TBT: Roaring ’20s 33-Stanyan


Does this look familiar to our 33-Stanyan (er, 33-Ashbury/18th) regulars?

Today, it’s the scene of unparalleled Muni operator skill — the Market-Clayton switchback is srsly no joke. These same streets back in the day, 1921 to be exact, weren’t easy to navigate for ye olde streetcars, either. But operators came up with a creative solution to a problematic switchback. More on the Market Street switchback at Mono, Caselli, and Clayton from FoundSF.org:

This sharp turn from Clayton to Market was not negotiable by early streetcars so operators would “switch” the backs of the passenger seats at Market Street, thereby “switching” the streetcar in the reverse direction.

Before, in 1925:

After, in 2010:

Photo: Michael Greene, San Francisco, CA

Thanks to reader Robert Holt for the tip.

More #TBT:
Ever heard of Muni’s 1-Sutter?
Awesome vintage video documents fight to save cable cars

Muni once detoured around hippies in the Haight


Yes, you read that right.

Back in March 1967, the outcry of Sunset residents was loud and serious enough that Muni rerouted Haight Street buses around the growing scourge that was the Haight-Ashbury district.

The Chronicle’s Peter Hartlaub (he of this week’s Muni Diaries Podcast) unearthed his paper’s March 29, 1967 edition. There, sharing the front page with JFK’s widow, Jackie Kennedy, was the story by Mel Wax:

Read more

Adorable grandparents give gift of 1970s Fast Passes

1970 vintage fast pass reddit muni diaries

Grandparents are the best, especially when they bust out some serious vintage goodies like these amazing Fast Passes. Over on Reddit, we found this collection of 1970s Fast Passes given as a gift from some seriously awesome grandparents.

I mean, just look at these designs. Somehow I think our grandchildren aren’t going to be too excited when we dig up our Clipper cards to pass onto them.

Here’s the whole lot:

vintage fast passes grandparents gift muni diaries

We love people who hang onto cool vintage stuff like this. Here are even more old Fast Passes through the years.

Got a story or vintage Muni goods from your time capsule? Muni Diaries only exists on your submissions! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com is always open!

Vintage Muni cars found in tiny Oregon town

vintage n judah muni diaries san francisco remembered

What are these old Muni cars doing in a town with a population of 398? Jen Q. posted these photos in the San Francisco Remembered Facebook group when she went to the tiny town of Brooks, Oregon, and saw these vintage Muni cars on display.

It turns out that the cars were a part of an exhibit at the Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society, thanks to some sleuthing from a commenter. And here comes reverse sticker shock: Do you know how much a Muni ride cost in the 1970s?

san francisco remembered old muni fare sign

Yup, look at this closely: 25 cents for a Muni ride. Anyone remember those days?

For more memories of the city, check out the San Francisco Remembered Facebook group, where you can find “vintage photos, family stories, and memories of the City that we love,” all of it post-1906.

Previously on Muni Diaries:

Here’s something else we’d like to bring back from the 1970s: groovy BART uniforms!

H/T: @mwichary

Peek at an old Muni driver manual

old muni driver manual muni diaries

Derek from 4fifeen Clothing is a San Francisco native who makes great tees and hats showing some serious city pride. It turns out he had even more reason to claim SF street cred: His dad was a Muni driver and has the operator’s manual to prove it!

My pops’ old #sfmuni #amgeneral operator’s manual. #woodsdivision Born and raised in #sf.

Here’s what Muni’s driver recruitment looks like today, and the Muni operator’s handbook, all 155 pages on the mechanics of being a Muni driver. A fascinating read for any transit geek, really.

More insider driver tales:

What do Muni drivers really think of you?
Muni driver reveals behind the scenes stories
An oldie but a goodie: Muni driver decorates bus for Halloween

Photo via @4fifteen.

Love these Muni moments? Come to Muni Diaries Live on Apr. 16 at the Elbo Room to hear our best stories live! Tickets.

Check out the bad ‘ol days from this 1940s Muni Map

old muni city map curbed

The good people at Curbed have combed through lots of old San Francisco maps, including this 1940s Muni map (courtesy of our favorite map nerd, Eric Fischer). You’ll see that the F used to go through the Stockton tunnel, and there was no M line at the time. Click here to see a bigger version of the map. Oh, and here are some more Muni maps from 1920s and 1930s.

The Curbed story has lots more old fascinating maps of our city. Go on and check ’em out!

h/t our friends at Tiny Rides. thanks, guys!

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