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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Enter Subway Slowly: 1904

Enter Subway Slowly: 1904

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1904. "Descent into subway, Public Garden." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Green Line

I used to take the T Green Line every day. I called it "The Nausea Express" ........for the way the train would speed-up slow down, speed-up slow-down.

Basically, for those unfamiliar with Boston and the Green Line; imagine stuffing yourself into a tiny little subway car with a couple hundred of your closest friends and very little seating (with everyone standing about one nanometer apart), add a whole lot of funky smells and the high-pitched ear-piercing screech of grinding metal, shake and stir it all together (speed-up, slow-down), and you've got the Boston T's Green Line.

Anyway. I loved living in Boston. It's a great place. I miss it - even the Green Line.


A clue as to the date: The Helping Hand Society's fair at the Park Street Vestry on October 20, 21, 22. Amateur archivist alert!

The "wicker basket"

It's a wooden bucket that most likely contained sand for traction on wet or snowy days so the trolleys could climb up grade and also for assisting in braking.

[Interesting, but the basket is behind the bucket. - Dave]


That fence looks dangerous!

A tisket, a tasket

What is the purpose of the wicker basket?

The old A Line

The car on the far right in the foreground is heading toward Park Street on what would become the old A branch of the Green Line. Current Boston commuters know the four lettered Green Line branches (B, C, D, and E), but until the early 70s the A branch ran with the B until splitting off at Comm Ave and Brighton Ave and then running through Oak Square, Newton Corner, and ending at Watertown Square.


This entrance was only used for a short period and was sealed in 1914. You can still see the ramp from underground when traveling between Boylston and Arlington stops.

There used to be a great site about the MTA/MBTA's history, including abandoned stations and entrances; it's apparently disappeared but is preserved by the Wayback Machine. If you're a trainspotter like me you'll love it.

[Below, the tunnel marked with the year 1895. - Dave]

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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