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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hudson & Manhattan Tubes: 1908

Hudson  & Manhattan Tubes: 1908

"New York - New Jersey Tunnel." One of two pairs of Hudson & Manhattan Railroad tunnels under the Hudson River sometime around their opening in 1908, after more than 30 years of off-and-on construction. A century later, the system operates the PATH trains between New Jersey and New York. View full size. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. (History of the tubes.)

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If you look closely at the full-size photo, it looks quite like there are lights - either electric or gaslight - on the walls; look at the left-hand tunnel. Also, the shadows seem too indistinct for a single point source. I've done similar tunnel photography (see, and my experience suggests even flash powder wouldn't get you the effect seen here.


I wondered the same thing. The near ground is illuminated perfectly for the print, even by today's standards. Whatever was used was done expertly.


I'm curious as to how they illuminated that tunnel to get the shot - it looks like a floodlight!

[My guess would be flash powder. Although I suppose there were electric floodlights in 1908. - Dave]


I would like to know how fast trains traveled at this time in history.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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