Here’s something to think about while you take the subway to work this morning; another excerpt from LIFE’s Nov. 7, 1949 issue on NYC’s underground:
[Riding the subway] has become so accustomed to the New Yorker that he is quite unaware how much his existence resembles the lot of the coal miners
Photo by Jerry Cooke. The LIFE article contains some fun facts about the subway (then in its 45th year), such as how much it costs to clean up after people “littering the sub ways with gum wads and candy wrappers” ($3,686,000 a year).
(Oh to live in an innocent time when “gum wads and candy wrappers” were the grossest things among the subway litter)