This Unique Map Shows Manhattan Transit System Before the Subway, in 1899

Map of the Manhattan transit system before the first subway was built. The year is 1899, and you get around the City by trolley, by cable car, and by noisy, dirty steam elevated railroad.
Map of the Manhattan transit system before the first subway was built. The year is 1899, and you get around the City by trolley, by cable car, and by noisy, dirty steam elevated railroad.

Created by vintage-map recreation artists Fifty-Three Studios, this unique map shows how Manhattan transit looked in 1899, before the introduction of the subway changed everything.

In 1899, Manhattan was dirty, overcrowded, and booming as immigrants flooded the shores of the New World looking to start a better life. The electric trolley had been recently invented, but its superiority over the older manual cable car, which you can still see in San Francisco, wasn't apparent yet. The elevated railroads, so key to the city's expansion, had not yet been converted to electric operation. In this map, the NYC transit system looks an awful lot like it does today.

Large prints of the map are available for purchase, starting at $50.

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