Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About San Francisco’s Cable Cars
Ever since they became a part of the city’s transit system, they have been iconic mainstays of its cityscape
- By Jeff Greenwald
- Smithsonian.com, January 04, 2013
Motorman Preparing for Work at Turk and Fillmore Carhouse | September 30, 1947 (Courtesy of the SFMTA Photo Archive / ©2011 SFMTA)
The cable car and trolley and operators have always served as the public face of the San Francisco Muni, as this fussy mirror reminded the system’s motormen. Early on, stand-out employees were given “Courtesy Citations.” The program became the popular “Muni Man of the Month.” (The name was eventually changed to “Person of the Month,” after Cable Car conductor Mary Alice Ball won the honor in 1953.) It was an open competition; Muni asked the public to “Tell us by note or postcard any unusual example of service and courtesy, giving Muni operator’s cap number.” Twelve drivers each year received cash prizes, and their names were placed in a pool. One of them would win an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii.