New York Goes Underground

March 12, 1888. There’s been a blizzard in New York. Wind, ice, and snow have brought the city to a halt. Stagecoaches are stuck, elevated trains are frozen. By the time the storm is over, 400 New Yorkers will die. The public outrage is severe, and many blame New York City’s faulty transportation network for the deaths. Suddenly, a solution that had been ignored in the past comes to the forefront – traveling under the earth. Today, the story of the New York City subway. How did an epic snowstorm drive the city to try a dangerous and daring idea? And why was the subway such a unique invention from the very start?

Special thanks to Concetta Bencivenga, director of the New York City Transit Museum; John Morris, author of Subway: The Curiosities, Secrets, and Unofficial History of the New York City Transit System; and Clifton Hood, professor of history at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and author of 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York.

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