New York City's first regular elevated railway service began on February 14, 1870. The first official subway system opened on October 27, 1904, covering 9.1 miles from City Hall to 145th St.
The Third Avenue Line elevated train tracks, looking north up the Bowery from Grand Street in 1891.
A subway evacuation on Lafayette Street, then known as Elm Street, near Pearl Street, in Manhattan. (May 6, 1901)
A group of financiers and city officials get a tour of the City Hall Station in January 1904.
Commuters in a subway station. (April 7, 1937)
An interior view of the new 8th Avenue subway car in May 1937.
The Third Avenue elevated train rumbles across 51st Street in Manhattan. (Feb. 22, 1942
A subway worker squeezes one more onto a train car. (May 5, 1943)
The Third Avenue elevated train winds its way through lower Manhattan. (Feb. 12, 1946)
A northbound view under the Third Ave. elevated tracks at East 53rd Street in Manhattan in 1948.
A pot belly stove inside the entrance of the East 53rd Street station of the Third Ave. elevated train in Manhattan in 1948.
A customer at the change booth from the Third Ave. elevated platform at the East 53rd Street station in Manhattan in 1948.
Vincent R. Impellitteri, right, acting mayor of New York City, inspects the first completed subway car of a new order in Berwick, Penn. (Feb. 20, 1948)
A commuter drops a nickel into the turnstile at the Times Square subway station before the fare is raised to ten cents. (June 30, 1948)
To the surprise of scores of subway riders at the Grand Central stop of the IRT, the first of 480 illuminated, three dimensional advertising signs were turned on. (Oct. 7, 1948)
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. (Oct. 26, 1954)
This issue of the Subway Sun, posted in trains by the Transit Authority, tries to convince long-suffering riders of the underground that they are happier than they would be in the sparsely settled countryside. (March 9, 1956)
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. When the train left Grand Central Station the temperature was 89 degrees in the old cars while the new cars registered 76.5 degrees. (July 9, 1956)
Subway riders in news-hungry New York returned to their favorite reading matter after end of a 19-day newspaper-delivery strike. (Dec. 29, 1958)
A member of New York City's Transit Authority, stands at bar installed temporarily in the Authority's "dream car." The car, which had fresh flowers, carpeting, draperies and pastel lighting, made a special trip as part of a nine-car train on the city’s 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. (Jan. 17, 1962)
An undated photo of the A train.
Policemen tangle with demonstrators at a subway station on the opening day of the New York World's Fair. Protesters attempted to stall the train, which was headed from the city to the fairgrounds, as a form of protest on behalf of civil rights. (April 22, 1964)
A subway conductor on the job in Manhattan. (July 10, 1970)
Graffiti on a subway car in 1972.
New York Mayor Edward Koch talks to reporters as he travels on the subway uptown from City Hall to Gracie Mansion. The mayor announced a 'war' on subway crime. (March 19, 1979)
Baseball great Willie Mays and his wife, Mae sit together on bench of the A train. (Aug. 2, 1979)
New Yorkers pass a closed subway entrance during an 11-day transit strike. (April 1, 1980)
A New York subway rider inserts a token into a turnstile at the Rockefeller Center station in June 1980.
Subway commuters point to a poster sporting a caricature of a nearly-nude Walter Mondale that promotes the current issue of Penthouse Magazine in the Times Square subway station. (May 12, 1984)
New York City Mayor Ed Koch sits on a metal folding chair and looks through a peephole to watch undercover police stop and question subway fare-beaters. (Jan. 16, 1985)
New York City Transit Police Officer Jeremiah Lyons, center, reads his newspaper on board the city subway. He is posing as bait to thieves in the subway. His backup Police Officer James Nuciforo, right, listens to a radio and prepares to move in for an arrest if a crime occurs. (July 25, 1985)
A workman dismantles the interior of a subway car in a renovation effort by the New York City Subway system. (Nov. 21, 1988)
A graffiti-covered A train in 1989.
Hillary Rodham Clinton rides the 1 train. (March 30, 1992)
A police handout of the scene of a Dec. 21, 1994 fire in a New York City subway car caused by a homemade incindiery device carried by accused firebomber Edward Leary.
Debris covers the Vesey Street entrance to the Cortland Street stop of the 1 and 9 trains under the World Trade Center after the September 11th attack.
A pile of New York City subway tokens less than a month before the token's long career as the currency of city life was ended and replaced by the MetroCard. (April 12, 2003)
A rat comes briefly out of its hole at a Brooklyn subway stop before retreating at the arrival of the F train. (Dec. 8, 2005)
The South Ferry subway stationis filled with seawater and debris from superstorm Sandy. (Oct. 30 2012)