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Etching of Adam Wybe's cable car in Danzig. (by Willem Hondius)

Adam Wybe, also known as Adam Wiebe (born July 12, 1584[1][2] in Harlingen, Friesland, died in 1653 in Danzig (Gdańsk)), was an engineer and inventor of Dutch origin, active mainly in Danzig. His work includes the world's first cable car on multiple supports in 1644. It was the biggest built until the end of the 19th century.[3]

Outside of his village of origin- Harlingen, Friesland- no details are known of his youth and there is no record on his parents. His wife's name was Margarethe.[1]

Wybe lived in Danzig after ca. 1616. He became famous for many inventions and constructions: a horse-driven dredger, river ice cutter, and an aqueduct taking Radunia River waters over the moat in the Hucisko crossroads area.[4] The construction in 1644 of a rope railway was his most famous creation. During previous centuries there were already ropeways which resembled cable cars in existence, but Wybe changed and improved it as follows: It is the first to use a cable industrially (instead of a rope) in loop and continuous motion, and the first to multiply the 'vehicles'. He also improved it by supporting the cable with pylons equipped with pulleys, and unloaded of the basket 'vehicles' by means of a swing. The machine was longer than 200 meters. It includes 7 wooden pylons, and seems to carry a score of about 120 'vehicles'.[5]


  1. ^ a b Deutsches Geschlechterbuch, Band 132. p. 204.
  2. ^ Dueck, Ulrich (1986). die Familie Rahn von Tiegenhof.
  3. ^ "WIEBE ADAM – Encyklopedia Gdańska" (in Polish). Retrieved 2014-04-20.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-02-10. Retrieved 2015-07-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Le transporteur d'Adam Wybe à Dantzig