This self-guided exhibit on cable car history and mechanics is located in the powerhouse that actually drives the cables used on the city’s remaining cable car lines. Its organizers are clearly a dedicated group of cable car enthusiasts and historical preservationists, and after visiting the museum one can only wish them continued success in protecting this unique bit of American history. I never understood how cable cars worked until seeing the displays in this museum. Likewise, I hadn’t realized that the cable car was actually invented in San Francisco. The information in the museum does a good job of contextualizing the cable car within the evolution of mass transit in the US. The exhibits are on a mezzanine overlooking the actual functioning sheaves used to guide the continuous loop of cable that runs beneath San Francisco streets. It’s also possible to go downstairs below street level and observe the subterranean movement of the cable. With no entry fee, the museum is priced just right, but of course they accept donations. A gift shop is on the premises. One of the few hands-on exhibits is an actual cable car bell. Today’s young people are apparently experiencing a bell-ringing deficit and find this item irresistible. Children clang it incessantly, enjoying its ear-shattering reverberation within the brick wall enclosure. This, together with the considerable equipment noise from the working powerhouse, make it a high decibel experience. An hour or so is adequate for a thorough examination of the displays and may well be the maximum amount of time in which the noise can be tolerated.