Here’s how New York City’s subway system looked over 110 years ago

TRD New York /
Jun.June 25, 2016 10:00 AM

The New York City subway system has been around for over 110 years. Luckily, Google has an awesome collection of images taken from the New York Transit Museum that shows off what the old subway trains looked like, beautifully highlighting what riding the subway was like back in 1904.

From wood-paneled exteriors with ceiling fans to advertisements from the early 1900s, we’ve collected our favorite photos so you can travel back in time.

The journey begins at the subway’s turnstiles, which were wooden back then.


The New York Transit Museum was actually created in a decommissioned underground station in Brooklyn.


Vintage signs from the time period are on the walls.


Car 1407 features wood paneling.


The wooden 1407 car was part of the BMT fleet, which operated above ground.


Instead of AC, there were wooden ceiling fans.


Inside the subway cars are collections of advertising from the early 1900s.


Here’s another view.


Directional signs may not look like this today, but you’ll still see the same information, just in a new style and font.


Car 1612 C was used to transport people to the 1939 World’s Fair, which promised visitors a look at “the world of tomorrow.”


This subway car was part of the Court Street Shuttle, which was shut down on June 1, 1946.


As New York’s subway system evolved, fabric seat covers were replaced by plastic.


Inside the museum, there’s plenty of subway memorabilia and historical artifacts …


… including old maps that detail the subway’s web of tunnels and models of the train cars.


Related Articles


“Can you not?” Corcoran broker rejects LeBron James

This month in real estate history: New York City’s first official subway opens, the Hotel Majestic is demolished … & more

Could a new real estate fee solve the city’s subway crisis?

A 17-year-old watches the destruction of the Third Ave El: PHOTOS

A look back at what it was like to ride the NYC subway in 1949: VIDEO

New York’s incredibly expensive new subway explains why we can’t have nice things: Opinion

Mesmerizing video distills 24 hours of subway traffic into minutes

Government briefs: NYC’s new subway cars, Pier 55 can proceed … & more