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Broderick & Bascom Main Company Page

If you have pictures or more information, please email me.


Brad Bascom sent me this great video on the San Francisco Cable Car museum. Great find Brad! ~Jeanne

great article by Loni Stark of Stark Insider
Uploaded by starksilvercreek on Jun 10, 2009. Check out her full article here.

http://www.StarkInsider.com Inside the still functioning (and loud!) San Francisco Cable Car Museum. Large motors, gears and cables. Also the history of the great 1906 SF earthquake and its impact on the city and transportation.

Jun 29, 2009 ... The fall of cable cars came about when the earthquake of 1906 wiped out a lot of the infrastructure and surrounding buildings.

broderick and bascom wire in the san francisco cable car museum

san francisco cable car museum

Loni says:
While walking up and down the hilly sidewalk, along Mason street, on our way to catch a bite in North Beach, I spotted a quaint brick building with the sign, "Cable Car Museum". I hadn't planned to stop in but curiosity got the better of me and I ventured in to explore. Entering the foyer of the museum, I noticed that besides the photographs and displays common to most buildings devoted to the archiving of history, there was also the distinctive sounds of the whirl of engines. The cable car museum overlooks the set of enormous engines that still pull the remaining cable cars up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco. The museum was established in 1974 and provides a great and very accessible (free) way to learn about the rise and fall of the beloved San Francisco cable cars.


1876 - Our Golden Jubilee -1926 publication here

shows the history of Broderick and Bascom Rope Company

St Louis Home Office

Broderick and Bascom building. Im guessing it is from the early 1900s based on the cars in the parking lot.

Broderick and Bascom Cars

broderick and bascom building in the early 1900s

Seattle Regional Office


1904 Worlds Fair

Palace of Manufactures - 1904 World's Fair

B&B won an award at the Worlds Fair in 1904 in St. Louis.  I believe that it was presented in
this building shown in the picture here called the Palace of Manufacturers.

I may have the information somewhere in my files and if I do I probably got it from Joan.
Joan went down to their office in downtown St. Louis and they let her have some papers that
I think they were not planning to keep.  I don't know what year it was when she went and
she may not remember either.

Very old image of a spool. Check out the perspective compared to the boy

North Auburn Cable Railway 6

According to Bryan Broderick, The boy in this picture is a Kern.

Misc Links

links of B&B stuff online



  Looks like this company Bought B&B per the attached web page
1999 Acquired wire rope division of Amsted Industries – MacWhyte —and Broderick & Bascom


Pics of Montana Tramway

Email from Barry to Jeanne:

Hello: Do you have any pictures of the mining trams or the tram buckets that moved ore in the early mining days? Thanks

Later email explaining:
Jeanne: Those are the type of pictures I am interested in. Growing up in the 50's I lived near a couple of Riblet ore trams. The town of Chewelah was located about 50 miles north of Spokane Wa.  Spokane was the location of the Riblet main office, so their mining trams and ski lifts were very comman around here. I accually worked around the tram near town in the winter of 1964 knocking frozen ore out of the buckets. In the fall of 1968 they closed the magnesite plant where the trams were located. It was rather sad to see it all get destroyed and taken away, but I had a job in Spokane and did'nt think about it much. Three years ago a friend of mine ask me to go four wheeling on the old mine roads. We found the old tram right of way, a lot of cable, and a few bucket parts. It rekindled an interest in mining tramways and I intend to gather as much info on the subject as I can. I have found quite a bit of material locally on the Riblets and have found some more on the Hallidie aerial ropeways which goe's way back into the 1800's. I also came across some info on the Broderick& Bascom trams. One that still has some parts and pieces existing is located near the old Homestake mine in Montana. I hav'nt visited that site but intend to. I hope this sheds some light on why I contacted you, as so little is known about this area of our mining history. There are a couple of good books on the subject and I hope to share some of my information with them for future volumes. Thanks for your time and the picture.  Barry

Pictures generously forwarded by Barry:

broderick and bascom trams   broderick and bascom trams  
  broderick and bascom trams
broderick and bascom trams

Only one plant left....as of 2007

As of this printing in 2007, the B & B plant is still in business, although there is only one plant left. During the 1960's cheap imports, high steel prices and unions had beat the company to a pulp. There were plants in Seattle, St Louis, New York and Texas. As an attempt to get away from the unions a plant was opened in Sedalia (current location). That is the only plant left and the only one that has stayed non union, the company that bought Amstead has gone bankrupt.That is why B&B is employee owned. B & B still makes rope for the Navy, they manufacture the "catch cables" for the aircraft carriers. These cables "Catch" the planes as they land on the deck. B & B also still supplies the cable for the San Fransisco cable cars. In fact there is a street in San Fran named Broderick it is at the top of Lombard Street. I was told we had a factory there. If you ever go to the cable car museum there is a spool of B&B there.

During the 2nd World War B & B was awarded the Navy "E" for excellence several times before Monsanto or Malenkrot, it was quite a big deal at the time. They won the awards for providing Wire Rope of the highest quality on or before the appointed dead line. I have the metals and the flag that was given to the company that they flew in front of the factory. I also have a recording of the award ceremony it is on very fragile wax disks.

Another story about the company that you may or may not know is that the factory on Union blvd. in north STL was sold to General Motors. They wanted it because it was so large and had its own power plant (Steam driven Generator). Later a substation was installed and the steam engine was sold to the city of STL. It was so well built that it is still in operation today powering the #1 water pump station providing water to the city of STL. It is a Coreless Steam Engine with a flywheel over 12 feet. I have seen it a few times but not lately. General Motors built the Corvette at the old plant from 1963 until they finally moved the plant to Kentucky in thel ate 70's again getting away from the unions. The building is still there and the front entrance is still the same. The Clark's now own it and have converted it into several smaller units for smaller factories to operate.


In 1876 Broderick & Bascom Rope Company made its start in St Louis with an upstairs office and a ropewalk, part of it outdoors.   The first mechanized factory followed in 1883.

In 1951 B&B owns and operates modern plants in 4 cities: St Louis, Seattle (1907), Peoria and Houston.  Branch ofrfice and warehouse stocks are also maintained in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.  Distributors serve hundreds of industrial centers.   Per the July 1951 catalog.

Fellow employees of a railway supply company in St Louis, John J Broderick and Joseph D Bascom saw that the country and its industries were beginning to move into a period of broad expansion.  They pictured wire rope as an essential tool for this movement.

Through their hands had passed orders for cables used in building the massive bridge designed by Captain Eads to link the East and West across the Missippi.  Out in San Francisco, they had noted, a new cable car foreshadowed the departure of the horse-drawn car from city streets.  New railroad constructoin...wier demand for forest products...deeper mine shafts...and oil well...higher buildings...heavier

The book of St Louisans

Taken from a book, thoutht typed in a cursive font….hmmmm…
notes B&B was “Company is the pioneer wire rope making concern in the west from an insignificant beginning it is now regarded as the largest firm of its kind in the western states, employing over 200 people; it has branch office in New york and Seattle, Wash.  Member merchang’s Exchange, manufacturer’s Ass’n.  and is a physical enthusiast.  Office 809 N. Main Street Residence Hotel Beers, and Glencoe, Missouri.”
Page 82 of “The book of St Louisans”
St Louis Republic 1905


In Anne BBs papers.....Some business stuff.
Drawing of the building.   Huge.  Note no cars, all horses and buggys.
Several docs
Great old leaterhead is gorgeous. Very period graphics.   It notes a bunch of stuff and they are dated 12/29/92.  So that has to be 1892 as they were not in business in 1992.

Copy of the navy award for excellence

Business directory / advertisement.

Article about how our cable was used for the San Francisco cable cars.

broderick bascom 1915 celluloid

broderick bascom 1915 celluloid

broderick bascom train whistle

broderick and bascom paperweight

broderick bascom wire wagon

broderick bascom horses move wire

broderick and bascom baseball team

A 40-horse team hauls a 35,400-foot Broderick & bascom cable through the streets of St. Louis. This continuous length of 1 5/16 in ch rope, weighing 110,000 pounds, was delivered to the Citizens' railway Co., one of several local systems active in the 1880's and 1890's. Circle: A grip-car and trailer, such as this 1892 equipment on the Broadway line, might speed along at alamost 10 miles per hour. The outfit moved when the operator gripped an endless underground cable, using a large clamp device which extended through a slot between the tracks. Photo by F. C. Nedderhut, cortesty of Missouri Historical Society.

broderick and bascom key fob

Please CLICK THE LINK BELOW to see the Seattle Offices

Seattle office (jeanne found the image online in 2011). I was so excited. i could not believe i happened upon a very old picture of a Broderick and Bascom image. It set me on a months-long quest to find this building. It was very frustrating as there were no streets by the names these properties were going by. As it turned out, they changed the names. After i called the historicial society, they ended up giving me the current renamed streets. It was an awesome journey, and is very well documented on the Seattle Regional Office page. It is a ***** MUST SEE *****.Check it out. Image by Curtis Ashael 1908, owned by the University of Washington.

In 2010, Bryan and Barb Broderick show Jeanne the Navy Excellence flag awarded to Broderick & Bascom. I believe it flew above the manufacturing plant.
broderick and bascom navy e flag for excellence >



broderick bascom plant on union negative

broderick bascom navy excellence award

navy excellence flag

2015 -Jerry Love emailed this huge sign on the floor in the garage



worlds fair expo