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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Stairway to Northbound Trains sign from a Chicago Transit Station
Catalog #: 2003.0074.14, Accession #: 2003.0074
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Sign used at an "L" Loop station house.
Physical Description
Artifact. Rectangular wooden board with holes at each corner for hanging, and the words STAIRWAY TO NORTH BOUND TRAINS stenciled in black. A painted black rectangle at the bottom has the words DOWN STAIRS and an arrow stenciled out. Painted remnants of the word CLOSED (backwards) are visible behind the more recent lettering. 31 L x 8 1/4 W x 7/8D
Date Made:
Early -mid 1900s
Gift of Chicago Transit Authority
Chicago's four early rapid transit "L" lines were privately owned and operated, each serving a different area of the rapidly growing city . The first line opened in 1892, the last in 1900. In 1897, Chicago's Union Loop elevated tracks were put into operation, allowing all the rapid transit lines to bring passengers into the city's central business district. The entire system was municipilized in 1947, when the newly formed Chicago Transit Authority took control of most of the city's rail and street transit operations.
Related People, Places, and Events
Chicago Transit Authority

Place of Use
Chicago, Illinois

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