Tracing New York’s Transit History Via 15 Subway Maps
Click through to Gizmodo and then the additional links for total map and transit nerd gold.
Excerpt from Gizmodo
Though you and I are only familiar with a single MTA map, dozens of other maps have attempted to make the NYC subway, er, reasonably comprehensive over the years. It’s hard to imagine that the 1, 2, and 3 lines weren’t always red, or that the L was once known as the “16 Line,” which is what makes these old maps so fun to peruse.
The subway map we all know today is loosely based on a famous 1972 design by Massimo Vignelli, an Italian-American designer whose gem-colored diagram eschewed geographical honesty for visual clarity. At the time, Vignelli’s elegant Modernist diagram pissed a lot of New Yorkers off. “A lot of people love it,” he said thirty years later. “And a lot of people hate it, too, by the way.” Eventually, the map was replaced with the slightly more realistic version we know today. But Vignelli’s Helvetic-swathed iconography still graces everything from shirts and mugs to tattoos and children’s books.
Also seen at: Field Guide to NYC Subway Maps