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Online Gallery Talks >> The Transit Museum is pleased to present a series of Online Gallery Talks in commemoration of the centennial of the New York City subway. The Online Gallery Talk series features the voices of museum curatorial staff and guest experts and is based on museum exhibits featured throughout the centennial year. Each talk runs about an hour. Check back for new Online Gallery Talks during the year. Put on your headphones or speakers, click on an image below, and explore!

The World's Safest Railroad: Online Gallery Talk

The World's Safest Railroad
How Ivy Lee Promoted New York's Subway System, 1916-1932

As New York’s first subway entered its second decade of operation, it faced many new problems, including competition from a rival system, the BMT. In 1916, to meet these challenges, the IRT hired Ivy Lee, one of the leading public relations specialists in the country, to handle its account. Under Ivy Lee’s direction, the IRT took an innovative approach – to communicate directly with its passengers, through pamphlets, brochures, and special poster series. Lee created The Subway Sun and The Elevated Express which fast became New York City institutions, depicting New York City life in the 1920s and 30s. This Online Gallery Talk features New York Transit Museum senior curator Charles Sachs and prominent public relations expert Chester Burger discussing extremely rare materials drawn from the Ivy Lee Papers from the Princeton University Library.

New York's Forgotten Substations: Online Gallery Talk

New York's Forgotten Substations
The Power Behind the Subway

This Online Gallery Talk features Christopher Payne, photographer and author of New York’s Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway. Payne talks with the Museum's Associate Curator about his recent exhibition of photographs of turn-of-the-century power substations that once housed huge mechanical rotary generators that converted standard alternating current (AC) power to the direct current, or DC power, needed to drive New York City’s subway system.

Subway Style: Online Gallery Talk

Subway Style
Design & Architecture in the New York City Subway

Conceived over a century ago as a great public work, New York City’s subway system melded innovative engineering with stylish architecture and interior design. Today, the system is such an essential part of city life that it is easy to overlook its design features. This Online Gallery Talk features photographer Andrew Garn, New York Transit Museum associate curator Carissa Amash, and assistant project manager Dana Zullo showcasing examples of architecture, ceramics, metalwork, lighting, signage and furnishings, and providing some behind-the-scenes insight into the capturing of the images for the related exhibition.

Notes: The Online Gallery Talks require Flash and speakers or headphones. You may need to turn off pop-up blocking software before launching.