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Municipal Street Railway (City and County of San Francisco)


Product Details


Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the Municipal Street Railway Company dating back to the 1910's. This document, which has been signed by the San Francisco Mayor James Rolph, was printed by Britton & Rey and measures approximately 9 3/8" (w) by 14 1/4" (h).


This certificate's fantastic vignette features a trolley car passing a car and horse drawn carriages on a San Francisco street.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    San Francisco's Muni has its origins in the period following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Until then the city had been served by a number of commercial horsecar, cable car and electric streetcar operators. Many of these had been amalgamated into the United Railroads of San Francisco (URR) company. In 1909, voters approved a municipal rail line down Geary. Three years later in 1912, the city declined to renew the franchise that bestowed cable car operator Geary Street, Park & Ocean Railway the privilege of operating on Geary Street, and converted the line into a municipal electric streetcar line, the first line of Muni. In 1912, the average speed of the city's public transit was approximately 8.5 miles per hour – slightly faster than the average speed of 8.1 in 2007.

    Muni soon started on a large building program. On December 29, 1914, the new Stockton Street Tunnel under Nob Hill opened, allowing streetcars from downtown to go to North Beach and the new Marina District. On February 3, 1918, the Twin Peaks Tunnel opened, making the southwestern quarter of the city available for development. On October 21, 1928, the Sunset Tunnel opened, bringing the N Judah streetcar line to the Sunset District. These improvements plunged Muni into direct competition with the URR on the entire length of Market Street. The two operators each operated its own pair of tracks down that thoroughfare, which came to be known as the "roar of the four".