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Innovations Range from Cable Cars to Airplane Flights
and Development of Ocean Travel

San Francisco has given the country and the world many innovations in the century of its commercial history.

Among the ‘famous firsts’ here are:

1848–First Chinese immigrants to the United States landed here.
1849–First regular passenger service around Cape Horn established between here and New York.
1862–First security exchange to specialize in mining securities.
1866–First commercial dynamite manufactured here, on site of Portals of the Past in Golden Gate Park.

1870–First transcontinental trip made by any organization as a whole came here. It was the Boston Board of Trade.
1873–First cable car in the world went into service here.
1874–First street cars run by electricity generated in a power plant started operating.

1880–First electrically lighted steamboat sailed from this port–the old “Columbia,” plying between here and Portland.
1894–First telephone exchange for exclusive use of Chinese originated.
1903–First transpacific cable message sent from here.
1909–First ‘in-a-door’ apartment beds manufactured here.

1910–First municipally owned and operated street car service commenced.
1915–First demonstration of transcontinental telephone service from New York to San Francisco by Alexander Graham Bell.
1920–First cross-country air mail service inaugurated here.
1924–First round-the-world steamship service inaugurated by Dollar Steamship Lines.

1929–First night coach-sleeping car bus starts over highways from here.
1932–First municipally owned opera house in the United States opened.

The city and its nearby neighbors have, moreover, been the starting points of several epoch-making airplane flights, including the first mainland-to-Hawaii flight in 1927, the United States-to-Australia flight of Capt. Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith in the same year.

The bay region will soon have the distinction of inaugurating the first transpacific air service of Pan-American Airways.

The San Francisco Examiner
October 15, 1935

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