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Topics in Chronicling America - New York City Subway

The New York City Subway is an exemplar of public transportation in the United States, and even in the world. It is one of the world’s oldest public transit systems, one of the world’s longest subway systems, the largest rapid transit system in the world by number of stations, and furthermore, one of the world’s most-used metro systems. Thousands of tourists and locals ride the trains every day of the year, at every hour of the day. Now an iconic staple of New York City, many New Yorkers cannot even imagine their lives without the subway system. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Pictures of NY Subway

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • November 1, 1903: During subway construction, people and animals tumble into the open ditch, dogs are made crazy by the explosions, and people complain of “subway’s knee.”
  • September 4, 1904: As construction approaches completion, New Yorkers take greater interest in the subway.
  • October 9, 1904: The New York subway, prior to opening, is lauded as the “greatest thing of its kind” and is expected to solve the city’s transportation problem.
  • November 13, 1904: Health concerns are raised about poor subway ventilation and sanitation, as well as exposure to bacilli. Electricity and fans are proposed as solutions.
  • October 5, 1910: Gimbel Brothers opens a department store in the subway, dubbed the “Subway Store.”
  • May 25, 1911: The Interborough Company plans on extending the City Subway and offers reduced fares to Manhattan.
  • December 28, 1913: The subway stimulates New York City economy as demand for property along the subway line skyrockets.
  • September 29, 1914: A serious accident occurs when two trains collide, causing a fire and three deaths.
  • August 2, 1918: The opening of a new section in the Manhattan subway causes thousands of passengers to become lost at Times Square as their routes are changed.
  • August 28, 1922: Mayor Haylor plans on providing 126 miles of new lines as well as six new tunnels, an extremely costly plan.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] New York City Subway, New York subway.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  June 29, 2015
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