In San Francisco, it could be up for debate where the industrial wire rope begins and ends. Whether buildings, bridges, trolley cars or gold mining, this is a town that has a long history with cable!
In July, we at Industrial Wire Rope kicked off our virtual summer road trip with a visit to Seattle, while our affliliated company, American Scaffolding, began on the other side of the country in Washington, D.C.
This month, our trip has taken us to San Francisco, where industrial wire rope has been responsible for some notable “firsts” in U.S. technology, including gold mining and cable cars. Add in San Francisco suspension bridges, including the Golden Gate, and the wire rope used in this city would have you well on your way to the moon.
So much is so unique to this city, it’s hard to decide where to start. So, we’ve decided to look at it from a historical perspective and note just a few applications involving industrial wire rope.
San Francisco’s Beginnings
San Francisco was founded just as the United States established itself as a nation, in the summer of 1776. Though their beginnings coincided within a matter of days, vast differences certainly existed. Just as British colonists were declaring themselves an independent new nation, Spanish colonists on the opposite end of the continent were establishing a presidio – a fortified military settlement – as well as a mission, both named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.
Obviously, San Francisco’s beginnings preceded the invention of wire rope, so any rope used at the Presidio of San Francisco or Mission San Francisco, were likely made of hemp, or possibly flax.
First colonized by the Spanish, San Francisco became a part of Mexico until 1846, when U.S. Navy Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California, and with it, San Francisco for the United States on July 7 of that year. This was two years before the Golden State lured about 300,000 people from around the world for that precious metal in its name: gold. In San Francisco specifically, population exploded from about 400 to approximately 35,000 by 1849.