Historical Images of New York City Subway

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The first subway line in New York City opened about 35 years after the first elevated train line in NYC, October 27, 1904. The subway lines opened in 1904 were owned and run by privately owned companies. They also started some elevated train lines in Brooklyn. In 1913 New York City built and improved some of the subway lines, they were then leased to the companies. 1932 was when the first line owned and operated by New York City, Independent Subway System (IND). New York City bought the two private systems and closed some of the elevated train lines. The goal of the NYC Subway trains was to get passengers transported quickly into and out of Manhattan as well as around different areas of Manhattan. Passengers liked the system because it was much faster and cheaper than other options and not affected by bad weather when it was underground. The NYC subway system is very popular serving hundreds of thousands of people every day. (AP)

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This is an 1878 view of the Third Avenue Line El train tracks, looking north up the east side of the Bowery, at Chatham Square in lower Manhattan, New York. (AP Photo)

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This group of financiers and city officials get a tour of New York City's first subway in January 1904 while the city's policemen stood by on the platform at City Hall Station. Seated toward the front of the ceremonial flat car are Alexander Orr, August Belmont, John B. McDonald, and Mayor George B. McClellen. (AP Photo/NYC Transit Authority)

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This is an undated photo of a New York City subway car, the "A" train. (AP Photo)

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A man gets change in nickels from a change booth operator so he can pass through the new nickel-operated turnstiles which have replaced the ticket and ticket-chopper (a man who manually cut tickets at the gate) system in the New York City subway, early 1920s. The move allowed subway companies to reduce operating costs by drastically reducing personnel. (FPG/Getty Images)

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Work begins for an underground replacement for the Sixth Avenue "El" (elevated train), shown looking north from 42nd Street, July 28, 1936. The El is to be demolished in 1939. (AP Photo/HS)

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Steel cars for the new 8th Avenue subway in New York, in May 1937. (AP Photo)

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Robert Wadlow, 18, of Alton, Ill., enters a turnstile at a New York City subway station, April 7, 1937. (AP Photo)

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This is an interior view of the new 8th Avenue subway car in New York City, May 1937. (AP Photo)

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The new streamlined red, white and blue Rapid Transit car which made its "maiden voyage" along the BMT lines in New York, March 28, 1939. It weighs 76,000 pounds, about half the weight of the conventional cars, and is equipped with special sound-deadening and shock-cushioning devices. (AP Photo)

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Air conditioned and equipped with upholstered green mohair cushions, a new streamlined luxury car of the BMT lines made its inaugural run in New York, March 28, 1939. This group tried out the comforts of the new car which will be placed in operation March 30. Sound-deadening and shock-absorbing devices are part of the new equipment. (AP Photo)

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The Ninth Avenue "El" or elevated, is shown looking north along State Street in New York, Feb. 22, 1940. The transit commission has authorized the condemnation of the structure. (AP Photo)

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The Ninth Avenue "El", or elevated, tracks are seen looking south at 33rd Street in New York, Feb. 22, 1940. The transit commission authorized condemnation of the structure. (AP Photo)

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This view shows the 42nd Street subway entrance and store fronts in New York City on April 2, 1940. (AP Photo)

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New Yorkers, caught in a surprise air raid warning alert seek shelter in stores and subways. A crowd waits for the "all clear" in a subway station at Lexington Avenue and 51st street, Oct. 22, 1942. (AP Photo)

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Interior view of the subway car of the future as it was displayed at the Chambers Street Station of the Independent Division in New York on July 9, 1947. The new car has 56 seats, 14 adjustable, exhaust ventilators, eight 10-inch fans, is painted blue and grey and has an off-white ceiling. (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)

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New York City subway worker squeezes one more onto a train car, May 5, 1943. (AP Photo)

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A brother and his sister look up at a newsstand, located on the platform of the New York city subway, as they wait for the train to Coney Island, New York, 1948. (Getty Images)

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Vincent R. Impellitteri, right, acting mayor of New York City, and Brooklyn Borough President John Cashmore (second from right), inspect the first completed subway car of an order for 750, at the American Car and Foundry Co., Berwick, Penn., Feb. 20, 1948. C.J. Hardy, Sr., company chairman, points out a feature of the new cars. Men inside subway cab are unidentified. (AP Photo/HG)

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Carmen Gherdol of Long Island City, N.Y. drops the last nickel permitted to be dropped in one of the BMT-IRT subway turnstiles at Times Square, New York, June 30, 1948 when the fare was raised to ten cents for a subway ride in New York City. Assistant supervisor Bartholomew Barry, left, prepares to pull a canvas cover over the slot, until it is changed over to receive the smaller coin. Others are unidentified. (AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman)

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Changing from one subway line to another, passengers at the IND line's Broadway-Nassau St. station crowd through aisles to get free transfers from transportation employees under the city's new ten-cent fare, July 1, 1948. (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)

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Patterned asbestos tile flooring, increased and improved fluorescent lighting, illuminated route and destination signs, double roofs, and electronically controlled heat and ventilation, improved brakes and door controls, and foam and vinyl seats are among major changes designed for passenger comfort and greater operational and maintenance efficiency in New York City subway cars on October 26, 1954. (AP Photo)

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Crowd at Times Square station subway in New York City on March 6, 1956. (AP Photo/HVN)

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While other subway passengers perspire in the warm and humid underground station, Paul Forman appears cool and comfortable in the experimental air conditioned train which made its first run in New York City, July 9, 1956.

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Juana Otero, a victim of heat exhaustion in the abnormally packed Grand Central subway station in New York, gets assistance from transit policeman Arthur Dixon as other victims rest in a corner of the station, July 16, 1956 (AP Photo/Jacob Harris)

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(AP Photo/Tom Fitzsimmons)

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New York City subway, 1953. Ralph Morse—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Subway riders in news-hungry New York returned to their favorite reading matter after end of newspaper strike, Dec. 29, 1958. (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)

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Scene on the New York subway, 1959. Stan Wayman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Joseph E. O'Grady, right, member of New York City's Transit Authority, stands at bar installed temporarily in the Authority's "dream car" in New York, Jan. 17, 1962. The car, which had fresh flowers, carpeting, draperies and pastel lighting, made a special trip as part of a nine-car train on the cityas subway lines from Times Square to South Ferry and back. It was to help publicize a clean subways campaign to the Young Men's Board of Trade New York City Junior Chamber of Commerce. (AP Photo/John Rooney)

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New York City policemen tangled with demonstrators at a subway station on the opening day of the New York World's Fair, April 22, 1964. Youths attempted to stall the train, which was headed from the city to the fairgrounds, as a form of protest on behalf of civil rights for blacks. (AP Photo/Charles Gorry)

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Teenagers trying to work the subway turnstiles with slugs instead of tokens, 1958. Stan Wayman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Actress Shirley MacLaine rides the New York subway on her way to the World's Fair for the premiere of her film "What A Way to Go", May 13, 1964. (AP Photo/Marty Zimmerman)

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Young woman riding the D train, 1951 Eliot Elisofon—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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An American policeman on patrol in the New York subway, August 11, 1965. (Harry Benson/Express/Getty Images)

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Passengers sit patiently in near-darkness in a stalled subway car at West 4th Street in the Manhattan section of New York, Nov. 9, 1965, during the massive power failure that darkened a vast portion of the northeast including New York State, most of New England, parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada. (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey)

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This is the platform at the Worth Street subway station in lower Manhattan, shown during a non-rush hour time, Jan. 7, 1966. (AP Photo)

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New Yorkers who used to complain about the crush of riding the subway during the rush hours have had 12 subway-less days to change their minds, there were no such complaints heard from the passengers of this crowded train, Jan. 13, 1966. Everybody was happy the crippling transit strike was over. (AP Photo)

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New York City subway train packed with commuters during rush hour in 1966. (AP Photo)

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Scene on the New York subway, 1969. Ralph Crane—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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An unidentified conductor for an IRT subway train is shown on the job in New York, July 10, 1970. (AP Photo)

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Subway crowds at Times Square Station in New York March 4, 1970. (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)

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Graffiti on New York City subways shown on July 26, 1972. (AP Photo/Jim Wells)

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Graffiti sprayed on the subway of New York on July 27, 1972. (AP Photo)

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Two curious subway riders look into the window of a new style subway car, by the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City's IND station at 57th street and Sixth Avenue, May 13, 1974. A special press and invited guests ride to the Wall Street area followed the showing. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

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(Tony Vaccaro/Getty Images)

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Ralph Crane—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Thousands of New Yorkers cross the Brooklyn Bridge heading for work in Manhattan on April 2, 1980, the second day of the transit strike which halted city subway and bus service. (AP Photo/Carlos Rene Perez)

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