barn. The purpose of keeping it going was to save the franchise. One day, July 17 last, it earned 10 cents on the single trip it made. During 1916 the line carried only 3,576 passengers all told, and the total of receipts was $178.80. In the present fiscal year the line earned only $103.60. But the upkeep cost the company $4,000 a year.

    The fact was, nobody would wait for the car, and they wouldn't ride on it anyway because it was far from clean, comely, or fast, and by walking a short distance in any direction one of the new-fangled cars could be found. General Manager Hedly of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company rode on the last trip yesterday, with several other officials of his company. There were also present Public Service Commissioners Whitney and Hervey and Secretary James B. Walter and Assistant Secretary Daggett of the commission.

    Two cars were waiting at Bleecker Street and Broadway, but all of those mentioned got into the first car, which was in charge of James Cusack, driver, who has held the same job for forty years, and Conductor Thomas O'Brien, who has been on the job more than thirty years. Those inside gazed with awe at the rusty old stove. But the stove was all right. A lot of paper was thrust into it and set afire, and the car trundled along with smoke pouring out of its battered pipe, to the wonder of the populace. If everybody on the car had paid fare the trip would have been one of the most profitable in several years. But nobody paid, and so it cost more than the usual average of $1.50 a passenger.

    In a few days the Public Service Commission will permit the tearing up of the tracks, new jobs will be found for the old employes (sic - JT), and the horses -- ah! faithful beasts? A movie concern was on hand, and pretty soon rural communities will sit in their favorite theatres and see what this city has lost.

    Pacific Avenue Cable Line to be Abandoned

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Tuesday, August 27, 1929. Page 8.

    The Pacific Avenue cable line was the last remnant of the Sutter Street Railway's Polk-Larkin line. An article on the same page talked about Joseph Strauss presenting plans for a bridge.


    Abandonment of Service on Pacific Avenue Passed Over Protest

    The 48-year-old Pacific avenue cable line, affectionately known to the district served as "The Kiddies Delight," was officially legislated out of business yesterday, when the Board of Supervisors by a unanimous vote authorized abandonment of the line.

    The Market Street Railway Company loses annually about $28,000 on the line. The franchise will expire in April of next year. The company has notified the city that it plans to abandon the line at that time unless authorized to do so at an earlier date.

    Supervisor Shannon, chairman of the Public Utilities Committee, presented the matter under a recommendation to approve abandonment of the line and an offer from the Market Street Company to remove the tracks and pay the city $10,000 toward the reconstruction of the street.

    Many residents of Pacific avenue protested. Led by J.G. Roberts, Frederick Pickering and several women, the protestants declared that the cable line afforded the only transportation for the steep hill section between Fillmore and Divisadero streets. They presented protests signed by 192 home owners.

    On the unanimous adoption of the measure, Shannon moved that $20,000 be immediately appropriated for the reconstruction of the street. The motion was referred to the Finance and Streets Committee. Favorable action is expected next week.

    Shannon also moved that the City Attorney be instructed to draft a communication to the Market Street company to obtain sanction of the Railroad Commission for the abandonment of the line.

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    End of Pacific Avenue Cable Line/1

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Sunday, November 17, 1929

    The Chronicle carried the Toonerville Trolley comic strip, about a decrepit streetcar.

    City Obsequies Today Mark Passing of 'Toonerville' Cable Line on Pacific Ave.

    Parade of Old-Time Vehicles Will Follow Ancient Carrier on its Final Run

    The man who rode on the first cable car will ride on the last of the Toonerville trolleys on the Pacific avenue line today as a special guest of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.

    He is Thomas P Burns, now manager of the San Francisco Clearing House, who was bookkeeper for Andrew S Hallidie, the inventor of the cable car.

    "Hallidie was a manufacturer of wire rope," said Burns yesterday. He installed numerous wire cables in the mining districts of California. From these he got the idea of a passenger cable car.

    SEEN AT 1871 FAIR

    "The first model was placed on exhibition at the Mechanics Fair in San Francisco, 1871. The 'endless wire rope' attracted a great deal of attention. In 1873 the first cable line in the world, on Clay street, between Kearney and Leavenworth streets, made its initial trip.

    "Valentine Rev and myself, then mere lads, had the privilege of taking the first ride. There was no ceremony in connection with the occasion, as there will be for today's last ride on the Toonerville trolley.


    "The ride was regarded as a dangerous experiment, and took place at night, when there were few people in the street. The initial trial came out quite successfully, however, and three years later there were thirteen cars on the Clay Street Hill Railway. In 1876, the line handled 1,900,000 passengers on a 5 cent fare."

    The funeral of the Pacific avenue cable line will begin at 11:15 this morning, with Supervisor Jesse Coleman, representing Mayor Rolph, delivering the farewell speech as the last car begins its final run. A parade of old-time vehicles will follow in its wake.

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    End of Pacific Avenue Cable Line/2

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Monday, November 18, 1929

    Fanchon and Marco were a San Francisco dance team who produced a musical review famous for its beautiful chorus girls. "bumped its freaking way"?

    'Toonerville Trolley' of S.F. Has Frolicsome Finish

    City Says Farewell to Toonerville Cable Line on Pacific Avenue on Final Run


    Crash During Ceremonies Marking Last Trip Scares Spectators

    The ancient "Toonerville Trolley" went on a rampage yesterday, probably in defiance because it had been doomed to oblivion. And with its dying gasp, Pacific avenue's quaint old cable line gave hundreds of spectators a scare.

    The corner of Fillmore street was the spot chosen by the expiring trolley for its last wild gesture toward a world in which there is no room for poky cable cars. The gaily decorated car was proceeding westward when it paused for traffic to pass. Directly behind it came a second trolley filled with children who had gathered for the ceremonies marking the passing of the old line.


    The second trolley crashed into the car ahead and it used such force it broke the bar connecting the trailer with the front section. No one was injured but the youngsters were badly scared and onlookers trembled.

    The funeral ceremonies were temporarily halted while a hurry call was broadcast for the repair wagon. Meantime, the disabled car managed to limp along to Divisadero street where the official parade was scheduled to begin.

    After the broken bar had been pieced together in makeshift fashion, members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, which organization was responsible for the abolishing of the ancient line -- climbed aboard.


    The Municipal Band formed behind its leader, Phil Sapiro, Fire Chief Charles J Brennan wheeled his flaming red automobile into line, and the procession got under way. Pierre Capdeville, gripman, and Ben Martin, conductor, composed the trolley's last crew.

    Trailing behind the trolley were two relics of the early days when automobiles were in their infancy. One white chariot, neatly trimmed in red, sported in addition to the date 1902, a back seat divided in the middle by an entrance door. These senile machines attracted almost as much attention as the Fanchon and Marco girls riding on the dying trolley.

    Back to Van Ness avenue, the cable car bumped its freaking way while spectators cheered from the sidewalks and motorists honked a funereal accompaniment. On a flag-draped stand at the corner of Van Ness and Pacific, the honor guests and speakers gathered.


    Supervisor Jesse C. Coleman, representing Mayor Rolph, spoke briefly on the passing of the old line, which was opened for cable service in 1887. Prior to that date, horse-drawn cars rambled along the route from Ninth and Brannan, to Larkin, up Post, across Polk, and out Pacific. Following Coleman's remarks Sheriff Dick Fitzgerald contributed his memorial bit to the ceremonies. Ferrill Brown, president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, told of that organization's long fight to get rid of the trolley.

    But apparently the ancient trolley did not take kindly to the carefully conducted obsequies. Late in the afternoon, as the zero hour approached, the tottering car staged one last grandstand play. This time it was headed towards the east. It was standing at the intersection of Pacific and Laguna. Suddenly an unidentified automobile bumped the rear of the trolley and the ancient vehicle jumped the track, lurching up against the nearest curb. Again, no one was hurt, and again, the old trolley had defied those responsible for its death sentence.


    With the speakers on the platform were several individuals to whom the passing of the "Toonerville Trolley" meant more than just a sign of progress. To J. W. Collins, 1685 Bush street, it brought back that December day in '87 when he drove the first cable car over the brand-new track.

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    Auto Hits Signal Tower

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Thursday, February 28, 1935

    The signal tower at Powell and California controls the crossing of two cable lines. Read Emiliano J. Echeverria's article about the tower and see a photograph of the aftermath.

    Runaway Auto Crashes Kiosk; Hurts Flagman

    Cable Car Employee In Critical Condition From Injuries

    Breaking loose from its parking place at California and Mason streets late last night, a runaway automobile careened wildly down California street, demolished a cable car kiosk at the intersection of Powell street and critically injured the signalman after carrying him a full block down the steep incline.

    The machine finally came to a stop after crashing into a telephone pole a few feet from Stockton street.


    The signalman, caught entirely unaware in the freak accident, was James Chiamps, 65 Brazil avenue. At Harbor Emergency Hospital attaches said he was suffering from numerous fractures and internal injuries, with only a bare chance to survive.

    Owner of the car is John Muller, 12 Woodrow street, Daly City.


    Witnesses said the car broke free from its emergency brake and began its mad dash before there was an opportunity to stop it. With terrific force, it plowed into the frail kiosk, sending bits of the wooden structure flying in all directions.

    Go to top of page.

    Melbourne Cable Tram to be Preserved

    From the Launceston, Tasmania Examiner / Wednesday, February 15, 1939

    Melbourne's first cable tram was going to be preserved.


    The Tramways Board has agreed to the request of the National Gallery trustees to give them Melbourne's No. 1 cable tram for housing in the technological museum for purposes of record.

    No. 1 began running on November 11, 1885; is still running on the Bourke-street line; has already covered 1,600,000 miles, and will be the last car to run on the Bourke-street line before its conversion to electric traction.

    Go to top of page.

    Melbourne Cable Tram Last Trip/1

    From the Adelaide, South Australia Mail / Saturday, October 26, 1940

    Melbourne's final cable tram runs.

    Melbourne's Last Cable Tram Makes Last Trip

    MELBOURNE, Saturday. -- The last of Melbourne's ancient cable trams made its final trip through city streets tonight and the first double-decker bus was introduced to the run.

    It was decided more than a year ago to replace the cable trams with the more modern buses, but the Tramways Board decreed that before the trams should be taken from the road the cable must break.

    For months, a fleet of double decker buses has been waiting garaged ready to leave at a moment's notice when the cable snapped, but with time wearing on and the cable showing no signs of snapping, the order was given today to take the trams from the road.

    The first bus was packed with people singing popular songs as they travelled.

    The cable tram was the last of its kind in Australia.

    Go to top of page.

    Melbourne Cable Tram Last Trip/2

    From the Townsville Daily Bulletin / Tuesday, October 29, 1940

    Another report on Melbourne's final cable tram.


    Final Appearance.

    MELBOURNE, October 28.-- The last cable tram in Australia made its final appearance on Saturday night. Because disorderly souvenir hunters considerably damaged last cable trams on other routes, the authorities attempted to keep secret Saturday night's changeover from cable trams to a modern bus service on the Bourke Street route to Northcote and North Carlton. Nevertheless, cheering singing crowds greeted the last veteran and pilfered articles from it at either terminus and during the last run along Bourke Street.

    Tbe new service comprises a fleet of 71 double-deckers and single decker buses luxuriously fitted.

    Go to top of page.

    Melbourne Cable Tram Goes to Museum

    From the Melbourne, Victoria Argus / Friday, November 29, 1940

    Melbourne's first cable tram was delivered to the technical museum, now called Scienceworks.


    Melbourne's first cable tram was taken to the Museum yesterday to be placed in the Victorian historical section. The tram was the gift of the Tramways Board, and will be on view when the extensions to the Museum are completed. Until then the tram will be kept in a shed in the grounds of the Museum.

    Go to top of page.

    Cal Cable 1949 Strike/1

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Thursday, September 1, 1949

    World War II raised costs and damaged the formerly strong financial position of the California Street Cable Railroad. There had been a one-day strike in 1948.



    A strike by 130 AFL carmen was scheduled to shut down the California Street Cable Railway (Railroad - JT) system today.

    Affected would be the California street line and the Jones, O'Farrell and Hyde street line.

    As the strike deadline approached late last night, neither the company nor the union would give way from previously announced positions.

    Charles Wood, president of the carmen's union, said union members would not report for work at 5:30 o'clock this morning unless the company cancels its plans for a wage cut.

    Early morning passengers can tell the strike is on if they are unable to hear the cable running in the slot.


    The union wants pay raised from $1.48 an hour to $1.50 while the company, facing an operating loss, has said a pay cut to $1.36 an hour will go into effect today.

    Municipal Railway Manager William H. Scott said service on the city-owned Sacramento street line would be augmented, if necessary, to care for the California street patrons.

    Meanwhile Mayor Robinson had City Attorney Dion Holm prepare for city acquisition of the privately-owned cable company. Sent to the Board of Supervisors, the proposals were referred to Committee for study.


    A spokesman reiterated the company position: Operating at a $50,000 annual loss, the company must cut wages 12 cents an hour.

    "I can't understand why the company takes such an adamant stand," Wood said. "I think they would give the public some thought."

    "It's merely a matter of simple arithmetic," said manager J.H. Campbell. "The money just isn't in the till."

    Although the union has asked for an increase to $1.50 -- parity with the Municipal Railway employees -- it offered Monday to call off the strike if the company would continue the present wage scale another 30 days. Company officials said they could not.

    The carmen were to meet at the Labor Temple at 1 a.m. this morning for last-minute discussion of the walkout. The California Cable line normally shuts down for the night at 12:40 a.m.


    The three proposals for city acquisition presented to the Board of Supervisors at an "emergency" session included:

    1 -- A declaration of policy as to whether the city should buy the company at all. This would require a bond issue at a later date.

    2 -- A $210,000 bond issue to buy the property at the latest offer -- $10,000 down and $200,000 within the year.

    3 -- A charter amendment authorizing the city to buy the line, paying for it out of city funds, meaning property taxes. It was estimated that this would add 3 cents to the tax rate. This would avoid the bond issue.

    Whichever proposal was chosen, it would have to be submitted to the voters in the November 8 election. To be on that ballot, the Board of Supervisors must approve it by September 19. Last year, a proposed $200,000 bond issue to buy the company failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority.

    Mayor Robinson said he believed the board action might stave off the strike.

    Informed of the statement, union officials disagreed: "The men have voted to refuse to work if the wage cut goes into effect."

    Company officials also doubted that the Mayor's action would postpone the strike.

    The Mayor expressed concern over the threatened shutdown of the company.

    "There are many riders who depend on the California line for transportation," he said.

    To care for these riders, the Municipal Railway is prepared to run alternative buses from the Sutter No. 4 line onto the Sacramento street line at Divisadero, from there to Market street, the extra buses will run along Sacramento, parallel to California.

    Go to top of page.

    Cal Cable 1949 Strike/2

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Friday, September 2, 1949


    Service on the California Street Cable Railroad was halted yesterday by a strike of the AFL carmen over wages.

    Thirty thousand daily riders of the company's lines were affected by the strike.

    The Municipal Railway shifted nine extra buses to Sacramento street, paralleling the California street line of the struck railroad system. Regular passengers on the Hyde-Jones-O'Farrell route and the Jones street shuttle had to utilize such alternate services as regularly exists.

    A meeting of cable car riders was called Tuesday night in Galileo High School auditorium to discuss the situation.

    The strike followed a stalemate in negociations over a union request for an increase of present hourly pay of $1.48 to $1.50, the scale paid Municipal Railway employees.

    The company, declaring it is losing $50,000 yearly, countered with the announcement that it would cut the scale to $1.36. "It's a matter of simple arithmetic," said J.H. Campbell, manager of the cable company. "We haven't got the money in the cash register to pay even $1.48, much less raise the scale to $1.50."

    "We won't take a pay cut," said Charles Wood, president of the carmen's union.

    Behind the impasse lay years of union-management differences over wages, and a long struggle by the company to keep its head above water. There have also been long negotiations by the city to purchase.

    Voters turned down a $200,000 purchase proposal in an election June 1, 1948, but Mayor Robinson submitted alternative plans to the Board of Supervisors Wednesday, on the eve of the strike.

    Robinson's proposals will be given a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at a joint meeting of the board's finance and judiciary committee.

    Any of his three suggestions would require approval by the voters.

    Last strike for the California street line was a one-day walkout February 1, 1948. The strike was a protest against a company decision to cut the hourly rate -- $1.36 at that time -- to $1.27.

    The union accepted the pay cut when the company agreed to pay a higher rate if it could, and a resolution of the dispute was then postponed until voters acted on the city's proposals to buy the line.

    When the voters turned thumbs down on buying the company, a managerial reorganization followed and the new officers returned the pay to the old rate.

    Roy Smith, executive vice president of the San Francisco Real Estate Board, called a meeting of "all riders" on the cable car system for Tuesday night in the Galileo High school auditorium.

    Smith, who lives at 2111 Hyde street, emphasized he was acting as a private citizen and as a regular user of the cars himself. His telephone number is GArfield 1-2169.

    "We riders are caught in the middle in this controversy," he said. "The employees may have some justification. I wouldn't know. The company claims it is losing money. I wouldn't know."

    "I don't know what we can do about it as riders, but when we get together and talk it out, something may result."

    Go to top of page.

    City Decides to Abandon Most of Cal Cable

    From the San Francisco Examiner / Wednesday, January 27, 1954. Page 6.

    This was a different time, when people though public transit should at least break even.



    The Municipal Railway will ask permission to drop the Jones Street cable car shuttle within two weeks, Manager Charles Miller announced yesterday.

    He said Muni also is prepared to drop three losing bus lines almost immediately if the board of supervisors approves their abandonment after a hearing Monday.

    All other economies - including abandonment of the O'Farrell-Jones-Hyde cable line and the shortening of the California Street cable line - must wait about sixty days, said Miller.

    3 Bus Lines --

    He said the bus lines that can be dropped quickly are the No. 56 (Cemeteries), No. 76 (Broadmoor) and the No. 77 (Industrial).

    Abandonment of the O'Farrell-Jones-Hyde line, and of the California street line west of Van Ness Avanue was authorized by the board of supervisors by a seven to four vote Monday.

    However, several San Mateo County officials explored with Miller this afternoon a plan to keep the Nos. 56 and 76 lines alive thorugh some form of subsidy-extra fare plan.

    Both are feeder lines extending into San Mateo County in the Daly City area. One serves the new Broadmoor and Westlake residential districts; the other goes to the cemeteries.

    Contract Plan --

    Miller said the main proposal discussed was a contract arrangement whereby Daly City and San Mateo County would set an extra fare to be charged, and collected by Muni, for that portion of the ride outside San Francisco. If the line failed to break even with the extra fare, San Mateo County would make up the difference by subsidy.

    It has set a public hearing for 2pm next Monday on the public utilities commision's recommendation to drop the three losing lines which Miller wants to kill at once, and four other feeder bus routes that also lose money.

    Meanwhile preparations were being made for another round in the Muni economy fight before the supervisors' judiciary committee at 2 p.m.

    The committee will act on four proposed ballot measures for the June primary, three of which are designed to reduce Muni's operation costs further.


    Another measure up today is the abandonment of the Jackson-Washington-Powell cable line. Since it is frozen into the charter, it can be abandoned only by a vote of the people.

    Cal Cable Outage

    From the San Francisco Examiner / Wednesday, January 27, 1954. Page 12.

    Interesting about the radio cars.


    The California Street cable line resumed services at 5:55 a.m. yesterday after another rush-hour breakdown Monday evening.

    George Evington, superintendent of transportation, said a cable strand parted and snaked around the cable at 5:40 p.m. Monday, stalling the eight cars in operation.

    The cable was brought in for repairs and the cars towed into the barn. Radio cars were dispatched to inform waiting patrons of the break.

    City Decides to Abandon Most of Cal Cable/2

    From the San Francisco Chronicle / Monday, February 1, 1954. Page 3.

    In January, 1954, the Public Utilities Commission and the Board of Supervisors voted to abandon most of the former California Street Cable Railroad's lines. On 01-Feb-1954, the PUC voted to discontinue the Jones Street Shuttle.

    Let the People Vote on Cables

    The clamor raised by the Supervisors' 7-to-4 decision to dismember the California cable system suggests that such action runs counter to public sentiment.

    History supports that inference. Whenever the people of San Francisco have by ballot expressed themselves on the question of cable cars that expression has been unmistakably favorable. Never, so far as we can discover, have the people voted against cable cars.

    Accordingly, we urge the Supervisors to reconsider their hurried decision, to withhold the knife before the amputation has been irrevocably performed, and to discover the true state of public opinion before doing damage that cannot be undone.

    Supervisor McAteer, one of the four who opposed the headlong rush toward abandonment of cable car service, is proposing a new test by ballot of public desire concerning the California system, cable cars in general, and the Municipal Railway in its entirety. Such a plebicite is plainly indicated.

    Nine of the 11 Supervisors -- among them, of course, at least five who joined the rush to chop off the cable system forthwith -- have now indicated agreement with the principle of consulting the public on transit matters. They favor placing on the June ballot proposals for changing the method of establishing wages of Muni employees and for amending the ordinance that requires two-man operation of streetcars. The public, of course, must be consulted in these instances and should be in others.

    It is essential before mass transit is futher impaired, that the will of the people be ascertained. Particularly, as Supervisor McAteer says, it is needful to know whether San Franciscans regard the Municipal Railway as a necessity or as a luxury, even at the cost of a subsidy that must be supported from property taxes.

    Without such information, the elected representatives of the people would be on dangerous ground if they went forward with their purpose of ripping up the rails.

    City Decides to Abandon Most of Cal Cable/3

    From the San Francisco Chronicle, Tuesday, February 2, 1954, page 3

    Legality of Cal Cable Cutback is Challenged

    Cable railway advocates, led by Mrs Friedel Klussmann, tried to stop the sudden decision to abandon most of Cal Cable's former system.

    The legality of last week's vote by the Board of Supervisors to shut down the bulk of the California street cable car system was challenged yesterday.

    The attack came from Mrs Hans Klussmann, whose Citizens Committe to Save the Cable Cars had apparently conceded defeat after the Supervisors' vote last week.

    Yesterday, Mrs Klussmann, armed with a copy of the City Charter, said that the Supervisors were forbidden to take any vote to abandon service until they received a report from the City Planning Commission on what they change in service would mean.

    The move was purely a delaying action, for City Planning Director Paul Oppermann has already said he favors getting rid of the cable cars.

    But, according to Mrs Klussmann, the delay will give people in San Francisco who love the cable cars an opportunity to regroup their forces and fight to keep the lines.

    A second move to save the cable car lines came from Supervisor J. Eugene McAteer, who submitted a proposal to the board to let the city's voters decide the fate of the California street system.

    He introduced a proposed amendment to the City Charter which would -- if approved by the city's electorate in the June primaries -- forbid the Public Utilities Commission from reducing cable car service in San Francisco.

    McAteer's proposal would freeze in the City Charter the entire cable car system as of the first of this year, so that recently approved cuts would have to be rescinded if the amendment is approved.

    McAteer reminded the board that in 1947 the people had adopted a Charter amendment to keep the Powell street cable lines in operation, and that subsequently they had voted to purchase the California street cables.

    He said he considered the action taken by the Board of Supervisors and the Public Utilities Commission in cutting out parts of the California Street lines "a violation of a mandate of the people to operate the cable cars."

    The commission plans to drop the Jones street shuttle next Sunday. Some time this spring it expects to end service on the O'Farrell-Hyde line and on the outer section of the California street line between Van Ness and Presidio avenues.

    Thus, all that would be left of the lines on which the red cable cars operate would be the section on California street between Market and Van Ness avenue.

    No cuts are contemplated immediately on the Powell street and Washington-Jackson lines. These lines are protected by the Charter and the Public Utilities Commission is forbidden to tamper with them without passage of a Charter amendment.

    End of Jones Street Shuttle/1

    From the San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, February 7, 1954, Page 3

    Bell Tolls for a Shuttle
    Cheering Crowd Goes for a Last Shuttle Ride

    The last trip of the Jones Street Shuttle drew a noisy crowd.

    A singing, cheering crowd estimated at 100 strong jammed the last run of the Jones street shuttle last night in a noisy wake for that branch of the O'Farrell-Hyde cable car line.

    Decked out in black crepe, the car pulled out from the Market-Jones-McAllister street intersection promptly at 11:01 p. m. crowded with mourners and escorted by police motorcycles.

    Waving placards attacking supervisors who voted to cut cable-car operations, the riders sang a special tune, "God Save Our Cable Car" to the tune of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."

    Conductor Ulysses Taylor gave up trying to collect fares on the jammed car, and Gripman Roy O. Sydney had considerable difficulty getting his grip to engage the cable, because of the heavy load.

    The ending of the Jones street shuttle, begun 53 years ago, was the first step in the Public Utilities Commission's plan to shut down the bulk of the California cable car system.

    The entire O'Farrell-Hyde line and the outer portion of the California street route between Van Ness and Presidio avenues are scheduled for extinction in two months.

    The regular customers and the men who work the single car that functions on the shuttle line spent a good deal of the last week talking about the closing down of services.

    Helen Miller of 1000 Chestnut street has ridden the shuttle for five years.

    "I just think it's a tragedy what they're doing to the cables," Miss Miller said. "Why, that ride up Russian Hill, especially on a clear night when you can see the bridge and the bay, has an absolutely theraputic effect on a tired office worker coming home for dinner."

    There was less scenery, of course, on the route of the shuttle.

    It wasn't a long ride. It started at Jones, McAllister and Market streets, hard by a pair of banks, several theaters, and a burlesque house. Every 10 minutes the car left Market street, ran up Turk, Eddy, and Ellis. At O'Farrell, it connected with the main line.

    "And connected pretty well, too," Gripman Sydney, a veteran of 28 years on the cable cars recalled. "During rush hours we made practically every connection with both inbound and outbound cars. and when we didn't make the connection we waited for them."

    Perhaps that explained the unique character of the Jones street cable. No tight schedules. No pressure. No hurry. The five block trip, taking four minutes, was short enough to allow for plenty of flexibility. Departures from O'Farrell were timed by connecting cars and departures from Market street were adjusted for late passengers, especially for those who paused to buy flowers at Jim Eliopoulous's stand nearby.

    Go to top of page.

    End of Jones Street Shuttle/2

    San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, February 8, 1954, Page 19

    The Last Ride

    A different account of the last trip, perhaps from a different edition.

    A lively group of citizens, with laughter on their faces but sorrow in their hearts, took the final ride yesterday with old Number 58 -- last of the Jones street shuttle cable cars. The little red car was draped with black crepe. It completed its last trip from Market street to O'Farrell street and then kept going, helped with a push from a tow truck, up the Jones street hill, to the California street carbarn. As Gripman Roy O. Sydney turned Old 58 into its berth, guitarist Lonnie Dean and accordianist Janet Livinstone struck up "Auld Lang Syne," and the crowd joined in the singing.

    Go to top of page.

    End of O'Farrel/Jones/Hyde 1

    From the San Francisco Examiner / Saturday, May 15, 1954. Page 1.

    I was impressed by the detailed description of the replacement bus operation.



    The little used portions of the California Street cable car system will be taken out of service at midnight tonight and the No. 80 Leavenworth Street bus line will be reestablished.

    Operating instructions covering the changeover were issued yesterday by the railway management in a general bulletin to employees.

    Changes Listed ---

    1 -- Cable cars of the No. 61 line will operate on California Street between Drumm and Van Ness. That part of the line west of Van Ness Avenue will be discontinued.

    2 -- Cable car line 62 (Hyde-O'Farrell) will go out of existence, and the new No. 80 bus line will operate from Chestnut and Larkin to Mason and Turk Streets.

    3 -- Limited stop (semi-express service will be provided on the No. 55 (Sacramento) bus line starting Monday morning at 7:24. The special service, with stops only at major transfer points, will operate inbound during the morning rush hours, and outbound during the evening peak period.

    New Bus Route ---

    Utilities Manager James H Turner said he anticipated some kind of demonstation tonight on the part of die-hard "save all the cable cars" fanatics. If movement of the cars is impeded, Turner said, operators have been instructed to lock them (!? - JT) and leave them to be removed to the car house later.

    The Citizens Committee to Save the Cable Cars announced that a protest rally will be staged at 11 0'clock tonight outside the car barns at California and Hyde Streets.

    Object of the rally, a spokesman said, is to obtain signatures on a petition for an initiative measure to keep the present cable car lines in existence.

    The route of the No. 80 bus will be as follows:
    From Chestnut at Larkin, over Larkin, Lombard, Hyde, Vallejo, Leavenworth, Post, Jones, O'Farrell and Mason to a terminal at Turk Street; returning outbound over Turk, Jones, Post, Leavenworth, Vallejo, Hyde and Chestnut to Larkin.


    Use of Jones and Post Streets is a temporary arrangement until street repair work on Leavenworth in this area is completed.

    Inbound semi-express buses on the No. 55 line will leave Sixth Avenue and Clement Street between 7:24 a.m. and 8:14 a.m. Outbound service on the special buses will leave from the Ferry Building between 4:32 p.m. and 5:31 p.m.

    These buses will stop at all regular bus stops except in the semi-express area between Fillmore and Kearny (sic - JT) Streets.


    Between these two streets the buses will stop only at Van Ness, Polk, Leavenworth, Powell and Stockton Streets.

    The semi-express buses will be provided in addtion to the regular "local" buses making all stops.

    Turner also announced that the partical discontinuance of night service on the No. 41 (Union-Howard) line along Howard and South Van Ness between Twenty-Sixth and Beale Streets.

    The full route will be operated up to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and up to 7:12 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.

    End of O'Farrel/Jones/Hyde 2

    From the San Francisco Examiner / Sunday, May 16, 1954. Page 1.

    All of Cal Cable's cars but one grip dummy burned in 1906.

    Hyde Cable Line Ends
    New Bus Route Takes Over

    Cable car riders will start learning new riding habits today.

    The ancient Hyde Street cars that once formed an integral part of the old California Street Cable Railroad Company -- the cars were built before the turn of the century and rebuilt after the earthquake and fire of 1906 -- made their final clattering runs last night.

    As far as the city went there was little notice of their passing. Some costumed devotees rode on one of the last trips carrying signs protesting the service cut; fans crowded old No. 51 for the final ride and others massed at the carbarn in a petition rally. But that was all.

    New Bus Line ---

    In place of the Hyde Street cable cars, a new substitute Leavenworth Street bus line was inaugurated early this morning in accordance with the economies ordered four months ago by the Public Utilities Commission.

    Also effective today, as part of the same economy program, the California street cable car line will end at Van Ness Avenue instead of Presidio Avenue, fifteen blocks west. Service on the No. 55 Sacramento Street busline (sic - JT) will be augmented to accomodate passengers who formerly rode the cable cars beyond Van Ness.

    Still in uncurtailed operation are the Powell Street cars to Hyde (? - JT) and Bay Streets and the branch which goes out Jackson Street to Steiner and returns on Washington.

    Temporary Routes ---

    The new No. 80 Leavenworth Street busline will operate between a downtown terminus at the junction of Turk, Mason and Market Streets and a northern terminus at Chestnut and Larkin Streets.

    The inbound route will be in Larkin, Lombard, Hyde, Vallejo, Leavenworth, Post, Jones, O'Farrell and Mason Streets. The outbound route will be via Turk, Jones, Post, Leavenworth, Vallejo, Hyde, and Chestnut Streets.

    These will be temporary routes only, however, and will undergo one minor change on completion of street work now in progress on lower Leavenworth Street.


    The normal inbound route, to be effective several days hence, will be down Leavenworth vetween Vallejo and O'Farrell and thence to the downtown terminus. Similarly, the normal outbound route will be out Leavenworth to Vallejo and thence to the northern terminus.

    C.D. Miller, general manager of the Municipal Railway System and Traffic Superintendent V.W. Anderson predicted that augmented service on the No. 55 Sacramento Street busline will provide much faster and more convenient travel for those who formerly used the California Street cable cars west of Van Ness Avenue. Anderson explained that a limited stop service and more local buses would be added to the No. 55 line.


    Skip-stop buses will stop only at transfer points betweeen Fillmore and Kearny Streets. But this limited stop service will be in effect only during morning and afternoon peak periods from approximately 7:25 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. inbound and from approximately 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. outbound.

    The inbound route is from Seventh Avenue and Clement Street, via California Street, Sixth Avenue, Lake Street, Arguello Boulevard, Sacramento, Gough and Clay Streets to The Embarcadero.

    The outbound route from The Embarcadero is via Sacramento Street, Arguello Boulevard and Lake Street to Sixth Avenue and Clement.

    One other major economy ordered by the public utilities commission last January depends on the voters' decision on Proposition E at the June 8 primary election.

    Proposition E provides for a $1,000,000 cable car improvement and modernization program, notably diversion of the Washington-Jackson branch of the Powell Street car line out Hyde Street to Beach. The Fisherman's Wharf branch of the Powell Street line would remain the same.

    A self-styped "Citizens Committee to Save the Cable Cars" campaigning furiously against Proposition E, yesterday demanded that the public utilities commission rescind its order even as to the economies effected today.

    Proposition E/1

    From the San Francisco Examiner / Monday, June 7, 1954. Page 25.

    The master traffic plan included converting many streets to one way traffic.

    Transit Group Backs Prop 'E'

    Proposition E was indorsed yesterday by the Citizens' Committee for Transit Progress, which labelled the ballot measure as the "only way to save San Francisco's cable cars."

    The committee's indorsement read in part:
    "Proposition E, which establishes a permanent cable car system that conforms with the master traffic plan, will save money by cutting down expensive mileage in areas where they are little patronized.

    "It returns the Hyde Street view line without the traffic problems involved under the costly old line. It does away with the hazardous two-block stretch on Pine Street between Jones and Hyde Streets where the cable cars went the wrong way against one-way traffic."

    Mrs Emily Martin, chairman of the Cable Car Festival Committee, hailed the indorsement as "another important one in a long list that includes the Chamber of Commerce, the Civic League of Improvement Clubs, the San Francisco CIO Council, the Down Town Association, the AFL Committee to Save the Cable Cars, and many others."

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