The San Francisco Cable Car Museum is a not for profit facility opened in 1974. Run and maintained by the Friends of the Cable Car Museum, the facility is housed within the original Mason Street cable car powerhouse.
Within the walls of the museum are the functioning sheaves and cables which power the cable cars you ride on every day throughout the city! Also on exhibit are collections of antique photographs chronicling the history of San Francisco cable cars, alongside actual cars from the late 1800s.
Things to See & Do
- Ride a cable car to the museum! Children will love to learn about the mechanics behind a typical ride throughout the city, including the tools and machinery used just below the streets of San Francisco!
- View the antique cable cars on exhibit. How do they differ from those used today?
- Spend time at the viewing area downstairs, where the gears, pulleys, and active sheaves are housed. Then watch the live cable cars pass by the windows!
Cable Car Museum Insider Tips
- This museum is free; it is worth visiting to learn and experience exactly how the cable cars operate.
- The exhibits are not extensive and most visits last under an hour. Make the museum a quick stop during a busy day of sight seeing or other adventures.
- In order to avoid traffic and parking problems as well as to experience the history of the city, it is best to walk or ride a cable car to the museum.