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1940 Nostrand Map of New York City Mass Transit System

New York City Transit System.

1940 Nostrand Map of New York City Mass Transit System


The IRT, BMT, and Independent lines were still divided!



New York City Transit System.
  1940 (undated)    16.5 x 9.25 in (41.91 x 23.495 cm)     1 : 86700


This is a c. 1940 George J. Nostrand map of the New York City Transit System. The map depicts Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens and part of Staten Island. Lines of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT), and the city-owned Independent Subway System (INDEPENDENT) are illustrated here, along with the integrated IRT and BMT lines to Ditmars and Flushing in Queens. Each of the subway stops is labeled, and a distinction is made between local and express stops. Addresses (house numbers) are also included at most of the subway stations, allowing for easier navigation around the city. Several of the streets are labeled, such as First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Avenue and Broadway in Manhattan and Fourth Avenue, Ninth Street, and Fulton Street in Brooklyn. Prospect Park, Greenwood Cemetery, Battery Park, Central Park, and Riverside Park are all labeled, as well as the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Natural History. Yankee Stadium is also labeled.

Also, in the summer of 1940, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT) were bought by the city, which opened its first city-operated line of the Independent Subway System (IND) in 1932. It would take decades for the two systems to be integrated, and, even so, distinctions between the two systems remain to this day. The former IRT lines (now referred to as the A Division) are labeled with numbers, while the former BMT/IND lines (now known as the B Division) use letters. There is also a physical difference between the two lines: A Division cars are narrower than B Division cars by 18 inches. Today, it is possible for A Division cars to travel on B Division lines when necessary, but they are not used for passenger service because of the dangerously wide gap between the train and the platform.

This map was distributed compliments of the 23rd Street Y.M.C.A, known as the McBurney Y.M.C.A. The location of the Y., room rates, and a photograph of the building are located along the right border, just below the legend. The McBurney Y.M.C.A. was founded in 1869, moved into the buiding on 23rd Street in 1904, and relocated in 2002, but the building still stands. An intriguing detail concerning room rates: service men in uniform were entitled to lower rates. This reinforces the presumption that this map dates from somewhere around 1940.

This map was drawn by George J. Nostrand and distributed by the 23rd Street Y.M.C.A in 1940.


Very good. Text on verso.
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