Historic Photos Documenting The Evolution Of Transportation In Cities

vintage transportation

Photo: Courtesy of Archives.gov

In cities of yesteryear, it was much more common to see horse-drawn carriages or trolleys than the electric cars, city buses and limos of today.

But even in the late 1800s and early 1900s, cities relied on mass transportation much in the same way they do today, though systems have evolved over time.

The New York City subway system started with a single line from City Hall to the Bronx, and operates 468 separate train stations today.

In 1897, horse-drawn wagons and carriages were the main form of transportation, but electric trolley cars served as public transportation.

On Easter morning in 1900, mostly horse drawn carriages fill the street, but two motor cars can be seen here.

Even in 1900 it was possible to commit a traffic violation. This car is being stopped by a police man on a bicycle.

In 1904, the Eighth Avenue trolley in New York.

Pickwick stages, counterparts of modern day buses, outside Union Station, Los Angeles, awaiting passengers bound for southern California in 1920.

In 1933, city officials inspect a New York City subway car newly equipped with ventilating devices that operate while the car's windows are closed.

An aerial view of a traffic jam on 14th Street and Wall in Washington, D.C. in 1937.

New York City's Sixth Avenue elevated railway and the crowded street below, circa 1940.

Five steam locomotives, side by side, outbound from Chicago at dusk in 1940.

Rear view of an Oklahoma car, passing through Amarillo, Tex., on its way west, in 1941.

The ferryboat Dongan Hills, filled with commuters, about to dock at a New York City pier, circa 1945

A grandmother amuses her young companion in the waiting room of the Greyhound Bus Station in New York City in July 1947.

Very complicated 1947 street signs in Washington, D.C.

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