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The Museum of Yo-Yo History is a labor of love, and we would not be able to stay up-to-date with exhibits without the support of our sponsors and curators. Big thanks go to One Drop Design and Duncan for supplying us with their latest models, YoYoExpert for their help and support, and to Cody Orr, TotalArtist and YoYoBrothers™ for allowing us to use their collections!

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Tom Kuhn Cable Car - San Francisco, California
Exhibit #3882
TypeProduction
ShapeStandard (-)
AxleFixed
FinishStained
ColorNatural maple
PackagingNone
ConstructionThree piece wood
ResponseNone
GapFixed
Condition9
Date1977
OwnerRick Brough
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A hard-to-find maple fixed axle yo-yo model from the earliest days of Tom Kuhn Custom Yo-Yos. The stamped image is on one side only, with the text San Francisco above the image and California below. The scene on the yo-yo depicts a cable car (not a trolley car, as a native San Franciscan made clear to me) traveling the California line. The cable car is shown just passing Chinatown, descending Nob Hill, west-bound, on its way to Van Ness Avenue in the distance. An iconic San Francisco image. A second model was also made with the exact same text as found on the model in this exhibit, but stamped with an image of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Cable Car and Golden Gate Bridge yo-yos did not have No Jive, Woody, or even Tom Kuhn stamped or engraved anywhere on the yo-yos. These models were sold to tourists from a Tom Kuhn Yo-Yo street vendor display in San Francisco, not from a catalog or postcard mailer.

Some call the model in this exhibit a San Francisco Woody but that is not quite accurate. The actual Tom Kuhn fixed axle Woody series began in the 1980s and had a slightly smaller diameter. That series had Tom Kuhn No Jive Woody and the Tom Kuhn logo stamped on one side. The opposite side was stamped with various designs. Some contained scenes from around San Francisco such as Fisherman's Wharf, and the Cliff House and Seal Rocks. Others had text such as the 15th Anniversary Celebration June 12, 1992, or I've Got the World on a String with two palm trees in the foreground and a setting sun in the background, and No Jive with a maple leaf. After more than 25 years, the three-piece fixed axle Woody was reintroduced by Brad Countryman, a long time yo-yo maker, about July 2018.

Tom Kuhn officially retired from his dental practice on California Street in San Francisco, April 3, 2021 (which was also his birthday).
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