Watch the Last 100 Years of New York City Subway Maps

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One of the maps.
Today in subway porn we have a beautiful depiction of the ebb and flow and changing formats of the New York City subway map over the years. The only thing better than watching the map come of age to the inspirationally epic music in the video created by Gizmodo's Matt Toder back in December (Bowery Boogie reminded us of it today) would be actually holding one of those early 1900s parchments in our hands. Though, probably, we'd accidentally tear it or spill coffee on it and then get sued, so this is really better, anyway.

And, yes, we know we are transportation nerds, but isn't there a certain frisson of delight that comes at the end, when the subway map is as familiar as an old friend frenemy? Either that or we have Stockholm Syndrome.

Fun fact: Once upon a time, the train lines all started in Brooklyn. Watch the video here.

Related: The NYC Subway from Birth to Now, in One Gif

100 Years Later: The Evolution of the NYC Subway Map [Gizmodo via Bowery Boogie]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

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Benjamin Kabak
Benjamin Kabak

After the Vignelli years, those aren't even the official subway maps. They're just digital reproductions posted on NYCSubway.org. What a strange video.

Matt Chaban
Matt Chaban

That's actually not true, about Brooklyn. The video is swell, but it leaves out the IND and IRT subways, which merged with the BMT in 1940 to form the MTA. The IRT was actually the first subway system in the city, running the—think about it—1 Train from 145th Street in Harlem down Broadway to City Hall. The line opened in 1904, eight years before the BMT.

It is a great video, though.

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