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38 Breathtaking Pictures From The Early Days Of The London Underground

From the Victorian era through to World War Two - featuring tube strikes, carriage redesigns, passenger complaints, ticket machines and air raid shelters.

1. Circa 1863: The first Metropolitan train on the underground line passing through Praed Street, London.

Hulton Archive / Getty

2. Chancellor William Ewart Gladstone on an inspection tour of the world’s first underground line, 24th May 1862.

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3. Liverpool Street station, circa 1890.

London Stereoscopic Company / Hulton Archive / Getty

4. Map and illustrations showing the new Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton underground tube route, linking London stations from Hammersmith to Finsbury Park, 1906.

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5. Hammersmith Broadway, 1910.

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6. The interior of a District Line Underground carriage, 1911.

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7. The ticket hall of Liverpool Street Station, 1912.

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8. The platform of the Central London Railway extension at Liverpool Street Station, 1912.

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9. Interior of an all-steel London underground train, circa 1920.

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10. A man writing on a complaints poster, 1922.

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11. Farringdon Street (Farringdon) Station in March 1924.

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12. The entrance to Blackfriars Underground station, 1924.

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13. Clapham South, 1926.

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14. London tram workers queue up for their pay at the tram subway in Kingsway, High Holborn, 1926.

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15. An underground train being transported on wheels through the streets of London, 1926.

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16. The Mayor of Westminster turns on the escalators at Piccadilly Circus in 1928.

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17. British director Anthony Asquith (1902-1968), right, directing his new film ‘Underground’ from an escalator on the London underground, May 1928.

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18. Construction work at the ticketing area of the new Piccadilly tube station, 1928.

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19. The Hon Anthony Asquith filming commuters for his film of the underground, 1928.

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20. Platforms are lengthened at Euston Square underground station, 1930.

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21. A passenger takes a ticket from the machine at Piccadilly Circus, 1930.

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22. A traveller buys a London Underground season ticket from a vending machine at Highgate Station, 1932.

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23. Passengers on an escalator, September 1932. The posts were erected to avoided a crush during rush hours.

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24. Leicester Square, 1933.

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25. A group of Sikh men outside the entrance to Hyde Park Corner, circa 1935.

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26. New interiors in 1936: more seating, better lighting and ventilation and a more streamlined shape.

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27. A passenger opening one of the doors on the Hammersmith and City Underground Line, which have been fitted with new buttons for opening and closing doors, 1936.

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28. London’s Charing Cross Road with the Hippodrome and Leicester Square station on the left, 1938.

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29. The entrance to Embankment, 1938.

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30. A strike causes huge queues to build up at the bus stops outside Liverpool Street, 1939.

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31. Stockwell station, 1939.

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32. City gents, 1939.

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33. A guard outside a station which has been closed to the public two days after Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, 5th September 1939.

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34. People asleep on the platform of Holborn underground station during an air raid, 1940.

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35. People asleep on the platform at Piccadilly Tube Station, London during an air raid, 1940.

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36. People asleep on the escalators at Piccadilly Tube Station, London, during an air raid, 1940.

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37. Piccadilly, 1940.

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38. Piccadilly, 1940.

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39. Bonus: here’s the film Anthony Asquith was shooting.

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