Brooklyn - Manhattan Transit Corporation


SKU: 1371
Product Details

Intricately engraved antique voting trust certificate from the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation dating back to the 1920's and 1930's. This document, which is signed by the company Vice President, was printed by the American Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).


This certificate's beautiful vignette features a female figure with a globe and a winged wheel.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

Historical Context

The Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation took over the assets of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company in 1923 following the previous company's bankruptcy. Like its predecessor it controlled subsidiaries which operated the great majority of the rapid transit and streetcar lines in Brooklyn with extensions into Queens and Manhattan. One of these, New York Rapid Transit Corporation operated the elevated and subway lines.

In 1923, their president, Gerhard Melvin Dahl, published a document called "Transit Truths" to explain the issues the company faced. In it he complained that the company had "met with the bitter, personal and unfair opposition of Mayor Hylan." In a separate letter to Hylan he said: "For seven years, you have been misleading and fooling the people in this community… For seven years, you have blocked every effort at transit relief. You, and only you, are to blame for the present…deplorable condition of the whole transit situation. You have used the transit situation as a political escalator".

In the late 1930s, the BMT was pressed by the City administration of Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia to sell its operations to the City, which wanted to have all subway and elevated lines municipally owned and operated. The City had two powerful incentives to coerce the sale:

1. The BMT was forced by provisions of the Dual Contracts to charge no more than a five-cent fare, an amount set in 1913, before the inflation of World War I.

2. The City had the right of “recapture” of those lines that had been built or improved with City participation under those Dual Contracts. This meant that, if the City forced the issue, the BMT could have been left with a fragmented system and City competition in many of its market areas.

The BMT sold all of its transit operations to the City on June 1, 1940.


After World War II the city-built IND subway took over parts of the former BMT, starting in 1954 with the extension of the D train from its terminal at Church Avenue via a new connection with the former BMT Culver line at Ditmas Avenue. From 1954 the three remaining Culver stations between Ninth Avenue and Ditmas Avenue were used by the Culver Shuttle. The service was discontinued in 1975 because of budget cuts and was later demolished.

The 60th Street Tunnel Connection between the IND Queens Boulevard Line and BMT Broadway Line opened in December 1955. This new route was used by the BMT Brighton local, which formerly ran to Astoria, for service to Forest Hills along with the IND GG local. The next year saw the new extension of the IND Fulton Street Line (A train) in Brooklyn connected to the rebuilt section of the former BMT Fulton Street elevated at 80th Street in Queens in April,1956. The portion of the BMT Fulton Street El running west of 80th Street to Rockaway Avenue was demolished.

The late 1950s and early 1960s saw the biggest project of that era with the building of the Chrystie Street Connection, and the IND Sixth Ave express tracks. This project connected the IND Sixth Avenue services to the BMT services that ran over the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges. Express services were directly connected to the Manhattan Bridge, and local services could use either the Williamsburg Bridge or the existing Rutgers Street Tunnel. Both connections opened in November 1967 and created the largest re-routing of train services in the history of the NYCTA. The BMT West End and Brighton Lines became served primarily by IND services as a result.

Between 1967 and 1976, some IND Sixth Avenue trains called KK and later K, used the Chrystie Street Connection to the BMT Jamaica Line over the Williamsburg Bridge. That connection was discontinued due to budget cuts in 1976.

In 1988, the BMT Archer Avenue Line was opened, connecting to what was then the east end of the BMT Jamaica Line. Two stations—Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue–JFK Airport and Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer—were added.

In 1989, the BMT 63rd Street Line opened as an extension of the express tracks of the BMT Broadway Line, connecting to the IND 63rd Street Line at Lexington Avenue–63rd Street station. A connection from the Broadway/63rd Street Lines to the IND Second Avenue Line opened in 2017.

In June 2010, as a result of more budget cuts, the Chrystie Street Connection was put back into revenue service use for M service.


The BMT operated rapid transit (subway and elevated lines) through the New York Rapid Transit Corporation and surface transit (streetcars and buses) through the Brooklyn and Queens Transit Corporation.

The BMT was a national leader in the transit industry, and was a proponent of advanced urban railways, participating in development of advanced streetcar designs, including the PCC car, whose design and advanced components influenced railcar design worldwide for decades. The company also sought to extend the art of rapid transit car design with such innovations as articulated (multi-jointed-body) cars, lightweight equipment, advanced control systems, and shared components with streetcar fleets.

Unlike the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), the other private operator of subways in New York City, the BMT remained solvent throughout the Great Depression and showed a profit, albeit small in its last year, until the very end of its transit operations.

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