Vintage Photograph of 1915 Subway Fire on Broadway and 55th Expertly Colorized

Photo: Imgur

On January 6th, 1915, New York City saw its first Subway disaster when a small electrical fire near Broadway and 55th Street caused a blackout under the surrounding midtown stations and tunnels. While the damage from the fire was nothing more than the damaged wires, the smoke produced from the shorted wire's insulation wrapping filled the darkened tunnels, prompting panic and a stampede that trampled women, children and men. One person was left dead, and over 200 more were injured as straphangers clamored over each other trying to escape the acrid smoke.

Reddit contributor kibblenbits recently downloaded a scan of the original photograph from the Library of Congress, then expertly colorized it using period specific hues and tones.

For more details on the "the worst disaster in the history of the New York subway" up to that date, check out the original 1915 article in the New York Times.

Subway Fire 1/6/15
Subway Fire 1/6/15
Photo: Bowery Boys
Subway Fire 1/6/15
Subway Fire 1/6/15
Photo: Bowery Boys
Firemen Overcome Subway Fire 1/6/15
Firemen Overcome Subway Fire 1/6/15
Photo: Bowery Boys
Subway Fire 1/6/15 Breaking Thro' Street
Subway Fire 1/6/15 Breaking Thro' Street
Photo: Bowery Boys
Subway Fire Breaking Thro' Subway Roof
Subway Fire Breaking Thro' Subway Roof
Photo: Bowery Boys
Fireman Overcome Subway Fire 1/6/15
Fireman Overcome Subway Fire 1/6/15
Photo: Bowery Boys
1 Dead, 210 Hurt in Panic in the Subway; 2,500 Penned in Acrid Smoke For Hours
1 Dead, 210 Hurt in Panic in the Subway; 2,500 Penned in Acrid Smoke For Hours
1 Dead, 210 Hurt in Panic in the Subway; 2,500 Penned in Acrid Smoke For Hours
1 Dead, 210 Hurt in Panic in the Subway; 2,500 Penned in Acrid Smoke For Hours

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