So proud of the Lincoln Tunnel, it’s on a postcard

While New York’s bridges are often praised for their grace and beauty, the city’s tunnels get little love. And that’s especially true for the Lincoln Tunnel.

But in 1937, when the first of the Lincoln Tunnel’s three underwater tubes opened for car traffic, it was cause for celebration, with “gala festivities” like a military parade, aerial bombs, and an artillery salute,” reported the New York Times the day before opening day, December 21.

The last of the three tunnels was competed in 1957. How proud was the city about this conduit between New York and New Jersey? A photo of one bendy section made it onto a postcard.

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14 Responses to “So proud of the Lincoln Tunnel, it’s on a postcard”

  1. tom Says:

    There’s someone walking on the card. Were you able to walk through the tunnel back then?

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I’ve never heard that it was open to foot traffic. That’s probably the Port Authority official who let the photographer in . . . or shut off vehicular traffic so he could get that car-free view!

  3. S. Says:

    Yeah, tunnels were big deals then. I have a postcard, in color, of the Holland tunnel from around 1930.

  4. Fla George Says:

    I see “completed in 1957. The Lincoln tunnel was completed long before 1957. My dad worked on it but quit as sandhog thing was not in his favor. I don’t do caves either

  5. Emma Garst Says:

    I’ve never actually been through the Lincoln tunnel, but the Manhattan half marathon took us through the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel. It was pretty cool, although I would have enjoyed it a lot more at mile 2 than mile 12!

  6. Zoe Says:

    Or the *person* in the photo is *evidence* of a ghost. Drowned ship’s crewman or boater… watery burial after a homicide… scattered ashes of a loved one… someone who lost their life working on the tunnel… I’m surprised nobody here thought of that. (I am joking ghosthunters).

  7. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    It’s President Lincoln checking out yet another monument/public works bearing his name….

  8. Kenny Says:

    It is strange that Abraham Lincoln has never really been embraced by New York City even though this is where he rose to national fame after the Cooper Union debate. Certainly not popular in the city during his lifetime. And now just the tunnel, the art center and a statue in Union Square Park bear his name.

  9. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    That’s an interesting observation. NYC probably has more things named after or relating to Lafayette than Lincoln. But don’t forget Abraham Lincoln High School Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn!

  10. Kenny Says:

    If that’s a ghost why would he /she cautiously walk on the narrow sidewalk?
    This isn’t Charleston, ENY readers, give up the ghost theories.

    • Zoe Says:

      Oh Kenny… So if it was a New Yorker ghost it would be standing in the road vs. on the sidewalk or crossing against the light w/ a mob of other pedestrian ghosts (which my GV born&bred friend called the ‘lemming’ effect… when a lot of NYers decide to cross against the light in front of speeding traffic — risking death as if they are one bioorganism)/crashing into ghosts riding ghost bicycles… etc.?

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