This article by Charles B Fairchild, from The Street Railway Journal, June, 1893, describes the cable railways of San Francisco.

San Francisco, Cal.

This city is interesting to street railroad men, chiefly as being the home of cable railways, for here they had their origin in 1873, and here they have been developed to a greater extent than in any other city of the world, there being in operation at the present time 106 miles of cable track. The topography of this city is such that it is difficult to see how it could possibly have attained its present magnitude without the aid of its cable lines. Certainly some parts would have remained inaccessible but for this efficient method of transit. The number of passengers carried on all the street railway lines in San Francisco in 1892, not including transfers, was 92,981,606 or the entire population of 325,000 over 286 times.

Fig. 1 -- Near the Golden Gate -- San Francisco

San Francisco is built on more than a score of steep hills with corresponding valleys, and the summits of the hills rise to a height of from 400 to 900 ft. above the ocean level. The city occupies the northeastern portion of a sandy and hilly peninsula, which is forty-three miles long and from six to twenty-five miles wide, lying between the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Bay of San Francisco on the east and, borders along its northern extremity the straits which form the famous entrance from the Pacific Ocean to the harbor and bay, known as the Golden Gate. The strait proper is about three and a half miles long and one mile wide at its narrowest point and has a depth of from 100 to 300 ft. It widens out the coast line between Points Bonito and Lobos to about three miles and on the east into San Francisco Bay, forming one of the largest and finest land locked harbors in the world. The bay extends south of the city for forty miles and twenty-five miles to the north where it unites with San Pablo Bay and has an average width of eight miles with an irregular shore line of 300 miles including the branch bays. The two largest rivers in the state, the Sacramento and San Joaquin, which are navigable for a number of miles, flow into this interior body and reach the ocean through the Golden Gate.

The city is nine and a half miles long and four and a half miles wide and occupies the entire county of San Francisco. A large tract occupying the southwestern portion of the city is covered with shifting sand dunes which are being encroached upon by the buildings and parks and chained in position by the planting of trees and bunch grass so that eventually even this wild waste will no doubt be conquered and occupied by buildings.

On the eastern shore of the Bay of San Francisco are located the cities of Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley, which join each other and are acccessible from San Francisco by ferry, and where reside a great number of people who do business in San Francisco. The ferry slips are located at the foot of Market Street, which is the main thoroughfare of San Francisco, and from which fine boats run every fifteen minutes to the towns opposite.

The distance between the water fronts of the cities is about six miles, but the steamer landings on the Oakland side have been built out into the shallow water of the bay for a distance of two miles so that the time occupied in crossing is from fifteen to twenty minutes. The fare for the round trip, including transportation to any part of Oakland, is 25 cents.

Not all the city of San Francisco, however, is on the hills. The water front has been extended for nearly half a mile over the tide flats and protected on the line of deep water by a substantial sea wall, so that a number of streets and all the business blocks in the lower portion of the city are on made ground.

Three prominent hill islands rise abruptly from the waters of the channel in front of the city, and are all owned by the United States Government. Goat Island is directly opposite the city and between it and Oakland, and is occupied by the lighthouse keeper and his assistants. Alcatraz Island stands near the eastern extremity of the Golden Gate, and is utilized as a fort and United States prison, and north of it, and largest of all, is Angel Island, also a military reservation and post. At the narrowest portion of the Golden Gate is situated Fort Point, which is occupied by a strong fort well equipped with heavy guns, and behind it and stretching nearly to the ocean on the west, is the Presidio Reservation, which is also occupied as a military station.

The extreme west coast point of the peninsula is known as Sutro Heights, the property of Adolph Sutro, who has improved the location and made it, by means of gardens, statuary, groves of ornamental trees and extensive bathing pavilions, one of the most delightful and attractive locations about the city, while just below the brow of the hill is located the Cliff House, about 100 ft. above the ocean, in front of which, and almost within a stone's throw are the famous seal rocks about which the surf breaks, and which are the resort of hundreds of sea lions (a species of non-fur bearing seals) which wriggle their huge bodies, estimated to weigh from 100 to 1,400 lbs., out of the water and well upon the face of the rocks where they may be seen at all times quietly sleeping or crawling about and mingling their hoarse bark (which sounds like that of a large dog) with the murmuring of the surf. This location is reached by means of two steam dummy lines with which the cable lines connect, one of which runs along the water front and the other on the south side of the Golden Gate Park, which is the principal pleasure resort about the city. There is also a grand conservatory and a well selected zoological collection.

The glory of San Francisco, however, is her climate. It is never extremely warm or cold, so that many tender plants, such as fuchsias, heliotropes, roses and calla lillies, flower abundantly all the year on the open lawns and gardens, but, strange to say, owing to the strong winds the weather seems cool at times, so that overcoats and furs are worn some portion of nearly every day in the year.

Fig. 2 -- A Transit Facility in San Francisco

In the business portion of the city are found many handsome and imposing brick and stone structures, while in the residence portion are to be found, it is claimed, a larger number of fine residences than will be found in any city in the world. The houses, however, are principally of redwood, which is quite durable and slow to burn, as the mildness of the climate renders those of brick and stone unnecessary. In striking contrast to the palatial homes on the hills, however, is Chinatown, which occupies an area of ten blocks -- twenty-two acres -- in the heart of the city, and has an Oriental population of nearly 20,000. Many of the buildings in this location have been made over to suit the celestial idea of architecture, and the swarm of Mongols live, not only in the houses, but on the roofs and in cellars and tunnels far beneath the surface of the ground.

The city proper is still young, having been incorporated in 1850, and yet it boasts of one of the oldest buildings in the country, which is known as the Mission Church and stands at the corner of Dolores and 16th Streets, and was founded in 1776. The adobe walls of this structure are three feet thick and rest on a foundation of rough stone, while the roof is covered with heavy half round tiles and some of the timbers put in in 1776, of selected redwood, are yet sound. The building is still occupied as a place of worship by the Roman Catholics.


We will now turn from the old to the new, and give our attention to the street railways which have had a marvelous development in this marvelous city which would not have existed but for them. The street railways, which number nearly 240 miles of single track, are mostly controlled by nine companies, and operated by horse, steam, cable and electric power, there being two electric lines with a trackage of twenty-six miles. Some of the horse car lines are operated by two-horse cars, while others still run one-horse, bob-tail, fare box cars. The tracks of most of the horse cars are somewhat run down and neglected, which is, no doubt, due to the fact that it is the purpose of the companies to change these lines to some method of mechanical traction in the near future. The lines having a heavy grade will require cable traction, while a number of other lines will, no doubt, be electrified. The horses are kept in fine condition, and the service is as good as it can be made with animal traction.



however, challenge the admiration of the world, and they are operated with such a degree of safety as to inspire confidence, and no one seems to be afraid while riding from hill to valley up and down the heavy grades which in many places have an incline of 20 per cent. Not only in the line of safety appliances is the service commendable, but there seems to be a disposition on the part of all the companies to please their patrons. The cars run on reasonably short headway, and are so timed as to make close connections at crossings and points of transfer, while liberal concessions are made in the way of transfers. The cars are kept scrupulously clean, the employes are neatly uniformed and are attentive and polite to a degree that may have been equaled, but never excelled, in any city that we have visited. The only improvement regarding the service that can be suggested is in the line of greater speed on the outlying sections of the different lines.

The construction of most of the lines has been done in a substantial manner, and on all the lines recently constructed the space between the rails is paved with basaltic blocks grouted with cement. On some of the lines bituminous rock was used for paving, and this material has also been used extensively for street paving, but has not proved to be very durable. Recently, however, deposits of a richer material have been discovered and further experiments are being made.


As stated above, the present system of cable railway had its origin in San Francisco, and the entire credit for having devised this method of transit is clearly due to Andrew S. Hallidie, and the credit of having built the first cable line he shares equally with his three friends Joseph Britton, Henry L. Davis and James Moffit, who having confidence in Mr. Hallidie's engineering ability, came forward and gave encouragement to the scheme by contributing each equal amounts with him for the prosecution of the work, so that, at this distance, one hardly knows which to admire the most, the genius of the inventor, or the courage and faith of the three men who gave the proposition their financial support. The four principal actors in this important event are still living and are all successful business men in the city of San Francisco, where their early labors have produced such wonderful results. We take pleasure in presenting their portraits in this connection.

Mr. Hallidie's early training and business had eminently fitted him for successful operation with wire ropes, his father, a native of Scotland, having taken out the first patent in Great Britain for making wire ropes, which was in 1835. Having subsequently moved to California, we find young Hallidie, as early as 1855, and when but nineteen years of age, engaged in building an important bridge over the middle fork of the American River and subsequently engaged in bridge building and mining. In 1857, he began the manufacture of wire ropes in San Francisco, a business in which he is still engaged. During 1867-69, he matured a plan for the transportation of ore and heavy articles from mines by means of an overhead, endless traveling rope, a system which is still in successful operation in a number of places on the Pacific Coast.


Mr. Hallidie states that in 1869 he first turned his attention to the problem of an endless traveling cable for the moving of street cars, being induced to think of the matter from humane motives on seeing the difficulty and pain the horses seemed to experience in attempting to haul the cars up the grade on Jackson Street where it required four or five animals, and which at times were cruelly beaten by their drivers. In the following year he devoted all his available time to the prosecution of his plans, and to securing financial aid and obtaining a franchise. Clay Street was finally chosen as a suitable route for the first experiment, although California Street had previously been surveyed for the purpose. Finally, about the beginning of May, 1873, the enterprise was actually started, Mr. Hallidie and his three friends advancing about $60,000 with which, with the $28,000 secured from property owners, and $30,000 realized from the sale of bonds, the road was eventually built. The contract for constructing the line was let to William H. Martin and J. Ballard who, with surprising energy, completed the work in about sixty days, so that on the first day of August, which was the last day of grace for holding the franchise, the first trial trip was made with a grip car or dummy. About four o'clock in the morning, Mr. Hallidie acting as gripman, accompanied by Messrs. Britton and Davis and six employes, the first trip was made from Jones Street down to Kearny Street where the car was reversed by means of a turntable, and the return trip made without any difficulty or delay, a feat which has never been accomplished on any new cable line since, we fancy. "The operation was an earnest one," says the inventor. "There was no frivolity. The whole affair was serious, and when it was done there was simply a mutual hand shaking, and nothing but cold water drunk. I do not know whether I felt more rejoiced at the visible proofs of the success of the trial trip, than at the expression of satisfaction, relief and renewed confidence in the faces of the gentlemen who had invested the money and faith in the enterprise, and had stood by it so faithfully." In the afternoon of the same day a public trial trip, was made with a grip car and trailer, and proved successful, although there was a little delay at the turntable, caused by the breaking of a bolt, and on the return by the slipping of the rope in the grooves of the winding drums, difficulties which were soon remedied.

The original power station for the Clay Street line, which we have recently had the pleasure of visiting, is located at the corner of Clay and Leavenworth Streets, but is at present unoccupied. It is a plain wooden structure, 68 X 68 ft., having two stories and a basement, and from it the Clay Street line was operated from August, 1873, to 1891.


The power equipment, which is still in place, consisted of two horizontal engines equipped with Rider valves, having cylinders 14X28 ins., and rated at 150 H. P., and were manufactured at the Delamater Iron Works in New York. The engines were placed so as to couple to the same shaft, but only one was run at a time. From the engine shaft the power was transmitted through a countershaft by means of spur gear to the rope winding drum which was of the clip type, having three grooves. The rope led over a single grooved idler by means of which a second wrap was made on the winder and by which the slack of the rope could be taken up, the idler being arranged to move back on its foundation a distance of sixty feet. The tension carriage was located at the foot of the hill. The track was laid with a thirty pound T rail with a three foot six inch gauge. The conduit was about two feet deep and eighteen inches wide, and was constructed with cast iron yokes with a lining of metal and wood. The slot was placed a little to one side of the center of the tracks, so that the rope should not come directly under it. The original rope, which was 7,000 ft. in length, was manufactured by the California Wire Works, and was about fifteen-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, and at first was run at a speed of four miles an hour. The total rise in the distance of 2,791 ft. was 307 ft., some of the grades being as high as 17 per cent.

The original grip differed materially from those now in use, and was of the bottom type and was designed to take up the rope at any point as well as to grip it. This grip was operated by means of two hand wheels, a large hollow screw and a threaded rod which passed through it. By means of the hollow screw the grip was raised or lowered for picking up or letting go the rope, and the jaws, which were supported by an L shaped foot carrying two sliding frames, were operated by means of the upper hand wheel and threaded rod. The grip dies proper were about three and a half inches in length, and were supplemented at each end by a pair of horizontal grooved wheels which were designed to pick up the rope and hold it in position between the jaws. The jaws and wheels were closed upon the rope by means of a wedge shaped block having the thick edge down, and which was lifted by means of a shank attached to the threaded rod, the operation forcing the guide wheels back upon their springs.

From this modest beginning on Clay Street, San Francisco, the cable railway has attained a position of eminence in many of the large cities throughout the world. The problem of successful mechanical traction was solved, and it paved the way by its success for its popular rival, electricity.

The conspicuous benefits resulting from the inventions of Mr. Hallidie have made his name prominent all over the country, but the position accorded him among the representative men of his city and state was not earned alone by his cable inventions, for he has been identified with nearly every public undertaking in the city for a number of years, and the history of his life will prove a very satisfactory chapter in the history of the city. He is one of the most unassuming, easily approachable gentlemen to be found, and is favorably known by all classes. He has been from its opening, a Regent of the State University. He is president of the Mechanics' Institute, and held the same position previously for a term of ten years. He is an active member of the Board of Trade, Chamber of Commerce, Geographical Society, Academy of Sciences and the American Society of Inventors. He is also trustee of the Mechanical School of the Lick Trust.

It is due principally to Mr. Hallidie's efforts that a historical exhibit of cable railway appliances has been made at the World's Fair. The original grip car has been put on exhibition, and at his request the principal cable roads throughout the country have sent full sized models of the particular grip in use on their lines.

It is pleasing thus to speak of a man who has been so long identified with the street railway interests of the country and express our gratitude for the benefits which his inventions have conferred upon this particular industry.

California Street Cable Railway Company.

The lines of this company embrace eleven miles of narrow gauge (3 ft. 6 ins.) track, and are under the management of J. B. Stetson, president of the company, and Superintendent J. W. Harris, who has the active management in the operation of the lines. The system is run in two divisions, one on California Street, which is straight, and the Hyde Street division, which has a number of curves, and runs on different streets terminating at North Beach. Both lines have a number of very steep grades, one on Hyde Street for a distance of 620 ft. being 21 per cent., while there are on both lines a number of grades from 16 to 18 per cent.

The lines are operated from a single power station which is located near the corner of California and Hyde Streets. The building is of brick, having three stories and a basement, and the ground dimensions are 137 X 137 ft. with one corner, 22 x 80 ft., cut out. The offices of the company front on Hyde Street near California Street,. while the power equipment is located in the basement. The first, second and third stories are utilized for car storage and repair shops. The different floors are connected by a hydraulic car elevator having two rams, the total lift being thirty-two feet.


The power plant has many novel and interesting features both as regards the engine equipment and the method of driving the ropes. The power equipment consists of a triple compound condensing engine, or rather three engines placed parallel, but with considerable distance between them, the first two being eight feet apart, and the third twenty feet from the second (Fig. 4). The cylinders are 14, 20 and 30 by 54 ins. and are coupled to the same shaft, the end engines by a crank disk and the intermediate engine by an inside balance crank, each being set to one-third with the initial leading.

The tail rods of the two larger cylinders have crosshead and guide supports which are designed to relieve the weight and wear of the piston on the bottom of the cylinders, and the engine is run at sixty-one revolutions a minute, and is rated at 500 H. P. The average daily horse power required for operating the lines, however, is about 350. Poppet valves are employed, and the valve gear is of the O'Neil type, and that for each engine is operated by an independent shaft driven by a screw gear from the mainshaft. The three governors, however, are connected by a rod beneath the floor, and operate in harmony, but the cut-off of the three cylinders varies according to the load, being regulated by a differential mechanism.

The receivers between the different parts of the engine are placed beneath the floor, and have about the same capacity as their respective cylinders, and are steam jacketed, as are also the cylinders. The steam pipe is so coupled that either one or all of the cylinders may be run high pressure. This allows of five different combinations, so that if one part is shut down for repairs, the other two will operate the road. This arrangement avoids the necessity of a reserve or duplicate engine. The first and third may be run compound or the first and second, or second and third, and either one at high or low pressure. The condenser pump is placed directly under the main shaft, and is operated from it by means of a short, stout sprocket chain with a suitable tension apparatus. An independent air pump is also provided, but is not considered as efficient as the direct driven pump.

The exhaust pipe near the last cylinder is provided with a cast iron cap about four feet long, having spiral chambers through which the feed water is first led, and thence across the building to the boiler room through a two inch pipe which is enclosed within a six inch pipe that carries the exhaust from the steam circulating pumps. It then enters a heater at the boiler room, and before entering the boilers is led through a series of pipes in the combustion chamber, from which it is delivered to the boilers at a temperature of 185 degs. A plugged jet condenser is placed in the exhaust pipe between the last cylinder and the air pump, and from which the water flows into a hot well. The condenser is provided with a bull's eye on each side through which the flow of water may be observed, and also with thermometer bulbs for measuring the temperature. By means of an Evans pump, having a capacity of 470 gals, per minute, the water of condensation is lifted from the hot well to the roof of the building, where it is led into a very complete system of cooling pans and tanks. The water is first delivered at a temperature of 130 degs., into a perforated shallow pan about twenty feet in length and three feet in width, in passing which the temperature is reduced about four degrees, and from whence it drips and flows into a second pan of galvanized iron four feet wide, and is led three times around the edge of the roof, a distance of 1,300 ft., and into cross tanks, which are provided with revolving wheels having sheets of felt, which are designed to separate the oil from the water. It is then delivered into a storage float that operates an indicator in the engine room. It requires about 28,240 gals, per hour for condensing purposes, and about 771 gals, per hour for boilers. The loss by evaporation is about 536 gals, per hour. This varies, however, with the weather through a range of 100 gals, per hour. About ten horse power is required to operate the circulating pumps.



The steam is generated in three Babcock & Wilcox boilers of 120 H. P. each, of which, however, two only are run at a time, the steam pressure being 150 lbs. In these the fuel at present is Welsh anthracite coal, which costs, delivered, $8.50 per ton. This coal is brought as ballast around Cape Horn in the ships which return with cargoes of wheat and lumber. It requires about six tons a day (costing about $50) to operate the two lines with forty-five combination cars. These six tons of coal produce only about 900 lbs. of ashes per day. These boilers were originally equipped with mechanical stokers, but these have been removed and a forced draught employed, which has resulted in the saving of about 20 per cent, in fuel. A Sturtevant fan, placed above the boilers, provides a blast which is delivered to the furnaces with a pressure of half an inch water column. This is somewhat less than the natural draught, the smokestack being 150 ft. in height.

The ash pan is kept filled with water, and the stack flues are provided with automatic dampers which are regulated by means of a small water pump, the valves of which are opened by means of an electric current which is controlled by a steam gauge. The forced draught, in connection with the flue regulation, provides a uniform pressure in the firebox, and renders the combustion very perfect, resulting in a great economy in fuel -- a very important item since coal is high. The Eureka boiler compound is employed for removing scale from the boilers, and is applied by being enclosed in perforated tin cans which are suspended in the boiler, so that the compound, dissolves gradually and mingles with the water.


The power is transmitted from the engine shaft to the main shaft, forty feet distant, by means of eighteen two-inch cotton ropes, the draught being from the top. The driving pinion is seven feet nine inches in diameter, and the shaft pulley is twenty-five feet in diameter. The shaft is sixty-eight feet in length and is provided with two sets of winding drums at each end. The winding drums are twelve feet in diameter, and the speed of the ropes is eight miles an hour. The winding drums are not geared together, and the idlers are mounted in adjustable pedestals which are bolted to the bedplates along which they can be moved. They are also anchored by long bolts to an adjustable cross girder, or rather to two girders which are connected by a heavy, threaded rod. This arrangement dispenses with the tension run, and the tension of each rope is regulated by means of a traveling sheave, eight feet in diameter, which is supported in a vertical position in a gate frame, and rests upon the outgoing wrap of the cable between the winding drums (Fig. 5). The tension sheave has an overhanging bearing, and to its shaft, cast iron disks are hung to regulate the weight. The frame which carries the tension sheave is provided with a cylinder head at the top, and directly above is placed an open cylinder in which the frame is air cushioned, in case the speed of the rope should be suddenly checked. A small roller is hung to the under side of the sheave, which prevents the cable from leaving the groove should the sheave be thrown up suddenly. Rubber cushions are also placed at the floor level directly under the frame upon which it would fall in case the rope should break. The weight on each rope, including the sheave and frame, is about 1,800 lbs., which is regulated according to the age of the rope, being reduced in old ropes. This method of tension and arrangement of the drums is operating in a highly satisfactory manner, and is an especially desirable construction where sufficient room cannot be had for a tension run, and results in a saving of first cost and in wear on the rope. With the idlers thus mounted, the slack of the rope is easily taken up while running, by means of a rope attached to an eccentric on the end of the idler shaft, which imparts an intermittent motion to a ratchet lever which turns the threaded rod between the cross girders and moves the pedestals along the bedplates, the bolts with which they are secured to the bedplate first being loosened. With four wraps on the drums the moving of the idler one foot takes up eight feet of the rope; with five wraps ten feet. The bedplates in this station are about thirty feet in length, or of sufficient length to take up 240 ft. of slack with four wraps, and 300 ft. with five wraps. This arrangement also allows of the drums being operated at all limes with considerable distance between them. This is thought to be an advantage in case the grooves wear unevenly, for the sag and elasticity in the extra length of rope between the drums yields to the increased diameter of any one of the grooves, and thus relieves any excessive strain on the rope. It also allows a little time for the metal to recover after being bent, before it is required to bend again.

The engines and rope transmission drums were manufactured by the Union Iron Works Company, of San Francisco, and the cable winding machinery by the Risdon Iron Works, of San Francisco. The designs however, for the engines, the winding drums and tension apparatus were furnished by J. C. H. Stut, mechanical engineer of San Francisco.

New cables, when received, are rewound upon iron reels which are mounted in pairs on each side of the engine room in convenient position for readily delivering the rope into the conduit, and a gear mechanism is provided which is operated by a rope belt from the idler shaft, a temporary pulley being bolted to the end of the idler shaft for the purpose.

Reels, operated by a small engine, are also mounted in the basement in the rear of the engine room, on which the old ropes are wound when taken out of service. Several powerful clamps are also provided, as is customary in most plants, at convenient positions in the pulley vaults, in which the ropes are secured when a splice is being made, and one or more strand detectors, which consist of forked springs having wires leading to the signal bell, are provided for each rope. There are also tackle blocks and and other tools for conveniently handling the rope.


A very complete set of splicing tools is also provided, and include, besides marlin spikes and needles, a number of adjustable clamps which are provided with handles a foot or more in length, and which are used for untwisting the rope (Fig. 6). The inlaid splice is employed for uniting ropes, and the splice is usually from eighty-five to ninety feet in length. In the operation of splicing, two strands are unlaid together and then relaid in the same way, until near the end, when they are separated and tucked in the usual manner, first being bandaged with canvas. In tucking the ends of adjacent strands, the first one is laid for a few inches under the five strands, and the other is then run in; which is thought to be an advantage over the method of first tucking one entire and then the other. For cutting strands, a pair of home made shears (shown in the cut) is employed, with arms about four feet in length, with which a strand is readily cut by one person.

To expedite the repair of ropes, should a strand occur or the rope be cut, the superintendent has made it a rule requiring that all the employes about the station, including firemen, blacksmiths, car repair men and helpers, shall report promptly at the splicing stand in the engine room, whenever the engines slow down or stop. The ropes are under the charge of a head splicer, and he or an assistant is constantly on watch over ropes to detect any defects. In splicing he is usually assisted by the blacksmith, fireman, one or two trackmen and some of the gripmen.

Old ropes are sold to a local foundry, where they are melted down and cast into carrying pulleys and other forms, the metal making a vary hard and durable pulley. In some cases softer metals are mixed with the cable metal, and very valuable castings are made from the product. It is the practice in some of the foundries where old ropes are utilized to untwist the strands, remove the core and wind the strands on separate reels, when they are sorted according to the size of the wire, so that wires of about the same size can be placed together in the cupola; the outside broken wires are also melted separately.

Four ropes are driven from the California Street station, the first being 18,900 ft., the second 14,500 ft., the third 13,500 ft. and the fourth 12,500 ft. The life of the long rope averages about sixteen months, the second nine months -- but has been known to last ten months -- the third thirteen months. The ropes are one and a quarter inches in diameter, composed of six strands of nine wires in each strand, laid with six over one, and twelve over six. The alternate wires are of different sizes, but No. 14 and 16 wires being employed. The present ropes are all of the Lang lay type, the lays being seven and a half inches in length, and were manufactured by the California Wire Works.

For driving the four ropes, which aggregate 59,400 ft., or eleven and a quarter miles, without cars up to a speed of eight miles per hour, requires 182 H. P.; for six miles an hour 131 H. P.; four miles 87 H. P.; two miles 46 H. P.; only one mile per hour 25 H. P.; from which it will be observed that the friction increases somewhat with the speed. The total daily mileage for forty-five cars is 3,636.

On being asked whether the power equipment was giving reasonable satisfaction, and if they had to build again they would keep the present plant, the president and superintendent replied, that they did not think the present equipment of compound engines and method of drive could be improved upon, and that the only change they would make, would be to provide more ample boiler capacity.

It will be noted that the plant is being operated with great economy in fuel. About eleven and a half pounds of water are evaporated from one pound of coal; and the total daily cost for fuel at $8.50 per ton is $50, a little more than a dollar a day for a car, strikingly illustrating the economy of triple expansion, condensing engines for cable railway work. The engine room is kept in a very neat condition. The engine and shaft pedestals and other parts are painted a bright red, which produces a pleasing effect.


The conduit on both lines is about thirty inches in depth, and in the construction wrought iron yokes were employed. Those for the California Street Construction were made from old rails bent in proper shape and braced with angle iron. Those for the Hyde Street construction were made from plate and angle iron, and in both cases they were thoroughly bedded in concrete. On California Street a thirty-eight pound girder rail (Fig. 7) was employed, which was designed by Henry Root. This is said to be the original girder rail, after which all modern types of girder rails have been modeled. Although these rails have been in service since February, 1878, they are still in fair condition, but the joints, which were suspended, have given considerable trouble. The fishplates which are now employed are cast with an underweb, and each half weighs about fifty pounds. In repairing the joints the receiving end of the rail is left about one-sixteenth higher than the abutting rail; the shoulder is then filed off, and a very smooth riding track is the result.

The Hyde Street line, which has been running about a year, was built with supported joints which are already beginning to fail. In the opinion of many, suspended joints are preferable. A channel iron slot rail is employed on California Street, and the hook type on Hyde Street.

The carrying pulleys employed on California Street are nine inches in diameter, and those on Hyde Street are twelve inches. These are mounted in the conduit without any pulley vaults, the drainage being led off only at long intervals. These pulleys are cast, as before noted, from old rope metal, and have a wrought iron shaft cast in, the journals of which are afterwards turned off. The metal composing these sheaves is so hard that after a year's service no perceptible wear is noted. In some cases the manhole covers are of cast iron, but others are made of rolled plate, with headed rivets to provide against slipping, Old boiler plate is frequently employed as manhole covers; this is straightened and afterwards cut up into the required dimensions. The curve pulleys are of solid plate, twenty inches in diameter, of ordinary cast iron with the shaft cast in. Three of the double curves on Hyde Street are gravity curves, and on the other three the cars are pulled round by the ropes.

There is a large number ot places on these lines where depression pulleys are required; these are usually five inches in diameter, and are mounted in pairs in a swinging lever which is moved aside by the grip shank. These puilleys give more trouble, it is said, than almost any other appliance in the construction. There is quite a number of cable crossings on both lines, at nearly all of which it is necessary to drop the rope, and at three points gypsies are employed for depressing the ropes of the Iines crossed; these are operated by levers from the street by special watchmen employed for the purpose in some cases, and in others by the conductor who leaves his car, runs forward and works the lever.

At the intersection of Powell and California Streets, where the line of the California Street Company crosses the line of the Omnibus Company (Ferries and Cliff House Company - JT), a signal cab is located on the corner, in which a watchman is stationed, whose duty is to signal each train when it approaches the crossing on either line. Red and white signals are displayed through a circular opening on each side of the cab. The expense of keeping a watchman at this station is borne jointly by the two lines.

The deflecting pulleys in the vaults and terminal pulleys are cast in halves, and have removable rings which are bolted on in sections, so that when the groove is worn the rim only is removed, while the body of the sheave remains in service.



The company owns fifty-five combination cars, open at both ends; only forty-five, however, are in regular use. These cars are thirty feet in length over all, and seat thirty-four passengers, but have been known to carry as many as 120 people. The seats on the open section face outward, except the end seats on each side, which face to the front and rear. No trailers are operated. These cars weigh about 11,200 lbs., and were built by J. Hammond and Company, of San Francisco, after designs furnished by the officers of the railroad company. These are mounted on double trucks with a twenty-two inch spoke wheel. Heretofore wheels manufactured by Whitney, of Philadelphia, have been employed, and have a life of about two years, but more recently the wheels have been purchased from Steiger & Kerr, of San Francisco. In the history of the road, although the grades are very numerous and steep, the company has never had a flat wheel or a broken axle. The brake rods are so adjusted that the wheels cannot be skidded, the chief dependence for stopping the cars being the track brakes which operate between lhe wheelsof each truck. The track brake shoes are of Oregon fir, about twenty inches in length, and usually last about two weeks. These are clamped between metal plates, and the brake is operated by means of a double toggle joint. This type of brake was illustrated in our handbook "Street Railways,'' on page 399, and was designed by Henry Root.

The side grip, which takes the rope on one side only, is employed on California Street, and is known as the Root type, while on Hyde Street the Eppselheimer bottom grip is employed. On this line the rope is dropped more frequently than the other, and for this purpose a bottom grip is considered more etTicient, although it is somewhat harder on the rope. The dies of the side grip are fifteen inches in length, and have a life of about three weeks. The life of the upper and lower dies is about the same, as owing to the grades the rope chafes on the upper die when the car is standing, about as much as it does on the lower die. The dies in the bottom grip are twelve inches in length, and have a life of about eighteen days, forged steel being employed in both cases. The cars are turned at the end of the line, but are arranged to run in either direction with one grip, the grip levers, with which both ends are provided, being coupled to the grip by means of rods.

A tumbler sand box, which was invented by the president of the company, is employed. It consists of a cylinder about a foot in diameter mounted in bearings, and having a spout on one side, which opens into a curved nozzle, and is operated by means of a lever by which it is canted over. The sand is discharged into a funnel having a small outlet pipe through which it gradually falls upon the rail. By this arrangement, it is claimed, the sand never becomes clogged, and the box is always reliable. The box is filled through an opening on the side having a threaded cover.

Each conductor is required to keep his car in a cleanly condition,and in order to insure this being done the starter inspects each car every morning. In addition to this, a general inspection is made by the assistant superintendents every Saturday morning. In this inspection they note, not only the condition of the cars and windows, but they also look under the seais and in the boxes to see that there is no accumulation of oily waste or dirtY rags.



The fare is five cents, and transfers are given over connecting lines of the company, and are exchanged with two foreign lines. The transfers exchanged are redeemed by each company, the California Street Company paying two cents for all tickets taken up, and the foreign company three cents. Employes ride on their badge. No passes are given. Police oflicers wearing their star, and firemen going to and from a fire, are carried free. Transfer tickets are not registered, and the conductors turn in their receipts twice a day. The Lewis and Fowler register is employed.


Conductors and gripmen are paid $2.50 a day. Extras are paid by the trip. Men work twelve hours a day, with forty-five minutes for dinner. Conductors are required to make a deposit of $25 with the company, and are required to have a uniform of blue cloth with brass buttons. These cost from $19.50 to $22.50. The caps cost $2.50 extra. These are bought at any of the clothing dealers and the men are required to keep their clothing clean and neat. The company stipulates that the cloth shall be of a certain quality and color. No overcoats are required in this climate.

Trackmen receive from $60 to $70 per month, firemen from $65 to $70, engineers $100 a month. Two engineers, three firemen, two oilers and one ropeman are employed in the station. There are also two car builders, four men for looking after brake shoes and iron repairs, two machinists and a boy helper, two blacksmiths and a helper, the entire number employed on both lines being 215.

The force of inspectors is recruited from residents of the locality who are known to the officers of the road, and both male and female inspectors are employed. In case of special work experts from the local agencies are engaged. The employes are inspected only when on duty. In case, however, it is found lhat any of the men are in the habit of spending their time in the saloons and gambling places they are soon discharged. Some of the men have been a long time in the employ of the company, one gripman having been doing duty since I878, with only one year off.


The first floor being somewhat higher than the street, the cars are hauled in by means of a long rope operated by a windlass located in the basement, and which is driven from the main shaft, or from a small engine which is provided in case the road is shut down.

The grade of the runway is about 12 per cent. and the cars are run upon a transfer table, from which they are placed in their stalls, or are transferred to the elevator, and are raised to the second story, where is a second transfer table of sufficient length for handling lhe long cars. The cars are all run out by gravity. The floor on the California Street side being on a level with the street, the cars are run in and out by hand power.


The Market Street Cable Railway Company.


The lines operated by this company, which is locally known as the Southern Pacific Company from the fact that the principal owners control the steam lines of the Southern Pacific system, embrace the corporations known as the Market Strect Cable Railway, Geary Street, City Railroad Company, Central Railroad Company and the Potrero & Bay View Railroad Company, Park & Ocean Railroad Company. These various Iines embrace thirty- three and six·tenths miles of cablerailway, twenty·six and six-tenths miles of horse railway and ten and two-tenths miles of road operated by steam dummies. Leland Stanford is president of the principal company and Chas. F. Crocker is at the head of most of the other Companies, while the active management of the entire street railway system is in the hands of J. L. Willcutt, who is assisted in the operating department by A. W. Barron, superiritendent of the Market and Geary Street lines, N. J. Bailey, superintendent, City Railroad, J. F. Clark, Central Railroad and H. O. Rogers, Potrero & Bay View Railroad. The offices of the company are on the second floor of the Southern Pacific Building (Fig. 10), located at the corner of 4th and Townsend Streets. The general manager has made a valuable collection of wire ropes, both new and worn, and various other street railway appliances, and they are carefully arranged against a case placed to one side of the office (Fig. 11).


The cable lines are operated from four power stations from which 181,600 ft. of cable are driven, the aggregate engine horse power, including reserve, being 3,000. 430 horses are employed,and there are nine car barns provided for storage and repairs, besides the storage capacity of some of the power stations.



The cable lines, with the exception of that on Geary Street, are operated with combination cars, and Geary Street by open grip cars with trailers. The car equipment consists of 153 combination, double truck cars of the Root type which have bodies seven feet six inches wide with perpendicular hand rails on the posts of the open section (Fig. 12), twenty-five open combination with a glass and panel partition located about one-third the distance from the front, and which serves as a wind break, forty-two two horse box cars, ninety-nine one horse cars, twenty·six grip cars, with thirty-seven fourteen foot trailers; there are also eleven steam dummies and nineteen forty foot steam coaches.

Most of the combination cars were manufactured in the Central Pacific shops at Sacramento, twenty-five were made by the Carter Brothers, of Newark, Cal., while forty were reconstructed horse cars, the open portion being added at thecompany's shops. The originals of these reconstructed cars were of Stephenson make, and have heen in service since 1870, and are still apparently good for another ten years of service. The combination cars cost about $2,000 and weigh 11,000 lbs. Twenty-two inch solid wheels are employed, the most of which are cast in the shops of the Souihern Pacific Company, at Sacramento, while others are of the Whitney make, some of which have run nearly 60,000 miles. The company has never had a broken axle in all its years of service, and the long life of the wheels is partly attributable to the use of a track brake, which is relied upon more than the wheel brake for stopping the cars. One pair of track brakes only is employed on a car, and these are placed between the wheels of the rear truck, in order to take advantage of the weight of the body. The wheel brakes for the front truck are operated by a foot lever by the gripman, and the brakes of the rear truck are operated by the ordinary brake lever by the conductor. A pilot-shaped fender is employed on the cars ot this system. To the lower edge of this fender a piece of two inch rubber hose is fastened, which is designed to relieve the shock, in case a body should be struck. Two iron rods extend from the end of the crown piece to the drawhead in position to be readily grasped by a person in case he should be knocked down by the car.

No advertisements are allowed in the cars of this system. It sometimes becomes necessary to run the cars of the Hayes Street line over the route of another car, and to make them correspond to the regular car, canvas panels are provided which are painted red and lettered the same as the cars on whose line they are to run; these are provided with straps, and are attached to the car by means of carriage buttons, so that a white car can be readily changed to run on the route of a red car.


The road on Market Street is the trunk line of the entire cable system, and with this the five branch lines connect, on which all the cars run to Oakland Ferry, so that in the busy hours the headway of the cars on lower Market Street is about fifteen seconds; the cable cars are all turned at the ferry terminal on a table having capacity for two cars at a time on two tracks, so that one car may be run on to the table while the other is being run off. The table is operated by means of levers from the street, for which purpose a special attendant is employed, and the power is derived from the shaft of the tail sheave through the medium of gear and cone friction clutches. The grades on some of the branches are quite steep (Fig. 13). In this engraving grades of 16.5 per cent., 17.5 per cent. and 18.5 per cent. are shown in three blocks. At the crossing at Market and 10th Streets there is also a quite complicated construction, where the lines of the Omnibus Company cross and switch.


An experiment is being tried on one of the cars with a new street indicator, the invention of the Turner Brothers, of San Francisco, and manufactured by the American Indicator Company, of the same city. It has now been employed on car 221, on the Valencia Street branch, since November last, and has not in all this time failed to indicate the streets properly. It also carries an advertising rack in which the cards are frequently shifted, being slid from right to Ieft at stated intervals. The mechanism of the indicator is operated by means of a vertical shaft which is actuated from the car axle, and is so designed that any lost motion caused by the slipping of the wheels is automatically corrected at certain points. The mechanism is simple and not likely to get out of order, and notwithstanding the ill success that has heretofore attended the use of indicators on these lines, it is probable that this device will eventually be employed in the cars of the Market Street system.


Conductors and gripmen on the main line are paid twenty-two cents an hour, and work twelve hours a day, with but one hour and twenty minutes for lunch, but are required to work only six days in the week, so that the extra men come more frequently on duty. Trackmen are paid $60 a month, firemen $70, engineers $100, coal passers $60.

It is the practice of the company when engaging men to require them to sign a contract, and they are also required to give a bond of surety from the Pacific Surety Company, of California, in the sum of $250, for which the employe pays the Surety Company $2.50 a year. This bond is required in order to secure the company from damage or loss, the result of carelessness on the part of the employe.

The conductors are also required to make a deposit Of $25. They are also required to provide themselves with a uniform of navy blue material, the coat being double breasted and trimmed with buttons bearing the stamp of a combination car. Uniforms cost from $20 to $22, including the cap. The men are required to keep their uniform in a neat and tidy condition, and are suspended until they get a new uniform in case it becomes too much worn.

A regular force of inspectors is employed, but for special work skilled men from the detective agencies are sometimes put on, and a complete record of each man is kept as to the number of times and the date when inspected, whether O. K. or not. The trainmen are paid every day in cash at the receiving stations for work done two days previous, and all men off duty are required to report daily at four o'clock. If they fail to report, and have no good excuse, they are laid off for the following day.

Reprimands to the trainmen are usually type written and posted on the bulletin board at the receiving stations, the name of the ofiender being usually given. After the second or third ofiense the party is called to the superintendent's office and personally reprimanded. Notice of discharge is also sometimes posted, but the cause for discharge is not always made public except for violation of bell punch rules, and in some cases the discharged employe is not given the reason for his discharge.


Rate of fare is five cents, with transfers over all the different branches. Transfers are also exchanged with four foreign lines, and in settling, a balance is struck, the company having the excess of tickets pays the other two and a half cents each for them. City detectives ride on a pass, as do also chief of police, captains, sisters of charity and clerks in the accounting department of the company. Policemen ride on their stars and firemen on their uniform going to and from a fire. A limited number of postmen on duty are carried free over a limited section only.

Employes other than trainmen are provided with special tickets, and are allowed two for each day. Trainmen ride on their uniforms when on duty, but are provided with four tickets a week for use when they are off duty. Directors are required to pav fare, as are also the officers' families. Transfers arc regislered the same as fares, but are reported separately on the trip slip. Fares are registered on a trip slip by a bell punch manufactured by the Railway Register & Manufacturing Company. The nips from each punch are placed in an envelope, and are preserved for record in case it becomes necessary. In case a conductor is shorting his account, the amount is charged up to him, and in case he turns in more money than the register calls for, it is returned to him. Should he Iose a trip slip he retains the amount, when it is charged up to him and deducted from his monthly pay.



The Market Street power station is located on Market Street near its junction with Valencia (Fig. 15). The building is of brick, 250 X 85 ft., and one story in height. The chimney is star shaped, having eight square corners, and is 151 ft. in height. It is sixteen feet square at the foundation, and the flue at the top is seven and a half feet in diameter.


The power equipment is located in the basement, and consists of two pairs of cross compound, non-condensing engines with cylinders 24 X 34 X 48 ins. having a maximum capacity, for each pair, of 800 H. P., the average daily work requiring about 600 H. P. (Figs. 16 and 17). The cylinders of each pair stand side by side, and each pair is coupled to the ends of a separate shaft. The engines are of the O'Neil type, with poppet valves, one governor only being employed. The engines are run at fifty-six revolutions, with an initial steam pressure of 120 lbs.


The boiler equipment of the Market Street system consists of six Babcock & Wilcox boilers, arranged in three batteries of 440 H. P. each, aggregating 1,320 H. P. (Fig. I7). Part of these are equipped with the Jarvis hot air furnaces, and a part with the U. S. rocking grates.

The auxiliary equipment embraces Dow pumps, and two large Llewellen feed water heaters, manufactured in San Francisco. Both eucalyptus arid Winans compound are employed for removing scale.

The cost of fuel, which consists of either native soft coal or Australian coal, is about $120 per day, at present values, the maximum number of combination cars operated being 140, and the average 120 per day.

The figure 8 method of drive is employed, and the winding drums are twelve feet in diameter, and are mounted on the same shaft, which is driven from either engine shaft by means of V-shaped or helical gear.

The pinions are each four feet in diameter, and the gears are twelve feet, with a twenty inch face, the teeth having a five inch pitch. In the original equipment the pitch of the teeth was only four inches, but as they were occasionally broken a five inch gear has recently been substituted. Each engine shaft carries a pinion which meshes into the large gear on the main shaft; these pinions FI are so mounted on their shafts, however, that either one may be thrown out of mesh. To accomplish this a section of the shaft is made square, while the bore of the pinion is cut away on one side about lhree inches, and the pinion is centered by means of a pair of steel wedges. By removing the wedges the pinion can be moved back out of mesh and then slid to one side.

The traffic having outgrown the capacity of one pair of engines, it is proposed to operate both pairs, and for this purpose the main shaft will be divided, and each pair of engines will drive two ropes independently.

The winding drums are provided with two grooves, which are wood lagged, and the rope is transferred from one to the other as the grooves wear. The lagging of the grooves consists of maple blocks from six to eight inches in length, five inches deep, and about three inches in thickness. Tliese are pro. vided with dowel pins, so that lhey are readily put in placc.

The tension is maintained in the ordinary manner, with a double carriage having a wooden frame, and the weight imposed on each rope is about 8,000 lbs., a greater tension being required, it is claimed, with this method of drive than where the rope is made to wrap the drums. The speed of the ropes is eight miles per hour.



A two story brick building located in the rear of the Market Street station, is utilized for a repair shop (Fig. 19). The iron department occupies the first floor, and has a very complete equipment of iron working tools, which are driven by a small engine. A brass foundry is also provided which adjoins the repair shop in which journal bearings and the grip dies are cast. The dies are made from a composition consisting of five pounds of zinc, twelve pounds of copper, with one pound of tin to each 100 lbs. of the mixture. The upper dies Iast from seven to eight days and the Iower dies from four to five days. One portion of the second floor is employed for the wood working department and another for a store room. There is a fair complement of wood working tools for repairs and for building new cars, as the company does most of its car building, as before noted.

The car repair department is at present under the management of G. W. Douglas, who has been engaged in street car work for more than thirty vears, and enjoys the honor of having laid the track of i he first horse car line in this city.


From the Market Street station five ropes, aggregating sixteen miles, are driven. That on Market Street is 24,000 length, and is of the Roebling make, and of the ordinary lay,and is one and five-sixteenths inches in diameter. The ropes on this division, over which all the cars pass, are usually run about six months, when they are taken out and put on the Valencia Street Iine, where they have an additional life of from eight to ten months. New ropes on this Iine usually run from about eighteen to twenty-four months. The present rope is of the Lang Iay type, and was manufactured by the California Wire lVorks Cotnpany.

The Haight Street rope is 20,000 ft. in length, and of the ordinary lay, and was manufactured by the Market Street Company, as noted later on, the average life being from ten to twelve months. A short auxiliary rope is also provided for hauling the cars over the long curve near the station. This is driven from a six foot sheave having a V shaped groove bolted to the face of one of the winding drums. This rope has a very short life.


The Geary Street station is located at Geary and Buchanan Streets, and is a wooden building two stories in height (Fig. 19). The power equipment consists of two batteries of boilers of 208 H. P. each, one of which is of the Babcock & Wilcox type and the other the tubular type, and two 250 H. P., high pressure, O'Neil engines, having cylinders 18 x 48 ins., manufactured by the Union Iron Works Company, of San Francisco. These are arranged to be coupled at right angles to the same shaft, but only one is run at a time. The power is transmitted from an eight foot grooved pinion on the engine shaft to a twenty foot drum by ten two inch cotton ropes. One set of winding drums is only eight feet in diameter, and the rope is driven at a speed of eight miles per hour. The other set is nine feet five inches in diameter, and the rope has a speed of nine miles. The driver of each set is keyed to the main shaft, and lhe idlers are mounted on adjustable pedestals, which are moved along the bed plate by means of a rope and capstan.



At the Hayes Street station the power equipment consists of two Corliss engines having cylinders 20 x 48 ins., and which are geared direct to the driving drums, which are figure 8 type and twelve feet in diameter, the large gears being of the same diameter, and the rope travels at a speed of eight and a half miles an hour (Figs. 21 and 22). The tension run for this station is of the usual type and about 200 ft. in length. Steam is generated in four tubular boilers of seventy-five horse power each, in which coaal screenings are burned part of the time, the daily cost for fuel being $27 for twenty- one cars. From the Hayes Street station one rope is driven, which is 22,900 ft. in Iength, and usually has an average life of from ten to fourteen months.


The present rope is a Lang lay of Roebling's make. The ropes are treated to a dressing of Stockholm tar, raw Iinseed oil, with a Iittle castor oil, which relieves the wear of the grip dies.

At the McAllister Street station, two high pressure O'Neil engines with cylinders, 18 x 48, supply the power, and the two ropes are driven by the figure 8 method. One rope is 21,200 ft. in length, and ordinarily has a life of from twelve to seventeen months. The present rope, which is of the Broderick & Bascom make, has recently been put in.

The Fulton Street rope from the same station is 11,500 ft. long, of the Lang lay type, and was manufactured by the California Wire Works Company.


The Mission Street Iine, about five miles a part of the Market Street system, is being converted from horse to electric traction. The track is being constructed with a seventy-two pound girder rail supported on wrought iron chairs which rest on redwood tie, spaced three feet apart, and foundation of broken stone of about ten inches in depth, and thoroughly rolled, is placed under the ties, and there is a ballast of broken stone between the ties. A Johnson standard joint is employed with two ties under each joint, and the rails are triple bonded. A very commodious power station will be erected on Mission Street, but the type of power and electrical equipment has not been decided. It is also proposed to build two additional cable lines during the coming season, one on Fillmore Street and the other on Devisadero Street. And it is also proposed to build a new power station near the present Geary Street station, from which the Geary Street Iine will probably be operated.



Some years since the Market Street Company undertook the manufacture of its own ropes, and for this purpose a machine, invented by Henry Root, was employed, which is illustrated in Fig. 23.

This machine is placed in a vertical position, and consists of three circular platforms, the lower one of which is about twenty feet in diameter, and the three are supported by a central hollow shaft.

The bobbins for the individual wires are placed in circular nests on the platform, and each nest is made to revolve around a central hollow shaft, while the individual bobbins are turned backwards in order to take the twist out of the wires, a system of gears being provided to operate each ncst and the individual bobbins separately.

In the operation of the machine,the hemp core for the rope is led into the bottom of the central shaft, and as it passes out of tlie top the six strands are Iaid on in regular order, the wires of which have been twisted and laid separately. From the strand machines located on the lower platforms, each strand is laid over an adjustable arm at the edge of the upper platform, by meansof which a uniform tension is given to them. The finished rope is Ied over a system of large pulleys located in the loft above the machine, and is then led over and wound upon a reel mounted in a convenient position.

The individual wires are spliced hy brazing, and each bobbin has a capacity for about 2,800 ft. By this machine, ropes of any length can he manufactured, and it differs from most wire machines in that the strands and rope are all manufactured at the same time. The machine is operated from a small fifteen horse power engine and requires the attention of three men only for its operation. At present the machine is not in operation, as the company employs chiefly the Lang lay type of rope, for which the machine is not adapted.

A fire hose bridge is provided at the difierent stations, which is employed in case of fire to elevate the hose above the cars to prevent blockade. This device consists of a pair of tripods which are placed each side of the track and connected by a light truss on which the hose rests. The device may be placed flat on the ground, the hose put in position, when by means of the folding legs of the tripods the bridge is Iifted to sufficient height to allow the cars to pass under. This device was illustrated some time ago in the STREET RAILWAY JOURNAL, but has more recently been improved, and is said to be operating with good satisfaction. Its manufacture is now being controlled by Mr. Henricksen, of San Francisco.


Omnibus Cable Company.

The lines operated by this company, which controls the second largest system in the city, embrace fifty-six miles of track, thirty of which are operated by horse power, and twenty·six by cable.

The cable lines are three feet six inches gauge, and are laid with a fifty-one pound center bearing rail, while the horse Iines are five feet gauge, and are laid with the side bearing tram rail.

One hundred and forty-three combination cars are run singly on the cable lines, and 177 closed cars and thirty-six open complete the equipment of the horse lines. The number of horses employed is 500, and the cable Iines require 130,000 ft. of rope, which is driven from two stations.

Gustave Sutro is president of the company, and the lines are operated under the supervision of C. L. Anderson and G. H. Fairchild, chief engineer.


The main power station is Iocated at Howard and 10th Streets (Fig. 25), and the second at Oak and Broderick Streets. The Howard Street station is a brick structure, three stories in height, with a basement, the ground dimensions being 135 X 165 ft. A portion of the front, on ihe first floor, is utilized for offices and waiting room, receiver's office and rooms for the employes. The rear portion, with an entrance on Howard Street, is employed for car storage and repair shops, while the second and third stories are also equipped for storing cars. A portion of the first floor of the station is set apart for washing cars, and this is provided wiih a concrete floor. There are also suspended platforms on each side, which provide for ready access to the top windows and roof of the car.



The power equipment is Iocated in the basement on the 10th Street side, which is open to the second floor, making a very large and airy engine room (Fig. 26).

The steam equipment consists of six tubular boilers, 250 H. P. each, of the elephant type, and which carry a working pressure of seventy-five pounds. The fuel consists of both white ash Seattle coal, costing $5.89 per ton, delivered, and Nanaimo coal from Britsh Columbia, costing $6.19 per ton, the different kinds being used each alternate month. It requires fourteen and a half tons per day to operate the station, and the per cent of ashes is about 15. The company also sometimes uses the Welsh anthracite coal, its use depending upon the price as compared with native coals.


The power is supplied by two pairs of O'Neil cross compound engines, with cylinders 29 x 44 x 60 ins., which, at fifty-nine revolutions, develop 750 H.P. The cylinders have tail rods with crosshead and guide supports. The initial pressure is about seventy-five pounds, but in the second cylinder it is ordinarily zero, ihe vacuum being twenty three inches. With heavy loads, however, the pressure in the second cylinder runs uip to five or seven pounds.

The cylinders of each pair are set parallel, and are coupled to the ends of the same shaft, and the corresponding cylinders of each pair are placed end to end, and coupled as shown.

Vertical vacuum pumps for each engine are operated by means of connecting rods attached to the crossheads of the low pressure cylinders. The condensing water is pumped to the roof of the station where it circulates in a shallow stream through a system of cooling pans, 112 ft. in length and eight and a half feet wide, arranged in four tiers around a square. There are also five storage tanks for cold water Iocated on the roof, which have a capacity of about 9,000 gals. each. .

The crank shaft is twenty·two and a half feet in length, fourteen inches in diameter, and is provided with a rope pinion eight feet in diameter from which the power is transmitted by means of twenty two and a quarter inch cotton ropes to a twenty-four foot receiving pulley on the main shaft, the pull being on the lower ropes. These ropes were manufactured at the Oakland Cotton Mills, Oakland, Cal., and although they have been running nearly four years they are still in good condition.

The main shaft is thirty-three and a half feet long and seventeen inches in diameter, and is Iocated forty-five feet from the crank shaft, and carries three winding drums twelve feet in diameter, which are keyed to the shaft wilhout clutches. The idlers are mounted in adjustable pedestals similar to those described for California Street,the bed plates being fifty-six feet in length. The ropes make five wraps on the drums, so that the movement of the idler one foot takes up len feet of slack, or a total of 560 ft. The tension sheaves are mounted on a truck in the ordinary manner, but have a run of only about ten feet. When a new rope is first put in the idlers are placed at a considerable distance from the driver, with sufficient remaining space to take up the first stretch of the rope, which usually requires from a week to ten days. The surplus rope is then cut out and the second adjustment of the sheaves is usually gauged to wear out the rope without a third splice, the aim being to keep the drums as far apart as possible, as it is thought to be easier on the rope, and also provides sufficient Iength for a third splice in case the rope should break or be cut.

A direct tension weight of from 2,200 to 2,700 lbs. is imposed on each rope, depending on its length. The Lang Iay type of rope is employed, and they are purchased for the most part from the California Wire Works Company. One of the present ropes is of the Roebling make, and one was purchased of Geo. Cradock & Company, of Wakefield, Eng.

The street vaults are high and light, and the street surface is supported by heavy brick piers. The vaults of the pit are whitewashed and present a neat and attractive appearance, in striking contrast to the low, damp and dirty vaults which are frequently found. The deflecting pulleys are ten feet six inches in diameter, and are made with removable rims which are cast in sections with a chilled groove similar to the one illustrated in Fig. 27. The pit pulleys are all mounted in position to be readily accessible. The engineer has adopted a novel method for repairing a broken sheave of this character. In case the arm or rim should become broken the parts are clamped together by means of forged plates properly shaped to embrace the broken parts.

The new ropes are mounted on permanent reels in position to be readily run off; and there are also reels provided on which to wind the old ropes when taken out The old ropes are then coiled, cut up into sections and sold to junkmen for about $5 per ton.

The experiment was tried of making the grip dies from old rope, but owing to the difficulty of making a uniform casting the project was abandoned. Dies of composition were also tried, but were not satisfactory for the reason that the metal expanded from the heat of friction, and in some cases broke the jaw frame.

Imperial pine product is employed as a rope dressing, and is said to be giving excellent satisfaction. The cars are lifted to the second and third floor by means of a hydraulic steam elevator having two rams sixteen inches in diameter. In operating the elevator direct steam is admitted to the top of a large water tank, by which the water is forced through a system of check va|ves to the cylinders, the movement of the table being controlled by a wire rope from the platform of the table in the ordinary manner. The engine equipment of the Broderick Street station is of the same type as that in Howard Street, and two long ropes and an auxiliary are run.



The combination cars, which are thirty feet six inches over all, are employed on the cable lines, and were built by J. Hammond & Company, of San Francisco. The two horse cars have sixteen foot bodies, and were manufactured chiefly in the company's shops. The one horse cars were manufactured by Stephenson, and have been running a good many years.

Wheels of Whitney manufacture have been employed to a considerable extent, and more recent orders have been placed with Steiger & Kerr, of San Francisco. A trial is also being made with the Griffin wheels, which are bought with a guarantee of 50,000 miles.


The Eppelsheimer bottom grip is employed, and for picking up the rope with this grip at the cable crossings a depression of four inches is made in the track a few feet beyond the crossing. This grip is provided with an adjustable mechanism consisting of a threaded bolt, operated by means of a rod having a ball and socket joint, which rises to near the top of lhe grip lever and terminates in a small brass hand wheel, with a square shank which rests in a socket support near the end of the shaft. In the operation the wheel is raised out of the socket, when it can be turned in either direclion, then dropped back into the socket, which locks it in position. In the operation of the grip it has been found that the saddles which support the rollers become crystallized after a certain period of service, so that it has been found to be an advantage to remove and anneal them, which gives them an additional Iife. The grip dies are twelve inches in length, of rolled steel, and have a life of about six weeks. The grips weigh about 260 lbs. and cost, usually, about $75.


In the original track construction of the cable line the rails were laid with supported joints, but considerabIe trouble was had with Iow joints, and the rail was found to be cutting into the yoke upon which it rested; this was remedied somewhat by sliding the rails along and placing the joints on blocks of wood resting upon the concrete of the tube. With the rigid construction depressions were formed in the rails near the end, and after awhile a second depression appeared slightly in advance of the first, which was produced by a second blow from the wheel, caused by the first depression.

Very heavy fishplates are also employed, and though the plate is not entirely satisfactory, it is a great improvement over the former construction. Were the company to reconstruct the line, however, a much heavier rail would be employed, the present weight being fifty-one pounds per yard.

Turntables are provided at the terminals of each division, of sufficient diameter to turn the combination cars. For this purpose seven tables are required. These tables are operated by means of friction gear by power derived from the moving rope. For this purpose a three foot sheave, having a V shaped groove, is mounted on a vertical shaft, so as to bring the face of the pulley close up to the moving rope. By means of two smaller pulleys, mounted on a bar on the opposite side of the rope, and spaced about three feet apart, and actuated by means of a lever from the street,the rope is pressed into the groove of the large sheave, giving sufficent contact to revolve the wheel and impart power to the table. This is done by means of a friction pulley about a foot in diameter, attached to the lower end of the vertical shaft, which engages with the outer rim of the table; a uniform pressure is maintained by means of a spring attachment.

The table is supported upon an adjustable, central pin and a number of small, flat faced rollers which rest upon a circular track somewhat less in diameter than that of the table.

Three new cable crossings, designed by the officers of the company, and manufactured in the company's shops, have rccently been substituted in place of former construction, and embrace all the latest improvements that long practice has suggested.


The rate of fare is five cents. No tickets are sold. Passes are issued to the directors, to a few city officials, and to those of the employes whose business takes them over the line. Barnmen, car washers and engineers are not allowed transportation,except when their duties call them to go on the road. Carmen ride on their badge at any time, as do also policemen, and firemen going to and from a fire. Sisters of charity ride free, and passes areissued to all persons of any religious denomination who devote their time to charitable purposes without compensation.


Transfer tickets are issued over the branch lines of the conipany's system, and are exchanged with one foeign Iine. The transfer tickets are not registered. The Lewwis & Fowler register is employed, having replaced a portable register formerly used. This is placed in an opening in the partition between the open and cIosed part of the car, and is covered on the side of the open section by a screen made of a wire gauze; this allows of the bell being heard in both apartments. The conductors turn in a duplicate trip slip to the superintendent which does not go through the receiver's office.


Gripmen, conductors and drivers are paid $2.50 a day for twelve hours' work, including meal times; trackmen from $2 to $4 a day, engineers $110 a month, and firemen $75. The drivers and conductors of the horse cars are paid every day, but the gripmen and conductors of the cable cars are paid every two weeks.

The conductors and gripnien are required to make a deposit of $25, which is held in case the rolling stock is damaged by the carelessness of the employe, or in case of defalcation. The men are also required to sign a contract for the faithful performance of their duty. No agreement is made with labor organizations. In case an employe is injured in the line of duty, he receives his regular wages until recovery. The largest amount ever paid one man while off duty was $80. The manager does not think that his men become more careless after long service, but rather that the old men render the best service. Sometimes new men get very smart, when it becomes necessary to discharge them. Quite a number of men who were employed on the old horse lines before the cable was adopted, are still on duty, some of them having been in the employ of the company for twenty-six years. The men are required to Iay off one day in two weeks, it being found that where the men work continuously they become Iess efficient.


A small force of regular inspectors is employed, and in special cases, men are engaged from the detective agencies. In one case a man had been suspected, when six inspectors were put upon his track and each one reported something wrong in his methods, but his change and trip slip tallied every day, and on inquiry it was found that suspicion had been aroused because of his peculiar method in arranging the trip slip, so that all suspicions were allayed. In case a man is detected in knocking down fares and confesses his fault, and returns the amounts taken, he is given a second trial. If suspected of gambling, or if he reports for duty under the influence of liquor, he is discharged at once. Very little trouble is had from the men associating with disreputable characters. One man is employed to look after accident cases, and in all cases where the company is in any way at fault, a settlement is made at once; and in a few cases where the company is not at fault; but usually the company makes a fight against cases in which it is not to blame; this has a wholesome eflect in preventing unscrupulous persons getting up cases against the company.


A novel device is employed through which the conductors make their returns to the receiver. This consists of a revolving disk of brass about two feet in diameter placed in the window ledge; this is provided with wooden strips which radiate from the center, forming six triangular pockets, in which the conductor places his returns, when he gives the table a turn and the tickets and money are placed before the receiver; this prevents draughts from passing through the window; four or five different conductors can hand in their receipts, and each will be found in a separate pocket, a key being provided which prevents the table from turning more than a certain distance, in case the receiver is not watching. The same office is provided with a board about two and a half feet square on which the transfer punches are hung when turned in. This board is pivoted on its vertical center, and is supported by a wall bracket made of inch gas pipe, having two arms which receive the pivotal bearings of the board. By this arrangement the punches may be hung on both sides of the board, and when not in use may be turned back against the side of the wall.

Very little spurious coin is received; occasionally a plugged piece is turned in. All smooth coin received is exchanged for new coin at the United States Subtreasury.

Presidio & Ferries Railroad Company.

The lines of this company embrace eleven and a half miles of track, of which seven and a half miles are cable, two horse, and two operated by steam dummies. Geo. H. Newhall is president of the company, and gives considerable attention to the operation of the lines, while the direct management is assigned to I. F. Kydd, superintendent.

The power station is a three story structure having a brick side wall and a wooden front, and is located on Union Street, at the very highest point on the Iine. Fron, this station two ropes are driven, one being 22,460 ft., and the other 10,815 ft. The ropes are one and a quarter inches in diameter, of the Lang lay type, are purchased from the California Wire Works, and have an average Iife of about twelve months. This being one of the oldest lines in the city, it has the top rope at all the crossings, so that at no point is it necessary to let go the rope. Until recently the original Hallidie roller grip was employed, which was operated by a hand wheel and threaded rod, but a bottom grip has been adopted, which is worked by a lever, and as the rope was mounted to one side of the slot to accommodate the original grip, a special form of bottom grip was required; this was devised by J. C. H. Stutt, mechanical engineer, of San Francisco. In this grip the outer jaw is stationary, and the other is opened and closed by the action of a wedge shaped plate having a roller backing, the jaw being hinged as shown, The grip is working to the entire satisfaction of the management. The dies are fourteen inches long, of forged steel, and have a Iife of about two weeks.

The line first began operation in i882, but has since been extended. In the original conduit construction cast iron yoke was employed, and the slot rail consisted of an I beam bolted to the yokes with a bar of strap iron riveted to the top forming the slot proper. No concrete was employed in the construction, the sides of the tube being formed with planks, and the rails supported on a wooden stringer. The rails are of the center bearing tram type, and weigh forty pounds per yard, and although the line has been operated for eleven years, the construction is apparently good for four or five years more of service. The line is operated with grip cars, a train being twenty-six feet in length. The cars were all built in the company's own shop.

The car wheels are twenty-six inches in diameter, and are purchased from Steiger & Kerr, of San Francisco. The gripman operates the track brake by means of a small wheel which he turns with his foot, and which is mounted on a shaft having right and left threads at the ends which connect with the levers of the toggle joint.


Conductors and gripmen are paid $2.25 a day, and are paid every morning before they begin their day's work, the conductor drawing the pay for himself and gripman. A deposit of $25 is required from conductors when engaged, and $10 from the gripmen; this is returned when they are discharged, provided they have a clean record. ln the selection of employes more attention is paid to the qualifications of gripmen than conductors, it being considered necessary to have especially careful men for this service, and they grow more valuable after long service.

No receivers are employed, but the conductors make their returns at the secretary's office, separate boxes being provided and numbered to receive the returns of each conductor. These boxes are about ten inches in height and five inches square, and are placed close together in a cupboard directly under the secretary's window, with separate openings or chutes, which extend through the anteroom, and are separately numbered. On making his returns the conductor deposits his money and transfer tickets loose into his box and hands his trip slips and bell punch to the secretary. The boxes are opened every morning, the money counted and checked up with the trip slips. All plugged or spurious coin is returned to the conductors, and all smooth coin is collected and taken to the United States Sub·treasury, where it is exchanged for new coin. The secretary, with one assistant who is on duty at night, acts as receiver, keeps all the books, pays all the bills, and makes out the weekly, monthly and yearly returns.

A bond scrap book is provided of manilla paper, 14 X 20 ins., which is ruled into checks to correspond with the size of the coupons, each page being large enough to receive forty. When paid these are pasted in in regular order, the blank space indicating the numbers not redeemed. The back pages of the book are reserved for the bonds when paid, the number and series being printed at the top; by this arrangement the secretary can tell at a glance the outstanding bond obligation. The secretary also keeps a newspaper scrap book, in which all items from the daily papers relating to any of the street railways of the city are carefully posted; he also keeps a daily report of the receipts and expenditures, together with the number of passengers carried, with which the condition of the weather is noted, and any special notes regarding the lines as to delays, accidents, etc. A summary or monthly account is also kept in a special book, which shows details of operation for every month since the road was started.

In making his returns the secretary employs specially prepared blanks, which are designed to save labor, and yet show in detail the operation of the lines.


The power is supplied by one cross compound Corliss engine, rated at 300 H. P., having cylinders 18 x 24 x 36 ins. and is run at seventy-two revolutions. This is one of the original type of Corliss engines, and was manufactured by Hinckley, Spier & Hayes, of San Francisco. The air pump is operaled by means of an eccentric rod from the engine shaft. The two pistons are coupled to the ends of lhe same shaft, which carries two flywheels, and an eight foot rope pinion. The power is transmitted by seven cotton ropes to a twenty-five foot wheel on the main shaft, at one end of which the two driving drums are mounted. The idlers are mounted on adjustable pedestals as described for other lines, and the tension is regulated by suspended wheels, as described in conneciion with the California Street line. Supporting sheaves are also provided for the outgoing rope, which are placed in front of lhe driver, between which the tension sheaves work, so that when the idler is moved back to a long distance, the last strand has a uniform support. In the original equipment of the station the ropes were driven by the Hallidie clip winding drums as shown in Fig. 3, on which the ropes made two wraps. These drums remained in service until a year ago when they were replaced by Lhe present equipment, the line being shut down for two weeks while the change was being made.

The steam is generated in three tubular boiIers of 150 H. P. each, and there is a condenser on the roof. The fuel consists of imported Cardiff coal, which costs $8 a ton delivered, and which requires four tons a day for operating fifteen trains. The company carries an insurance policy with the American Emploves' Liability Insurance Company. The machine shop is located on the first floor, and the tools are operated by means of a belt driven from the pulley on the end of the main shaft.

The cars are lifted to the second and third stories, by means of a steam hydraulic elevator, having a single ram, the total Iift being fifty feet.

Sutter Street Railway Company.

This companv,of which R. F. Morrow is president, J. Reynolds superintendent, and A. K.Stevens secretary, operates thirteen miles of track, of which eleven are run by cable power and two by horse power. The first section of the cable Iine, consisting of one mile of double track, began operation in 1877; this was afterwards extended and was entirely rebuilt and extended in 1890 and 1891. The reconstruction was done without interfering with the track. A square yoke of wrought iron, as illustrated in "Street Railways," page 71, was employed, and a forty·six pound side bearing rail, which was laid with supported joints. Work was done in a very substantial manner, only Portland cement of the K. B. & S. brand being employed. The tracks are paved with blocks of basaltic rock grouted, and the pulley vault covers are made of rolled plate having a truss support.

The cars are run in trains consisting of open grip and trailer, having a total length of forty-five feet, and at the foot of Sutter Street, at its junction with Market, the trailers are detached and hauled with horses to and from the Oakland Ferry. Forty-eight cable trains are run, and nine horse cars, all of which were built in the company's own shops, the cost of the closed cars being about $950. The wheels are twenty-seven inches in diameter, and are purchased for the most part from the Pacific Axle Company, of San Francisco, and have a life of about 40,000 miles.

No adveriisements are allowed in the cars. In the closed cars, above the side windows, long narrow mirrors are placed, which reflect the faces of the opposite passengers and give the interior a bright appearance. No cushions or carpets are provided for the seats. The interior is wood finish throughout.

The grip cars are provided with track brakes having a wooden shoe about three feet in length, the long shoe being found to be more efficient in stopping the cars than shorter ones. No difficulty is experienced in stopping the cars on the grades, some of which are of about 14 per cent. The side grip of the Hovey type is employed, and both grip and trailers are provided with fenders and guards. Fenders of the grip car are made of heavy wire supported in an iron frame, and the guards for both grip and trailers consist of four iron rods with an oval section, which are riveted to supports and hung from the journal box.


The power station is located at the corner of Sutter and Polk Streets, and is a brick structure plastered on the outside, and is four stories in height, with a ground dimension of 137 1/2 X 137 1/2 ft. The stack is star shaped and 165 ft. in height. The power equipment is Iocated in the basement, as is also the iron repair shop which is provided with a full equipment of iron working tools, while on the first floor is located the company's offices, the receiver's office, waiting room, conductors' room, with considerable space for car storage. The second story is employed as a car repairsliop and storage, there being quite a full equipment of wood working tools. The paint shop is located on the top floor and is partitioned off by glass doors from the storage portion, and has a capacity of about twelve cars.

An elevator, operated by wire ropes, Iifts the cars to the different floors. A store room, partitioned off from the second floor, is provided, in which the necessary supplies are kept and are dealt out only on requisition from the foreman, a receipt being taken in a book for each separate article, so that a complete record is made of every article that leaves the store room.

The steam is generated in six tubular boilers, of 100 H. P. each, which are arranged in three batteries, only two of which are run at a time. The boilers were manufactured by the Union Iron Works, of San Francisco, and are fired by hand. The Eucalyptus boiler compound has, until recently, been employed, but the engineer is now experimenting with the Litofuge compound with satisfactory results. This is placed in the boilers once a month, after they are cleaned.

Both Welsh anthracite coal, costing $7.67 per ton delivered, and screenings of Seattle coal, costing $4.87 1/2 per ton, is burned. About one third of the amount is of the latter quality.

It requires about ten tons a day for operating the lines with forty·eight trains, at a cost of about $65 per day, or .27 cent per passenger, for fuel. A surplus stock of about 2,200 tons of coal is stored in the bunkers, some of which has been on hand for seven years. The fuel is brought from so Iong a distance that it becomes necessary to have a large stock to provide for any emergencv.

The power is supplied by two pairs of cross compound, non-condensing engines, only one pair being run at a time. The cylinders of one pair are 20 X 36 X 48 ins., and of the olher 20 1/2 x 30 x 48 ins; with a steam pressure of I io 1bs., with . sixty·one rcvolutions, they are rated at 500 H, P. each ; either cylinder of a pair can be run high pressure. The actual daily average required for the operation of the lines is only 276 H. P, or about six horse power per train. For starting the ropes and running them up to speed it requires 200.3 H. P., but after all the cars are off at night the rope can be run with 156.7 H. P., showing that the friction is less after everything is warmed up. Each pair is arranged to couple to the same shaft with one outside and inside disk crank, and the shaft is provided with a bolt coupling on each side of the driving pinion by means of which either pair may be cut out.

Rope transmission is employed, and the power is deIivered from the pinion by sixteen two inch cotton ropes, of English make, to a twenty·five foot receiving pulley which is mounted on the main shaft and weighs 87,000 1bs., the shaft centers being forty-two feet apart, and the pull of the ropes from the top. The cotton ropes have a life of from six to seven years, and some now running have been in service ten years with only slight repairs.

Four cables are driven, the figure 8 method of drive being employed. The drivers are mounted on the main shaft which is geared to a second shaft by twelve foot gears, the helical tooth being employed. One of the ropes is driven at about eight miles per hour on twelve foot drums; the other ropes are run at seven miles. In the opinion of the superintendent the figure 8 method of drive is not so satisfactory as the douhle drums, as the frequent bending has a tendency to break the wires. Were a new station to be built, the engineer would recommend the Walker differential ring drum. The tension carriages are of the Root type, the upper one having a spring anchorage, and the weight carried for each rope is about three tons. The total length of ropes driven from this station is 64,150 ft. he ropes employed are all of the Roebling make and are from one and an eighth to one and a quarter inches in diameter. AII employed so far are of the ordinary lay, but one rope of the Lang lay type is about to be put in.

The life of the ropes varies with the length and curvature of the different divisions. That on South Sutter Street has a life of from twelve to sixteen months, upper Sutter Street about fourteen months, Larkin from five to eight months and Polk from five to fourteen months. One man is constantly on watch in the vault to detect any fault in the ropes; he watches one set through a complete run, and then gives his attention to a second. A suspended platform is provided, about eightfeet wide, piaced just beneath tne outgoing rope back of the winding drums, on which workmen may stand to repair the ropes when necessary. The deflecting pulleys are about ten feet in diameter and are cast in sections, but without a removable rim.

The oil room is built in the side walls under the street, and is entirely fireproof. A home made oil filter is employed, in which the engine oil is filtered and afterwards employed on the carrying and curve pulleys, and is also used on the large bearings. This filter consists of a box ten feet long, three feet wide and six inches deep, placed against the side of the wall about four feet above the floor, in which is placed four metal pans about two feet square and four inches deep, each edge ot which is covered with a piece of flannel blanket, so thatthe pure oil is siphoned over the sides of the pan, and is led by means of a pipe from the large box to a barrel placed on its side undernealh, and which is provided with a gauge which indicates the height of the oil in the barrel.


Conductors and gripmen are paid twenty-one cents an hour, and work twelve hours a day, with no time for meals, and are paid thirty cents an hour for overtime The men are not members of Iabor organizations. Trackmen are paid $2 a day, firemen $70 a month and engineers $100 a month. Some of the men have been in the employ for a Iong tiine, one man having served continuously for twentv-five years. The secretary has also been doing duty on the line for twenty-three years. It is only occasionally that a conductor goes wrong. In two or three cases the men have been detected in using the "brother-in·law," in which case they pleaded guilty, some paying a fine and others being sent to jail. A man once discharged is not given a second trial, but conductors are not discharged for pilfering until they have been twice detected in the act, and by difierent inspectors, the men being given the benefit of a doubt. The men have one day off in two weeks. After the new state law was passed (February 27) prohibiting the employment of men for seven days in the week, a copy of the law was posted with a note stating that if the men wished to avail themselves of the benefit of the law, they should give notice to the company, but if they wished to work they could do so. Not one man on the force took advantage of this.

The superintendent administers all reprimands in person and hires and discharges the men. A peculiar circumstance is noted in regard to the officers of this company, all the officers and heads of departments from the superintendent down, were formerly employed as conductors or gripmen.


The rate of fare is five cents, with transfers over the different divisions of the company's lines, and an exchange of transfers over four foreign lines. The excess of exchange transfers are redeemed by the issuing company for two and a half cents each. By the system of transfers a passenger can secure a continuous ride of ten miles for one fare, or entirely across San Francisco County. On some of the Iines of the city a passenger can ride all day by means of transfers. The transfers from foreign lines are registered the same as cash fares, but the company's own transfers are not registered, a bell punch and trip slip being employed. Each conductor receives 200 trans- fers when going on duty. The company's own transfers, in addition to being printed in the ordinary manner, have the conductor's run number printed in large type across the secretary's name. The half hour in which the trans· fer is good is punched by the issuing conductor, each punch having a different die. By having ticket number to correspond with the car, any illegal use of the transfer is prevented, for if the transfer is presented at any other point than the one designated it can be at once traced to the issuing conductor. As it must correspond with the time on which he is due at a certain point. he has no opportunity to present it to his family or friends. The transfer tickets of the foreign lines are not numbered· A second transfer ticket is provided, however, which the conductor can use in case his regiilar stock is exhausted ; this consists of a ticket printed in the same manner, but with two large rings or ciphers in place of the numbers which the issuing conductor punches.

Two sets of bell punches are provided, which are turned in and inspected every morning, each conductor using the same punch on alternate days. The punches are gathered up at the receiving stations in baskets, and after being checked up are placed in small boxeS having a partition for each punch, in which they are returned to the station.


As a precaution against fire, lines of hose are provided for each floor of the station, which are connected to stand pipes and coiled on reels or racks in convenient positions for ready service. All the station employes, including firemen, blacksmiths, car repair men and painters, are regularly drilled in the use of the fire apparatus. The station is equipped with electric signals, with push buttons at different points on each floor, near which is placed printed instructions in case of fire. When an alarm is sounded the employes quickly run to their respective stations and the engineer starts the fire pump. An exhibition of this system was given for our benefit, and in less than a minute after the alarm was sounded five powerful streams of water, one from each floor and two from the basement, were pouring out the back windows of the station, some of the employes tumbling over each other in their haste to get the first stream, while they executed the orders of their chief in a very creditable manner.


The principal station of the Sutter Street system is located on Stevenson Street, in the business portion of the city, and has accommodations for 100 horses. The building is of brick, with two stories and a basement, the animals being quartered on each floor, single stalls having slat platforms above an asphalt floor, are provided, and there is also ample drainage by means of covered sluiceways. The runways are quite steep, and to prevent the animals from slipping, the floor is covered with old rubber fire hose cut in sections and laid crossways of the run. The animals employed on these lines weigh from 950 to 1,100 lbs., and cost about $100 each day, and are driven on an average of about three and a half hours a day.

The feed consists of wheat and oat hay which has the color of straw, but which having been harvested while the grain was in the milk, produces a very excellent hay, so that the animals thrive as well on it as on timothy hay which is fed in Eastern stables. A cut feed with ground barley and bran is fed once a day, and the other two feeds consist of Iong hay and whole barley and oats. The entire daily ration consists of fifteen and a quarter pounds of hay and fifteen pounds of grain.

There is no market for the manure, and the company has to pay for having it hauled away. The stable is well ventilated and is kept in an exceedingly clean and wholesome manner.

One man is required to groom fourteen horses; he also harnesses and takes them out. The total cost per day per horse for feed, grooming and shoeing, is 54.3 cents.

Ferries & Cliff House Railway Company.

The lines of this company embrace twenty·two miles of track, fifteen of which are operated by cable, and six by steam dummies. W. J. Adams is president of the company, and the lines are operated under the supervision of H. H. Lynch.

This system includes the original Clay Street line which has the distinction of being the first cable street railway ever operated. The original line on Clay Street was constructed with a double track, and extended from Kearny Street in a straight line up the hill to Leavenworth Street, a total rise of 307 ft. The line was rebuilt in i89I, and the street being narrow, only one track was laid, and the line was extended to Larkin Street where it crossed over one block to Sacramento, and returned to the ferry, where it makes a loop and returns on Clay Street.

The lines of the company operate in several directions, but all center at the power house, which is located at the corner of Mason and Washington Streets, where the tracks are so arranged that they make the entire circuit of the two blocks fronting the power house, and on two of the blocks the cars pass over a three rail section, there being two conduits and one rail in common; this is done to avoid complicated switches at the corners. Near the power house the cars are deflected on one line by a turntable, the ascent from the curve being too abrupt to allow the cars to turn in the ordinary manner. There is also a table in front of the power station and four others at the terminals, all of which are operated by hand.

A hydraulic signal station is located at one of the corners near the power house where two lines cross at the the foot of steep grades. The danger disks are located on a pole about fifteen feet high, and are operated by means of a small water pipe which extends down the pole, along the track 200 ft. or more, and up the hill. By means of a lever in the conduit, which engages with the grip shank, the signal is set to danger, and when the car has nearly reached the crossing a second lever sets the signal back to safety.

The power house is a brick structure, three stories in height, the ground plan being 137 1/2 x I37 1/2 ft. (Fig. 28), with the offices of the company located in the front central portion, and the balance of the first story being occupied by the power equipment, and the iron repair shop and blacksmith shop, are not separated by partitions. The second floor is utilized for car storage and for car repairs, as is also the third story. The smokestack is cylindrical, very graceful in design, and rises to a height of 185 ft. above the foundation.

In order to get space for the tension runs, the machinery is set in a line diagonally across the building. The figure 8 method of drive is employed, and the five ropes are driven with three sets of winding drums, each set being provided with two grooves, from two of which the two ropes are Ied back to separate tension carriages, which are located one in front of the other on the same track. The single rope, which is driven by the third set of winders, makes two wraps on the winders. This is accomplished by leading the rope from the first groove back to an idler whence it returns to the second groove, and thence to a tension carriage. This is done in order to get additional traction.

The winding drums are all fourteen feet in diameter, and the first one of each set is mounted on the same shaft, and the shafts are geared together and so arranged that they may be driven by a pinion from either side. The power is supplied by four high pressure engines, two of them being vertical Corliss of 500 H. P. each, manufactured by the Alliance Foundry Company, of San Francisco, which are placed between the drums and tension carriages, and two horizontal engines of the slide valve Corliss type of 450 H. P. each, which are located outside the drums near the corner of the building, each pair being coupled to a separate shaft, with the winding drums between them, so that the ropes may be driven by either pair of engines. The vertical engines are geared to cut off at seven eighths of a stroke and with 110 lbs. steam pressure and sixty-seven revolutions per minute. The vertical engines are coupled to the ends of the same shaft which is twenty-six feet long, fourteen inches in diameter, and from which, by means of a four foot six inch pinion having V-shaped teeth, the power is transmitted to a fourteen foot gear wheel on the driver shafts. The flywheel weighs twenty-five tons, and is fifteen feet in diameter.

The horizontal engines are coupled, one to each end of a shaft eighteen inches in diameter having a pinion of the same diameter as that for the vertical engines. The portion of the engine shafts which carries the pinions is turned to an eccentric, and the pinions are turned to center with the eccentric of the shaft, so that by removing the key and turning the pinion back on its shaft, either one may be thrown out of mesh with a large gear. By this arrangement either pair of engines may be made to drive the ropes, or both pairs may be employed.

The maximum horse power developed in busy hours for driving the five ropes, which aggregate sixteen miles in length, is 1,000 H. P., while the average daily horse power for operating the ropes is about 450.

The first shaft employed with the horizontal engines, which was twelve inches in diameter, broke next to the flywheel after five years of service, and the present shaft of fourteen inches in diameter was substituted.

The steam is generated in four batteries of tubular boilers having a total capacity of 540 H. P. The fuel is Welsh anthracite coal which is burned on Richardson grates with a forced draught, the daily consumption of coal being about ten tons, which costs on an average $8 per ton, making a total cost per day for fuel of about $80 for operating fifty-one cars, which are all of the combination type and weigh about 8,000 lbs. ea1.50. It is noted, however, that the vertical engines operate the line with about one ton a day less coal than the horizontal engines; this is accounted for by the cylinder friction being less on the vertical engines than on the horizontal. It is also interesting to note that on Sundays and holidays from twenty to twenty-five extra cars can be operated, and an increase of from 30,000 to 60,000 passengers carried, with an increase in the coal consumption of not over a ton.

Six of the cars were manufactured in the company's own shops, and some of the others by Mahoney Brothers, and others by O'Brien & Sons, car builders of San Francisco. The cars are provided with track brakes similar to those described for other Iines, and they are also provided with a slot brake which is operated by means of a lever by the gripman. This brake consists of a wedge shaped shoe of forged steel about twenty-four inches in Iength, five inches deep, and a little wider than the slot at the top, and is the invention of George Duncan, of Melbourne, Australia. By means of a toggle joint the shoe is forced down into the slot and stops the car almost in stantly, the only defect being that it sometimes wedges itself into the slot so firmly that'it requires some time to disengage it; it is used, however, only in emergencies, and is an additional precaution against accidents, or a runaway on the steep grades, some of which are over 20 per cent. ~

The Powell Street cars cross other cable lines a number of times, so that the gripman is obliged to drop the rope fourteen times on a rouod trip, or 220 times during his day's run. In order to provide against accidents at the crossings, a bumper lever is placed in the conduit, against which the grip shank strikes in case the gripman fails to drop the rope. This bar bends by the force of the blow, so that it does not slop the car very suddenly.

A bottom grip, of the same type as that employed by the Omnibus Cable Company, is used, but the adjusting rod, which extends up the side of the grip lever, is operated by means of a small iron bolt thrust through openings in the head. Cast steel dies are employed, which have an average life of three weeks.

A rope dressing of Stockholm tar has heretofore been employed, but the superinlendent is about to try a dressing manufactured by the Imperial Pine Product Company, of New York.


Ropes of one and a quarter inches in diameter, of the Lang lay type (known here as the Artesian lay), are employed, and are purchased from the different rope manufacturers. The Powell Street line is considered the hardest one to operate, and the average life of the ropes on this line is about six months, but on the other lines the ropes have a life of from twelve to fourteen months.

In uniting the ropes a splice of about eighty feet is usually employed. Owing to a short tension run, how. ever, it is sometimes necessary to draw a splice when taking up the slack, as there is not suffiicient slack rope to allow of cutting the splice entirely out.


The rate of fare is five cents, and transfers are issued over the different branches of the company's Iines, and are also exchanged with one foreign line, and any excess are redeemed at two and a half cents each. By means of transfers a continuous ride of six miles may be had on the company's system, and twelve mi|es in connection with the foreign line. Employes are allowed to ride on their badge, three different styles of badges being employed. The officers are provided with passes, as are also the directors of the company, and a few city officials. The police detective force have passes, and the policemen ride on their uniforms, while firemen going to and from a fire ride free. Transfers received from the foreign lines are registered the same as fares, but other transfers are not registered. The fares are registered by means of the Beadle alarm register punch and trip slip. The conductors turn in their receipts at every trip, but make a report direct to the superintendent once a day. This report does not pass through the hands of the receiver. The receiver's window is provided with three shallow drawers about a foot Iong and five inches wide, which slide back and forth in a frame directly beneath the window, in which the conductors deposit their receipts and register, a section being partitioned ofi for the transfer tickets. On depositing his returns, the conductor pushes the drawer into the case, where it is automatically locked, and cannot be drawn out again until it has been removed by the receiver, emptied and returned to its case. This al lows of three conductors making a deposit at the same time, and prevents a draught of air through the winidow which might disturb the papers on the receiver's desk.


The pay of conductors and gripmen is twenty-two cents an hour, and they work from eleven to eleven and a half hours per day, the daily pay running from $2.30 to $2.45 and $2.60 which is the maximum. Extras earn from $2 to $2.50 a day. The trainmen are paid in advance every day before beginning their run, the conductor drawing pay for himself and gripman, when he signs a receipt or train book. The nioney for paying off the men is put up in trays the night before, each tray being divided into sections and numbered to correspond with the individual men. The conductors are usually paid in half do|lar pieces and the gripmen in quarters. This method of payment avoids the necessity of keeping a time book, and prevents any misunderstanding with the men. In case a trainman does not complete his run on account of sickness or other cause, he is required to pay his substitute, and no record of the transaction is kept at the ofice.

Other employes are paid once a month. Trackmen reccive $60 a month, oilers and sweepers $65, men in the repair shop $60, firemen $70 and engineers $100. It requires twenty-tour men to make car repairs, including repairs on grips, and the total number of employes is 240.

The iron repair shop,as before noted, occupies a portion of the engine room, and is provided with a very complete equipment of iron working tools which together with the car elevator are operated from powerwhich is transmitted from a six foot rope pulley on the engine shaft a distance ofabout sixty feet, by means of a continuous rope belt, the rope being deflected beneath the first floor by means of angle pulleys. A small Corliss engine is also provided for driving the machinery in case it is necessary to run when the power plant is idle. Instead of a pit for repairs an elevated track is provided upon which the cars are placed from the elevator in position to give plenty of light and ready access to the trucks for repairs. .


In the conduit construction wrought iron yokes were employed, and the top was provided with a bent angle plate to receive the rail, so lhat the rail has a slightly elastic support. A forty-eight pound center bearing rail was employed, which was laid with suspended joints and heavy fishplates, the joints of which after a year's service are standing up remarkably well. The cars being mounted on very elastic springs with an elastic track, are noticeable for their smooth riding.

For depressing the rope where it crosses another line, two twenty-four inch pulleys are employed, which have overhanging bearings, and are set at an angle to each other so that the grip passes through a V·shaped opening between their upper faces.

The ordinary depression pulleys are employed where the grades change abruptly, and for some time an experiment has been made with pulleys having a roller bearing which was invented by R. W. Hent, of San Francisco. This set of pulleys up to May 10 had been running continuously at 500 revolutions a minute for 270 days without oiling, where the journal pulleys last not more than three months and require oiling every day. It is proposed by the management to employ this type of pulley at all depressions and also for curve and carrying pulleys. This bearing is illustrated in Fig. 29, from which it will be noted that a series of rollers, B, are emploved, which rest directly on the shaft, A, and also on a casing which is separated by rollers, C, bearing neither on the shaft nor casing, but on the bearing rollers, and are kept separate by rings which bear on the journals of the two sets of rollers and prevent their shifting.

The company is insured against accidents with the American Employes' Liability Company. The employes are said to hold up well under long service, one of the gripmen having been in continuous service for sixteen years. C. B. F.

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