San Francisco Municipal Railway (1946- early 1960s)
Built 1890 by Ferries & Cliff House Railway
The first of several variations of Muni’s long-time green and cream paint scheme started appearing on Powell Street cable cars in 1946. The next year, Mayor Roger Lapham tried to scrap the Powell cable car system in favor of buses, but he was stopped by civic outrage orchestrated by the famed “cable car lady,” Friedel Klussmann.
In the green and cream era, which lasted 36 years, the “owner’s panel” on the lower sides of the Powell cars, was first lettered “Municipal Railway,” as on this cable car. In 1949, Powell car 524 was sent to the Chicago Railroad Fair with the owner’s panel lettered “Municipal Railway of San Francisco,” presumably to ensure people knew its home city; subsequently, other Powell cars received this lettering. In the early 1960s, the paint scheme was slightly modified and the owner’s panel lettering changed to “San Francisco Municipal Railway,” modeled on Powell cable car No. 3.