Believe it or not, there was once a time when the subway was celebrated! Channel 13 just launched a video site hosting their visual vault of old shows. The below is from a program that originally aired in 1975, and in part shows the 1870 attempt at an underground transit system. The Beach Pneumatic Transit was a demonstration line secretly built by Scientific American editor Alfred Ely Beach. He constructed the 312-foot tunnel in 58 nights, unbeknownst to those above ground, and once complete it was unveiled to the masses. What they found underground wasn't just a subway, but a ballroom of sorts -- complete with grand piano. Fancy! The glory days didn't last long though, and the program's main focus is on the much less celebrated 2nd Avenue subway, a story that couldn't differ more from the small success of Beach's line.
The '70s saw three 2nd Avenue groundbreaking ceremonies. Just last year we saw the latest groundbreaking in the still ongoing saga, and we wonder how many more we'll have this decade. History, after all, does tend to repeat itself.