This is a miraculously well-preserved original New York City subway sign dating to the early years of the city subway ...
moreThis is a miraculously well-preserved original New York City subway sign dating to the early years of the city subway system. This is a double-sided sign 'curtain' or 'scroll,' still attached to its original pair of rollers, that would have been mounted in a 'sign box' to illustrate the destination and service of a given train. Conductors and motormen would change the signs as appropriate for the given service, and straphangers would see just one of these destinations at a time. As this is the entire scroll, all of the iconic routes are listed together. The sign dates to an era that saw the system divided into three privately-run divisions. Competing for public interest were the IRT (the Interborough Rapid Transit Company), the IND (the city's Independent Subway System), and the BMT (Brooklyn Manhattan Transit Corporation). The latter system ran the majority of the lines today known to Brooklyn riders, all of which are today known by a series of letters. On this sign, their original line descriptions are indicated. The L train is labeled as the 14th Street Line, the J train the Jamaica line, the R train the Fourth Ave Line, and a variety of others
The roll would look phenomenal framed or hung, either in its entirety or split between the sections. The entire sign is around nine feet, though the text portion is around six feet. The bold sans-serif text looks striking in any light, and the black matte vellum has a particular character to it. The sign has aged extremely well after decades of use, with the "Via Bridge" and "Via Tunnel" lines most well-worn. There are a few taped portions of the sign that were likely repaired by the transit company--I have not touched them. Some excess vellum from the side is also slightly torn, common on such signs. I have made no repairs to preserve the originality of the sign, but its condition as-is is generally excellent. Even the rollers at either end are still preserved. . less
18.0ʺW × 0.2ʺD × 108.0ʺH
ExcellentMinor wear consistent with age and history
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