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Take a ride on the New York subway of the 1940s with this vintage video
Written by
Will Gleason

This short documentary, produced in 1949 and directed by Henwar Rodakiewicz, reveals the inner workings of the city’s subway system at the time. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, the video showcases a number of long-gone MTA features including old wooden turnstiles, a fare booth, conductors hanging outside of the trains and more. Unfortunately, old-timey showtime dancers do not make any appearance. 

Surprisingly, the number of riders in 1949 and today aren’t too dissimilar. The system had 5.5 million passengers a day then, compared to 5.6 million passengers a day in 2015.


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