Elevated train sign
20 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 1/8 in.
A black metal street sign with embossed lettering highlighted in white from the New York Elevated Train line that reads "Chatham Sq.". One of nine from the system. The first elevated trains appeared in the 1870s in Manhattan. They ran over the streets of Second, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Avenues and had structures made of cast iron. Early service on the el was provided by cable car but constant breakdowns led to the shutdown of the lines. The el lines reopened in 1871 with steam engines pulling the former cable cars in Manhattan and later the wooden coaches were converted for electric operation. Bronx el service was intoduced in the mid 1880s. The Manhattan system was leased to the IRT in 1903 for 999 years but most els were taken down in the 1940s while the 3rd Avenue El's Manahttan system survived until 1955 and the Bronx portion until 1973.
Gift of Bella C. Landauer
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.