Transportation in new york city in the 1900s,s scale track, coupon,lionel 0-8-0 steam locomotive - And More

One of the biggest pleasures of writing historical fiction is discovering amazing things I never knew before.
Even though I’ve spent chunks of my life living in New York City, setting a novel there in 1910 has opened my eyes to some pretty incredible facts and insights. But the city was also already in the vanguard of various forms of public transportation by then. The main way people got to New York in that era was train, of course, but Grand Central Station was only just being built. Steam trains from Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and other points came to the city via Penn Station. The city streets were scored with trolly tracks—sometimes on very worn surfaces you can still see vestiges of them today. A little safer were the new subways, the initial lines of which were constructed during the first decade of the 20th century. Automobiles were probably the least common vehicles, but that didn’t stop New York hosting its first Auto Show in 1905!
Trolley and Subway fares were 5 cents, which would be about a dollar in today’s currency values. And as to privately owned cars and carriages—those involved the typical expenses of maintenance, plus often a driver’s salary, and therefore would only be owned by the very rich.
Forgotten NY is the first recipient of the Outstanding NYC Website award by the Guides Association of NYC!

Forgotten New York is a program of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, a non-profit organization supported by the Long Island City community. In the earliest days of elevated trains, in the 1870s-1890s, lighting streets operated under the same principle it had on streets not covered by els…short poles topped by gas luminaires that were manually operated.
The High Line has since been put back into use as a high-concept elevated park, but this lamp is long gone. Here we see two of the newer types of ways that streetlamps are made to deal with the close quarters dictated by overpasses.
On Brighton Beach Avenue in Brooklyn, dwarf poles support extra luminaires that reach over the sidewalk. A huge number of people walked to work every day, not just from where they lived in Manhattan, but also from the outer boroughs—as this photo of rush hour on the Queensboro bridge shows. In fact, figuring out how people got around is one of the biggest challenges of historical fiction. On the other hand, Penn Station was in all its glory, an architectural masterpiece, now sadly replaced by one of the ugliest train terminals in the U.S. Unlike the sleek, metal tubes passengers ride in today, these had some of the elegance of regular train travel, as the picture of a subway interior shows. At first typical cab was drawn by a single horse and sat two people in an open carriage that a passenger could easily hop in and out of.
After electricity began to become widespread in lighting streets in the early 1900s, shorter versions of the ornately scrolled, ironworked iron poles that were proliferating began to appear, and in some streets, poles were dispensed with altogether as pendant lamps were attached to the overhead el girders, and later, concrete platforms, taking power from electric wires strung along the el, as in the Jamaica Avenue el shown here.

This is a graceful example of one that got away; it illuminated West 13th Street in a bell fixture suspended pendant-style from a graceful s-shaped mast. Left, a 1940s-era Whitestone Bridge-style shaft, without its pole, illuminates Joralemon Street as it passes under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Brooklyn Heights. The one on Hillside Avenue was actually working when I was there, and the one under the LIRR at 162nd Street works whenever the DOT replaces its incandescent bulb. Unfortunately a truck seems to have crashed into the radial-wave and irreperably mashed it. Lamp designs that are long extinct in bright sunlight are often found lurking under elevated train trestles or expressway overpasses.
Right: Whitestone shaft, this one with its original cuplight luminaire, under a Brooklyn Bridge approach ramp on South Street. But no outmoded streetlighting fixture can escape the watchful eye of…Forgotten New York.
They were largely wiped out by Westinghouse and GE mercury fixtures and later, harshly yellow sodium lamps.
Another s-shaped mast, like this one, now supporting a sodium light, can be seen at 10th Avenue and west 16th Street.

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