Friedel Klussmann and San Francisco's Cable Cars

San Francisco's cable cars climbing the Powell Street hill, circa 1945. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/public domain

Cable cars are an iconic part of San Francisco, and San Francisco’s cable cars are the last working system of their kind. The reason they haven’t been completely replaced by more modern modes of transportation is largely the advocacy of women, in particular, Friedel Klussmann, who was known as the Cable Car Lady.

Tracy's Research:

  • Niekerken, Bill Van. “The legend of the woman who saved the cable cars.” San Francisco Chronicle. 1/23/2017.
  • Roosevelt, Eleanor, "My Day, March 13, 1947," The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Digital Edition (2017), accessed 11/8/2018,
  • San Francisco Cable Car Museum. “The 1947 Fight to Save the Cable Cars.”
  • San Francisco Cable Car Museum.
  • Kahn, Edgar Myron. “The Biography of Andrew Smith Hallidie.” Via San Francisco Cable Car Museum.
  • SF Cityguides. “How We Almost Lost the Cable Cars.”
  • “Remembering the Cable Car Rebuild 25 Years Later.”
  • Bialick, Aaron. “How Friedel Klussmann Saved the Cable Cars 70 Years Ago.” SFMTA. 1/26/2017.
  • SFMT. “Cable Car History.”
  • Rice, Walter E. and Val Lupiz. “The Cable Car Lady and the Mayor.” Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.
  • Online Archive of California. “Finding Aid to the Friedel Klussmann San Francisco Beautiful Records Circa 1940-2009.”
  • Kelly, Dennis P. “Mayor Roger D. Lapham, the Recall Election of 1946, and Neighborhood Voting in San Francisco, 1938-1952.” California History Vol. 76, No. 4 (Winter, 1997/1998), pp. 122-135.

Topics in this Podcast: San Francisco, U.S. history, disputes, 20th century, 19th century, inventors, inventions