The Friends of the Cable Car Museum is nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of cable car history.

Our goals are to continue to enhance the museum exhibits and strive to raise the public's awareness of the importance of the cable car to San Francisco, by reaching beyond the walls of 1201 Mason Street.


Board of Directors

Louis Biro
Gilberto Godoy
Jose Godoy
Gerald D. Graham
Don Holmgren
Michael F. Phipps


Each year, the Friends of the Cable Car Museum participate in the San Francisco Municipal Railway's Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest. The Friends provide a judge for both the preliminary contest and the Union Square final. Friends' Board member Gilberto Godoy presents the first place winner with a gripman's cable car bell - specially handcrafted by the United Brass Foundry.

In 1997, the Friends of the Cable Car Museum sponsored a celebration at Victorian Park to name the Powell-Hyde line turnaround the "Freidel Klussmann Memorial Turnaround". An archway was placed there in honor of the woman who saved the cable cars.

The 20th Anniversary of the Rebuilding of the Cable Car System (1982-1984) was celebrated June 21st, 2004 at the Washington & Mason car barn.

A cake cutting ceremony was held with special guest Mayor Newsom.

The rebuilding was a great achievement and we thank all the people whose efforts will keep the cable cars going for another century.

Shown speaking is Friends' Board member Merrill Cohn. As the former Senior Project Manager for all Municipal Railway Capital Projects, Mr. Cohn was deeply involved with the cable car rehabilitation program.


Saturday August 2, 2003 marked the 130th anniversary of the 1st cable car trip by A. S. Hallidie. In honor of this event the Friends held a series of events. The first event was an unveiling ceremony of a plaque honoring Friedel Klussmann for her 1947 efforts that saved the Powell Street cable cars. The ceremony was conducted by Friends’ Board member Merrill Cohn.

Transportation historian and Friends’ Board member Don Holmgren, who was active in the restoration of former California Cable Railroad cable car No. 42, is shown during his talks "Rebuilding O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde Cable Car No. 42" and "When the Cables Carried the Mails."

Merrill Cohn P. E. was Senior Project Manager for all Municipal Railway Capital Projects. As such Merrill was deeply involved with the cable car rehabilitation program (1982-1984). Here Merrill is shown giving a presentation "The Why and How of the Rebuilding of the Cable Car System, 1982-1984." Merrill also serves on the Friends' Board.

The 125th anniversary of cable car service on California Street (Kearny to Van Ness Avenue) was celebrated on April 10, 2003. Leland Stanford and Henry Root opened the California Street Railroad line in 1878.

Mayor Willie Brown, Jr. spoke of how succeeding mayors from Mayor Elmer Robinson, whose administration had acquired California Street Cable Railroad for the city in 1952, had been protective of the cable car lines, but not “as protective as the people who build, operate, and maintain them.”

The Friends received a Certificate of Honor from the Board of Supervisors, City and County of San Francisco.

"The Board of Supervisors recognizes your successful efforts and commends you as your dedication to promote and enhance San Francisco’s rich transportation heritage by creating a website, sponsoring civic events, publishing a cable car book, and saving our beloved, world renown historical cable cars."

After the ceremony guests piled onto the new Muni built California Street cable car No.60, specially decorated by gripman Val Lupiz and the Friends for the occasion. No. 60 rolled through a special birthday banner exiting the car barn onto Washington Street. Along California Street pedestrians smiled and waved, and shouted "Happy Birthday" as No. 60 passed.

Friends of the
Cable Car
Museum