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History in Motion

Year-End Highlights from the SFMTA Photo Archive

Monday, December 30, 2019

As we approach the close of 2019, here's a short "year in review" of our favorite history blog posts of the year. So climb aboard and have your ticket to the past ready, 'cause this trip back in time is about to depart!

First on this year's list is our celebration of the 80th anniversary of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exhibition on Treasure Island. We unveiled dozens of beautiful large-format photos of the GGIE in our February post.

night view of treasure island with GGIe fair and lights
A view of Treasure Island and the Golden Gate International Exposition from Yerba Buena Island circa 1939. The "Tower of the Sun" and other fairground buildings were transformed at night into canvases for intensely colorful light displays.

Following the GGIE up in March was our post on groundbreaking women in Muni history in celebration of Women's History Month.

muni inspector at bus stop with bus
Muni's first female inspector, Evelyn Wells, monitors a bus line in this 1979 shot.

April brought a big anniversary with the 100th anniversary of the L Taraval Line, which opened on April 12, 1919.

streetcar on taraval street
An L Taraval streetcar ("magic carpet" car 1005) passes by 24th Avenue in this 1940 shot.

August marked a slightly smaller milestone of the 35th year of Muni's articulated buses-- extra long buses put into service on our heaviest lines for extra capacity.

articulated trolley coach on Divisadero street
One of Muni's first articulated trolley coaches is in testing on the 24 Divisadero route in this 1994 shot.

In September we announced the return of Sacramento-Clay Cable Car 19 ("Big 19") to passenger service, ending the cars 75-year hiatus from the hills of San Francisco.

cable car 19 side view
Cable Car 19, or "Big 19" to distinguish it from Powell Street car 19, heads down Washington Street on a test run in August 2019.

And to wrap up October this year, we rolled out a Halloween post on the long-buried history of San Francisco's cemetery streetcar service.

streetcar inside cemetery
United Railroads Co. Funeral Car 3 rolls into Olivet Memorial Park in this 1905 shot.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at the history we revealed in 2019, more photos and more history is on its way in 2020 and always plenty to look at on the SFMTA Photo Archive website and InstagramAs you celebrate the close of 2019 and the start of a new decade, don't forget that all Muni lines are FREE on the night of New Years Eve, 2019, from 8 pm to 5 am, New Years Day, 2020.