The Duquesne and Monongahela inclines are some of the most popular attractions in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh's expanding industrial base in 1860 created a serious housing shortage as industry occupied most of the flat lands adjacent to the river, leaving only the steep, surrounding hillsides of Mt. Washington or "Coal Hill" for housing. However, travel between the "hill" and other areas was hindered by a lack of good roads or public transport.
The predominantly German immigrants who settled on Mt. Washington, remembering the Seilbahns (cable cars) of their former country, proposed the construction of inclines along the face of Coal Hill, now known as Mt. Washington.