Title: 9th Street Incline

Description: Postcard view of the end of the 9th Street cable car line in the West Bottoms

Historical Article: In this early day scene is the end of the 9th Street cable car line in the West Bottoms. It shows the steep trestled incline from the top of Quality Hill down to the old Union Depot. The depot is partly visible in the left foreground.

The brilliant young engineer, Robert Gillham, designed the cable car line, which was completed in 1885. Kansas City was the third city in the world to operate cable railways.

City of the Future by Haskell and Fowler gives this description: On the trial run of the 9th Street line, a grip-car and two trailers (open air cars) had reached the head of the incline, filled with prominent citizens. The occupants took one frightened glance at the precipitous descent ahead of them (it had an average fall of 18½ feet in every 100) and leaped for safety. The little tram proceeded to the bottom, with the gripman and brakeman standing in brave, but lonely, grandeur.

The post card was made after 1907 from a much earlier photograph.

Kansas City Times
October 27, 1973

Author: Ray, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)

Item Type: Postcard

Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981

Location: SC58

Local Subject: Transportation; 9th Street Incline; Streets

Digital Format: JPEG

Barcode: 20000271

Repository: Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri

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