Cannon Mountain ski area in New Hampshire is celebrating 75 years since the construction of the first cable car in North America (or ‘tramway’ as our North America cousins prefer to call them). The original lift, which opened in 1938 and closed in 1980 carried 6,581,338 passengers on the 2.1 mile journey up Cannon Mountain. The cable car largely been attributed to the growth and expansion of the New Hampshire ski industry.
The lift was the brainchild of Alexander Bright, a famous skier in the 1930s, who had the idea visiting Europe as a member of the US Olympic Ski Team in 1932 where he saw cable cars for the first time.
Bright persuaded the American Steel and Wire Company to conduct a preliminary survey to locate a suitable site for a tramway and to estimate construction costs and with the support of the New Hampshire state Governor brought the project to fruition.
Today, the 80-passenger cable car ferry’s visitors to the 4,080 foot summit of Cannon Mountain to offer a 360 degree view of the New England mountains. The tramway quickly became the granite state’s major tourist attraction, carrying 163,000 passengers in its first year. The success of the state’s venture attracted the interest and investment of the private sector and the ski industry in NH grew and prospered.
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