This week, when you’re sweating it out on a hot and sticky subway platform, be glad that at least the subway cars are fortified with AC.
The 1933 photo at left depicts city officials showing off what was then a major breakthrough, a ventilation system installed to cool down trains.
The ventilation system? Basically just ceiling fans.
Air-conditioning didn’t come to subway cars until the late 1950s, and even then only a few trains had it.
Gradually more AC-equipped trains were introduced in the 1960s and 1970s.
Yet even by 1983, a subway rider had only a one in three chance of landing an air-conditioned train, according to a New York Times article from that year.