Color cable car flashback

As part of our celebration of 150 Years of Cable Cars, we’re sharing clips and photos we’ve found online that take you back to earlier decades.

Color cable car flashback
Still frame from 1950s video

Click below for a colorized clip showing how people used to board cable cars at the iconic Powell and Market turntable in the early 1950s. Powell Street was open to all traffic; watch out for automobiles horning in on the cable cars and riders! No queue to ride; just scramble to get on. Some of us remember this personally, and can tell those who don’t that the clips are really evocative.

This link takes you directly to a one-minute excerpt: a pure 1950s minute on the turntable.

Watch the whole clip and see more cable car action, plus vintage trolley coaches and motor coaches on Market in the early ’50s, and as a bonus, there’s a random scene taken in the early 1940s, showing the “Roar of the Four” streetcar action on lower Market, near the Ferry Building.

Ignore the mis-colorization on this freeze frame. It doesn’t appear in the video.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to check out our special celebration website for the 150th anniversary,


Comments: 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *