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On August 2, 1873, entrepreneurs in San Francisco, California, opened the first of the city’s iconic cable cars. Today, San Francisco’s cable cars are the United States’ only moving National Historic Landmark.
 
Cable cars are pulled along by thick, tightly wound steel cables that snake beneath San Francisco’s hilly streets. A skilled “gripman” operates the device (grip) that moves the cars along by maneuvering the grip among various cables, tracks, and coasting areas.
 
Today, most of the nearly 10 million riders on San Francisco’s cable cars are tourists. Buses, trolleys, the local metro, and taxis are more common forms of transportation for the local population.
cable
Noun

strong set of cords or wire ropes.

cable car
Noun

rail car pulled by a constantly moving underground system of cables.

device
Noun

tool or piece of machinery.

entrepreneur
Noun

person who starts and manages a business.

iconic
Adjective

event or symbol representing a belief, nation, or community.

maneuver
Noun

a skillful movement.

metro
noun, adjective

subway or train used for public transportation.

National Historic Landmark
Noun

 

place recognized by the U.S. government as having "exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States."

operate
Verb

to control or manage.

population
Noun

total number of people or organisms in a particular area.

steel
Noun

metal made of the elements iron and carbon.

tourist
Noun

person who travels for pleasure.

transportation
Noun

movement of people or goods from one place to another.

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