The San Francisco Railway Museum features both permanent and special exhibits that entertain and inform visitors about how streetcars and cable cars built the unique city we know today.
100 years ago, San Francisco welcomed the world. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 was a showcase of human achievement in the sciences, engineering, architecture, and the arts.
Not only had San Franciscans emerged from one of the worst urban disasters on record, but also they had used this rebirth as a springboard for a number of civic improvements, including a new City Hall, Municipal Auditorium, and a massive expansion of public transit.
Come see how the Municipal Railway continues to benefit San Francisco as a result of the groundwork laid as we bring you “Streetcars to the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition”!
Selling on Streetcars: Advertising Cards 1915-1958
Advertising on streetcars started a few years before the turn of the 20th century. By 1917, 50,000 streetcars in 3,000 American cities carried ads.
This exhibit shares San Francisco car cards from the archives of the Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction in Solano County. They’re dated from 1915 to 1958. Some reflect the cultural biases and stereotypes of those years when people of color and LGBT people were excluded from almost all advertising.
Come streetcar how advertising changed over time!