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19 Unbelievable Pictures From The Early Years Of The NYC Subway

On Oct. 27, 1904, New York City's first subway line opened to the public and the Big Apple has never been the same since.

Posted on October 27, 2018, at 11:33 a.m. ET

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A man asleep on the subway, 1939.

Ernst Haas / Getty Images

A woman standing by the entrance to a New York subway station, circa 1952.

Ruben Goldberg / AP

After leaving the subway train, a young New York couple stops to look through some records at Downstairs Records, a shop at the Times Square station, on Feb. 13, 1962.

John Rooney / AP

Jerry Shocket, left, pours champagne for guests on the city’s subway “dream car” on Jan. 17, 1962.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Police officers lead commuters through a subway tunnel where they were trapped during a power failure on Nov. 20, 1965.

Weegee / Getty Images

The subway station at Canal and Lafayette streets serves as a blackout shelter during World War II on Aug. 13, 1943.

Fpg / Getty Images

A group of men pose during the excavation of the Lexington Avenue subway line, 1910.

David Pollack / Getty Images

The subway line at Delancey and Eldridge streets under construction, 1908.

Photoquest / Getty Images

The opening of the first subway on Oct. 27, 1904. In attendance and riding the first train were municipal officials and civic and business leaders. At that time, the underground extended for 21 miles.

Heritage Images / Getty Images

The women-only car of the Hudson River subway train, circa 1901.

/ AP

Men inspect the automatic control board at the 207th Street station on Oct. 13, 1931.

Paul Thompson / Archive Photos / Getty Images

Secretaries sorting through petitions demanding the construction of new subway lines, New York City, circa 1923. The campaign was being run by a pro-expansion advocacy group, the Citizens' Committee of One Thousand, chaired by pen manufacturer and future mayoral candidate Frank D. Waterman.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Interior view of a subway car with upholstered seats, circa 1935.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A lunch counter in a New York subway station, 1937.

Hirz / Getty Images

Crash site of two subway trains that collided on an elevated track, circa 1920.

Weegee(arthur Fellig) / Getty Images

View of flooded subway tracks in the Bronx, 1940.

Ullstein Bild Dtl. / Getty Images

A derailed New York subway train on an elevated track nearly crashed down to the street, circa 1904.

Universal History Archive / Getty Images

Firefighters rest after fighting a subway tunnel fire at West 55th Street and Broadway, 1915.

Rae Russel / Getty Images

A mother sits behind her two young children as they look out the window of a New York City subway train, 1948.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.