In 2009 we looked back at the Miss Subways of yesteryear, as the ol' gals gathered for a bit of a reunion when photographer Fiona Gardner and journalist Amy Zimmer got them together to gather their stories, along with some new portraits. Now they've funded the resulting book via Kickstarter, and the Transit Museum is hosting a new exhibition called "Meet Miss Subways: New York’s Beauty Queens 1941-76," which will open on October 23rd.
"For over thirty years, photos and biographies of New York women were displayed in subway cars as part of the “Meet Miss Subways” advertising campaign and beauty pageant. Young women of mostly middle and working class backgrounds were selected, not just for their looks, but for their hopes and aspirations. 'Meet Miss Subways: New York’s Beauty Queens 1941-76' will look beyond the pretty faces and pageant sashes to expose a fascinating and invaluable record of the changes and challenges which have shaped New York women. Originally conceived as a way to draw attention to nearby ads for chewing gum, tobacco and other products, the contest became a compelling platform for civil rights debates in the city."
While the program ended in 1976, it was brought back in 2004 to honor the 100th anniversary of the subways. Click through for a little sneak peek at the exhibit, which will also include a few events.