Among the unique, hand-crafted and hand-painted toys will be the only existing first model elevated station. Designed by Märklin, ca. 1895, it is known as the Rolls-Royce of toy train manufacturers and will be displayed in the Judith and Howard Berkowitz Sculpture Court, near the 77th Street entrance. In New-York Historical’s Luce Center, the installation will include Märklin’s largest and most elaborate train station, ca. 1904; Marklin’s only known extant post office, ca. 1895; a Märklin girder bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel, ca. 1905; Rock & Graner’s extraordinary hand-painted road over double-arched brick bridge, ca. 1902; and Ernst Plank’s exquisite Ferris wheel from the turn-of-the-century.
All aboard! Color in this train [PDF] and bring it to the New-York Historical Society for one FREE admission for kids 13 and under!
New York Times: Judaica From Tuck Collection in London to Be Auctioned
Distance was overcome by speed. "City Hall to Harlem in fifteen minutes" the slogan promised. Reaching speeds of 40 miles per hour on its express lines, the new electric subway was three times as fast as the steam-powered elevated trains and six times as fast as electric street cars. A second line, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Corporation (BRT), which later changed its name to the Brooklyn Manhattan Transit (BMT), was created in 1913. Both the IRT and BMT were publicly owned but privately operated. The municipal government owned and operated the IND line, which opened between 1932 and 1940. The city acquired the IRT and BMT lines at this time as well and unified all into a common network. This was the culminating phase of subway construction.
The urban metamorphosis taking place over the first half of the twentieth century provided visual artists with dramatic subject matter. City scenes began to outpace portraiture and landscapes as topics of choice. Printmaking was undergoing a renaissance at this time as well. While nineteenth-century printmakers were primarily focused on documentation, 20th-century printmakers felt freer to work in more stylized, expressionist and purely aesthetic modes. They experimented with new media and rediscovered methods such as lithography, screen printing, and woodcuts, primarily used for commercial purposes in the past. The New York City Graphics Division of the Works Progress Administration (1935–1943) facilitated the advancement of printing technology employing hundreds of artists during the depression. Most of the prints in this exhibition date from the 1920s to the 1950s.
The New-York Historical Society's exhibit Tunnel Vision: New York Subway Construction Photographs, 1900–1908, explores the logistical challenges and remarkable effort that went into what at the time, was the largest construction project in the city's history. The exhibition showcases 80 photographs, culled from more than 5,000 from 1900–1908 in the Historical Society's Subway Construction Photograph Collection, all of which were a gift from the New York City Board of Transportation in 1950. Made primarily for insurance purposes, the overall collection contains nearly 60,000 photos showcasing buildings and streetscapes before, during and after construction of the of the entire subway system from 1900 until the last line was finished in 1947.
"These photographs capture the incredible human spirit behind this massive project and reveal the pride and willpower that laborers used in lieu of modern technology to make the subway a reality. This was truly a feat in modern engineering for the city to accomplish this task and Tunnel Vision will provide visitors with a snapshot into this extraordinary period of growth for New York," said New York Historical Society President & CEO Dr. Louise Mirrer.
The photographs and text panels document in vivid detail the "cut-and-cover" technique that the project's chief engineer, William Barclay Parsons developed. The process, in which crews dug a shallow excavation below the street surface and built a concrete and steel subsurface for trains to run through. The method was a painstaking process that required the relocation of thousands of sewer, gas and water mains and reinforcing buildings along the route. However, some of the exhibit photos clearly show how that many of the buildings did not survive and had to be demolished. While the IRT construction was marred by significant property damage, business disruptions and fatal accidents, it did succeed in addressing the city's basic objective: a cheap, reliable urban transit system. The five cent fare that remained in place until 1947 allowed an explosive growth of home construction throughout Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
Most of the photographs from the early construction (1900–1908) are printed on platinum paper, which has proven to hold the images intact over the last century. The 65 prints in this exhibit are grouped geographically to show the transformation of key sites in New York City that were dramatically altered during the construction phase and then re-assembled afterward. Unfortunately, many historic structures did not survive the construction phase, or were re-rebuilt in a poor fashion to prevent them from living on today. "Tunnel Vision teaches a valuable lesson about the delicate nature of New York City's infrastructure and the challenges that lie ahead for any further expansion of the subway system," said Dr. Mirrer.
Historical Relics and Souvenirs
The New-York Historical Society’s collection of more than 300 relics includes eyewitness artifacts linked to key moments in American history, such as fragments of the gilded statue of George III torn from its pedestal on Bowling Green by a jubilant crowd after a public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776; a draft wheel used during the Civil War in the draft lottery held on July 13, 1863—an event that touched off the worst urban riots in American history—and the wooden barrel used by Governor DeWitt Clinton in the ceremonial mar
The New-York Historical Society Museum and Library houses a treasure trove of materials relating to the founding of our country, the history of art in America, and the history of New York and its people. The Museum houses more than 60,000 works and artifacts, including fine art, decorative art, historical artifacts, and ephemera. Fine art holdings include renowned Hudson River School landscapes; masterpieces of colonial and later portraiture; John James Audubon’s watercolors for The Birds of America; an encyclopedic collection of sculpture; and much more.