Want to watch better-quality PBS Video? Sign in to access higher-quality streaming!

When you sign in, you'll become a PBS Insider and we'll share your contact information with your local PBS station. You may receive updates to help you stay connected with what's happening online and in your community. Privacy Policy

Closed Captioning Settings


Captions look like this

Captions size

  • 15

Captions font family

Edge style

Captions color

Background color

Window color

Text Opacity

  • 100%

Background Opacity

  • 100%

Window Opacity

  • 0%
  • Save Settings
  • Reset


Constructing New York's First Subway

  • Aired: 02/17/1997
  • 01:23
  • Rating: NR
Construction on New York's Interborough Rapid Transit, or IRT, began in 1900. William Parsons, the project’s chief engineer, used a variety of techniques for underwater digging. Sometimes hydraulic shields were used; other times methods were improvised, like digging a trench in the riverbed, then sinking the tunnel roof down on top of it. At least 7,700 men would be needed to build the IRT.
Embed Options
Close ×
Constructing New York's First Subway
Constructing New York's First Subway
At least 7,700 men would be needed to build the Interborough Rapid Transit, or IRT.
Please copy this text to your clipboard.
Problems Playing Video ?
Related Links:



Watch videos from your favorite PBS KIDS shows with the PBS KIDS Video app for your tablet or phone.

Downton Abbey Collection

Bring home the complete collection: DVDs, Blu-rays, books, gifts and more. Visit ShopPBS.


helps all of us explore new worlds and ideas. Give Now

Sponsored Links