Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway


In 1933, no ski lifts existed in the eastern U.S., but it was a good time to build one: Aerial tramway technology was well-known, and the Cannon Mountain had 11 square miles of public land, so the project could be undertaken under the federal Civilian Conservation Corps public works program. Construction began in 1937, with CCC crews supervised by several government engineers as well as engineers from the American Steel and Wire Company, which had the tramway contract. The project took just 9 months to complete. In 1980, when the present tramway began service, the original was retired, after having carried 6.5 million passengers.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil
Topic(s):Technology/Materials
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The engineering design and then construction of the aerial tramway made skiing significantly more enjoyable. Prior to the tramway, it took so long to get back up the mountain that a skier couldn't possibly make more than two descents a day. With the aid of the tramway, an experienced skier could complete the round-trip in less than 20 minutes.
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