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Columbia University Libraries. 

New York Public Library Research Division. 

The Making of America (online). 

Museum of the City of New York. 

The Joseph Brennan Collection. 


The New York Times.  Thorough printed index.  Full text search available from Pro Quest.

New York Daily Tribune.  Printed index starts in 1875.

The Daily Graphic.  Started March 1873.  Index of illustrations every fourth month.

New York Herald.  No index.

The World.  No index.

The Evening Post.  Handwritten index with gaps starts 1877.

The New York Times has long been the primary source for historians because of its readily available printed index.  A few years ago an extremely valuable full text search became available from Pro Quest (available in research libraries or to individuals for a fee).  Many details here would never have been found without the full text search.

The introductory matter to the Times Index has long told readers that it can be used ‘as an index to the news’ pointing to coverage of events in other papers as well.  Not many researchers seem to follow this advice and much has been missed.  The Tribune was often more thorough than the Times on rapid transit developments, and it has an index starting in 1875 that makes even feature articles accessible.  The Herald and the World were also good quality in this period, and I spot-checked them for certain events.  The almost-forgotten Daily Graphic carried good illustrations and ‘news photos’ in the form of sketches.  I looked at the Post and other four-page papers (like the Sun) only occasionally.


Scientific American.

Manufacturer and Builder.

Railroad Gazette.

Appleton’s Journal of Literature, Science, and Art.

Harper’s Weekly.

Forest and Stream: a journal of outdoor life, travel, nature study, shooting, fishing, yachting.

Putnam’s Magazine.

The Youth’s Companion.

Beach's Scientific American is of course essential to the story of underground railways pneumatic and otherwise, and it also covered the technology of elevated railways.  The less well-known Manufacturer and Builder is also good.  The trade publication Railroad Gazette mentions rapid transit railways from time to time.  The others mentioned above were used just for occasional articles.


This section includes all of the books or web sites mentioned in the notes.  Some have little to do with rapid transit.  They are in the collections listed at the top of this page or where noted are on the web.

AIA Guide to New York City by Elliot Willensky and Norval White.  New York:  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988.  A more recent edition has been published.

E Benjamin Andrews,  ‘The Panic of 1873’, in History of the Last Quarter-Century of the United States. New York:  Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1895.  Online at

Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography. New York:  D Appleton and Company, 1887-1889.

R T Bailey,  Proposed (Underground) Metropolitan Railway.  New York:  February 15, 1864.

T C Barker, Michael Robbins,  A History of London Transport, vol. 1, The Nineteenth Century.  London:  George Allen & Unwin, 1963.

Alfred E Beach,  The Beach Pneumatic Transit Company’s Broadway Underground Railway / New York City.  New York:  Beach Pneumatic Transit, 1873.

Alfred E Beach,  The Broadway Underground Railway / Route and plan of construction, with reports of eminent engineers, and construction drawings from the London Underground Railways. New York:  Beach Pneumatic Transit, 1872.  Issued January 1872, for private circulation.  Large page size with hand-colored diagrams of part of the District Railway.

Alfred E Beach,  Illustrated Description of the Broadway Pneumatic Underground Railway.  New York:  S W Green, 1870.  First edition, with more technical detail than the later versions.

Alfred E Beach,  Illustrated Description of the Broadway Underground Railway.  New York:  Beach Pneumatic Transit, 1871.  Revised text.

Alfred E Beach,  Illustrated Description of the Broadway Underground Railway.  New York:  Beach Pneumatic Transit, 1872.  Text revised again.

Alfred E Beach,  The Pneumatic Dispatch / with illustrations:  / a compilation of notices and information concerning the pneumatic system of transportation as now building and operating in England ; together with accounts of its first trial in the United States, and of proposed applications of the system to passenger and postal service :  including descriptions of sub-aqueous and other tunnels.  New York:  The American News Company, 1868.

Mary Black,  Old New York in Early Photographs.  New York:  Dover, 1973.

Benjamin Blom,  New York Photographs 1850-1950.  New York:  E P Dutton, 1982.

Benson Bobrick,  Labyrinths of iron.  New York:  Newsweek Books, 1981.

William Thompson Bonner,  New York, the World’s Metropolis.  New York:  R L Polk, 1924.

Bowling Green State University, Charles T Harvey Papers, ‘Biographical sketch’,

Boyd’s New York State Directory.  Syracuse:  Andrew Boyd, 1872.

Mark Brader,  Atmospheric and Pneumatic Railways., 1991.

George W Bromley,  Atlas of the entire city of New York.  New York:  G W Bromley & E Robinson, 1879.

S D V Burr,  Tunneling under the Hudson River.  New York:  John Wiley & Sons, 1885.  See

Alexander B Callow,  The Tweed Ring.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 1966.

Harry James Carman,  The Street Surface Railway Franchises of New York City.  New York:  Columbia University Press,1919.

Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York,  Rapid Transit in New York City and in Other Great Cities.  New York:  Chamber of Commerce, 1905.

City of New York / a complete guide. New York:  Taintor Brothers, 1876.

J E Connor,  Abandoned Stations on London’s Underground. Colchester:  Connor and Butler, 2000.

Carl Condit,  The Port of New York.  2 volumes. Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1980-1981.  History of passenger and freight railway terminals at New York.

Brian J Cudahy,  Under the sidewalks of New York.  Brattleboro VT:&nsbp; Stephen Greene Press, 1979.  Also a revised edition and second revised edition from Fordham University Press.

Joseph Cunningham, Leonard De Hart,  A History of the New York Subway System / part I:  the Manhattan els and the I R T.  New York:  privately printed, 1976.  There was one later edition combining the original three volumes.

Joseph Cunningham, Leonard De Hart,  A History of the New York Subway System / part II:  Rapid Transit in Brooklyn.  New York:  privately printed, 1977.  There was one later edition combining the original three volumes.

Robert Daley,  The world beneath the city.  New York and Philadelphia:  J B Lippincott, 1959.  Actually published in January 1960.

J Vipond Davies,  Construction of the tunnel system of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company.  New York:  Jacobs and Davies, Consulting Engineers, 1911.  Revised from six articles that ran in Railroad Age Gazette from September 17 to October 22, 1909.

R Davies, M D Grant,  London and Its Railways.  London:  David and Charles, 1983.

Lorraine B Diehl,  Subways / the tracks that built New York City.  New York:&nbps; Clarkson Potter, 2004.

Documentary History of Railroad Companies, which is volume 5 of:  Public Service Commission for the First District,  Report ... for the year ending December 31, 1913.  Albany:  State of New York, 1914.

Kenneth W Dobyns,  The Patent Office Pony / a history of the early patent office. Sergeant Kirkland’s Press, 1994; and

Dripps, Mathew,  Plan of New York City.  New York:  1867.

Stephen N Elias,  Alexander T Stewart / the forgotten Merchant Prince.  Westport CT and London:  Praeger, 1992.

Edward Robb Ellis,  The Epic of New York.  New York:  Coward, McCann, 1966.

James Epstein, ‘Maverick Mayors’, in Gotham Gazette, 2002.

Exposé of the Facts Concerning the Proposed Elevated Patent Railway Enterprise in the City of New York 1866.  New York:  1866.

Facts and Documents as the Basis of Estimating What the Prejudices of a New-York Millionaire May Cost Its Citizens, compiled by an old resident.  New York:  1866.

Stan Fischler,  The Subway / a trip through time on New York’s rapid transit.  New York:  H & M Productions II, 1997.

Stan Fischler,  Uptown downtown.  New York:  Hawthorn Books, 1976.

Alexander Clarence Flick,  Samuel Jones Tilden / a study in political sagacity. New York:  Dodd, Mead, 1939.

Daniel R Gallo, Frederick A Kramer,  The Putnam Division.  New York:  Quadrant Press, 1981.

Rodman Gilder,  The Battery.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin, 1936.

Harry Granick,  Underneath New York.  New York:  Henry Holt, 1947; and reprinted, New York:  Fordham University Press, 1991.

Oliver Green,  The London Underground / an illustrated history.  Shepperton:  Ian Allan, 1987.

Hayes Hendricks,  Passenger Cars of the South Park.

Leo Hershkowitz,  Tweed’s New York / another look.  Garden City NY:  Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1977.

George W Hilton,  The Cable Car in America.  Revised edition.  La Jolla CA:  Howell-North Books, 1982.

John T Hoffman,  Public papers of John T Hoffman, Governor of New York.  Albany:  J Munsell, 1872.

Clifton Hood,  722 Miles / the building of the subways and how they transformed New York.  New York:  Simon and Schuster, 1993;  and Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins Press, 1995.

George Horn,  Manhattan Railway Company Track Map of Elevated Lines in Manhattan and the Bronx as of 1893-1903.  New York:  Electric Railroaders’ Association, no date.

George Horn,  ‘New York’s El Lines, 1867-1955’, in Electric Railroads, December 1956.

George Horn,  roster of New York elevated locomotives and cars.  New York:  New York Division, Electric Railroaders’ Association, 1956.  An untitled set of mimeographed pages.  Based on records of the Cars and Shops Department of the IRT Division and on material in members’ private collections.  Revised by White (see below).

Tim Howgego,  ‘Early Developments’, at Capsule Pipelines, 

Tim Howgego,  ‘Pneumatic Despatch’, at Capsule Pipelines,

Tim Howgego,  ‘Telegram Conveyors’, at Capsule Pipelines,

Charles M Jacobs,  A General Report upon the Initiation and Construction of the Tunnel under the East River....  New York:  1894.

Charles M Jacobs,  The Hudson River tunnels of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company.  London:  The Institution of Civil Engineers, 1910.

Charles M Jacobs,  ‘The New York Tunnel Extension of the Pennsylvania Railroad’, in Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, paper number 1151.  New York:  American Society of Civil Engineers, 1910.

Alan Paul Kahn, Jack May,  The Tracks of New York / number 3, Manhattan and Bronx elevated railroads, 1920.  New York:  Electric Railroaders’ Association, 1977.

Wallace B Katz,  The New York Rapid Transit Decision of 1900:  Economy, Society, Politics.  Washington DC:  Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service, n.d.  Online at

Larry Kestenbaum (ed),  The Political Graveyard..

H I Latimer,  Official map and guide to all the elevated railways in New York City..  New York:  1881.

Frederick S Lightfoot,  Nineteenth-Century New York in Rare Photographic Views.  New York:  Dover, 1981.

Denis Tilden Lynch,  ‘Boss’ Tweed / the story of a grim generation. New York:  Boni and Liveright, 1927.

Seymour J Mandelbaum,  Boss Tweed's New York. New York:  J Wiley, 1965.

J B Mansfield,  History of the Great Lakes.  Chicago:  J H Beers & Co, 1899, 

William Gibbs McAdoo,  Crowded Years.  Boston and New York:  Houghton Mifflin, 1931.

James D McCabe Jr,  Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made.  Cincinnati and Chicago:  E Hannaford & Co, 1872.

George Medhurst,  New method of conveying letters and goods with great certainty and rapidity by air.  London:  1810.

George Medhurst,  Calculations and remarks tending to prove the practicability ... of a plan for the rapid conveyance of goods and passengers upon an iron road through a tube of 30 feet in area, by the power and velocity of air.  London:  1812.

George Medhurst,  A new system of inland conveyance for goods and passengers ... with the velocity of sixty miles an hour ... without the aid of horses or any animal power.  London:  1827.

David W Messer and Charles S Roberts,  Triumph V.  Baltimore:  Barnard, Roberts, 2002.

Metro North Commuter Railroad,  The Park Avenue Railroad Tunnel / a program of restoration.  New York:  Metro North, 1985.  Free handout booklet.

William D Middleton,  Grand Central.  San Marino CA:  Golden West Books, 1977.

William D Middleton,  When the Steam Railroads Electrified.  Milwaukee:  Kalmbach Books, 1974.

Eugene P Moehring,  Public Works and the Patterns of Urban Real Estate Growth in Manhattan, 1835-1894.  New York:  Arno, 1981.

Nationmaster, Encyclopedia.

New York City during the American Revolution ... from the manuscripts in the possession of The Mercantile Library Association of New York City.  New York:  the Assocation, 1861.

New York Panorama by the Federal Writer’s Project.  New York:  Random House, 1938.

New York Transit Museum,  The city beneath us.  New York:  W W Norton, 2004.

The Oxford Companion to British Railway History from 1603 to the 1990s, edited by Jack Simmons and Gordon Biddle.  Oxford and New York:  Oxford University Press, 1997.

Phœnix Bridge Company,  Album of designs.  Philadelphia:  Lippincott, 1885.

Public Service Commission for the First District,  Dual system of rapid transit for New York city.  New York: 1912.

Public Service Commission for the First District,  New subways for New York: the dual system of rapid transit.  New York: 1913.

The Railroad and Insurance Almanac for 1865..  New York:  Carleton,1865.

William Ratigan,  Young Mr Big / the story of Charles Thompson Harvey, the traveling salesman who built the world’s mightiest canal.  Grand Rapids:  Eerdman, 1955.  Children’s book.

Robert C Reed,  The New York Elevated.  Cranbury NJ and London:  A S Barnes, 1978.

William Fullerton Reeves,  The First Elevated Railroads in Manhattan and the Bronx of the City of New York.  New York:  New-York Historical Society, 1936.

Riverside Park Fund, ‘Learn about the park’.

Michael Robbins, Points and Signals: A Railway Historian at Work.  London:  George Allen & Unwin, 1967.

A P Robinson,  Report upon the Contemplated Metropolitan Railroad, of the City of New York.  New York:  Clayton & Medole, 1865.

Elisha Robinson,  Atlas of the city of New York.  New York:  E Robinson, 1885.

Gene Sansone,  New York Subways: an Illustrated History of New York City’s Transit Cars.  Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.  Revised edition of Evolution of New York City Subways.

Seyfried, Vincent F,  The Long Island Rail Road / a Comprehensive History / part 6:  The Golden Age 1881-1900.  Garden City NY:  privately printed, 1975.

Seyfried, Vincent F,  The Long Island Rail Road / a Comprehensive History / part 7:  The Age of Electrification 1901-1916.  Garden City NY:  privately printed, 1984.

H E Sickels,  Reports of Cases decided in the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, volume 25, May 22, 1877 to October 2, 1877.  Albany:  A Bleecker Banks, 1878.  This the 25th volume edited by State Reporter Sickels is also known as volume 70 of the Court of Appeals decisions.

Spartacus Educational, ‘John A Dix’.

Robert A M Stern, Thomas Mellins, David Fishman,  New York 1880.  New York:  Monacelli Press, 1999.

I N Phelps Stokes,  Iconography of Manhattan Island.  New York: Robert H Dodd, 1915-1928.  Reprinted 1967, 1998.

H C Stryker,  Historical sketches.  (Quoted in Walker,  Fifty Years, but not found elsewhere.)

Joe Thompson,  Who was important in the history of the cable car?,

Jennifer Toth,  The mole people.  Chicago:  Chicago Review Press, 1993.

James Blaine Walker,  Fifty Years of Rapid Transit / 1864 to 1917.  New York:  The Law Printing Company, 1918.

John H White Jr, ‘Spunky Little Devils:  Locomotives of the New York Elevated’, in Railroad History, Spring 1990.

Roger Whitehouse,  New York Sunshine and Shadow.  New York:  Harper and Row, 1974.

Note on Illustrations

As much as possible I have scanned the nineteenth-century illustrations from the original publications or photocopies of them.  I purchased my own copies of certain key issues of newspapers and journals from a dealer in order to get the best quality scans.  Similarly I have been buying stereo views and some other nineteenth-century images.  My scanning includes some digital enhancement and as a final step reduction to 72 dpi for web presentation.

Most of the illustrations are from books, periodicals and ephemera published in the United States before 1923 and as such are public domain.  A few nineteenth-century photographs may have been first published later but I believe they are now public domain based on a search for copyright renewals in the Catalog of Copyright Entries.  My own photographs and annotated maps are of course copyright.

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