New York Subway, 1950’s

Those rattan-woven seats… I saw a picture of this subway car and had a flashback – as a child, I always thought they looked like corn on the cob. The fans on the ceiling… in the days before air conditioning, those subways could be stifling. And when the trains went over a dead spot in the 3rd rail and the lights went out, the little emergency lights in the ceiling would come on.

These were everywhere – Chiclets and Dentyne and gum, oh my – a piece for a penny. You’d put in your coin, slide the lever, and press it down to vend your prize, or just put your penny in the appropriate slot and turn the dial.

Two lines only: BMT and IRT. IND came later. When you’d get to 42nd Street, red and green light bulbs in the ceiling of the stations would guide you to the correct line, with blue ones for the cross town shuttle. Hole-in-the wall vendors: The Wizard’s Shop that sold magic; fresh-squeezed orange or papaya juice, all sorts of wonderful things.

Such elegant mosaic work in so many of the stations.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

3 responses to “New York Subway, 1950’s

  1. Pingback: New York Subway 1950s New York Info

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