A great place to see the real history of San Francisco is to see the Cable Car Barn Museum
It's fun to see the cable car turnaround junctions around San Francisco

Cable Car Barn Museum - San Francisco

The Cable Car Barn Museum is the actual working mechanical headquarters for the entire cable car network. This exciting stop aboard the San Francisco Comprehensive tour will be one where you will actual see and learn how the cable car network works. Cable Car Heritage: From the first run in 1873 to the present, learn about the inventor, technologies, builders rapid expansion, near loss and the ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the cable cars of San Francisco. The Museum houses a collection of historic cable cars, photographs, mechanical displays and gift shop run by the Friends of the Cable Car Museum. Visitors can view the actual cable winding machinery from an elevated gallery, as well as the path of the cable entering the building and leaving underneath the street in the sheave room viewing area.

Quick Facts:
Hours: April 1st - September 30th 10AM - 6PM
October 1st - March 31st 10AM - 5PM
1201 Mason St. (Corner of Mason and Washington)
Admission is Free
San Francisco Tours

Historic background information gives the visitor a peek at the cable cars' glorious past. Included in these displays are three antique cable cars: a Sutter street dummy and trailer, and the first cable car (1873). Also on display is a photo narration of the reconstruction effort 1982-1984 and various mechanical devices, such as grips, track, trucks, cable and break mechanisms with corresponding explanations.