2020 – Collections: The Hudson River Tunnels

(ignore the May 1, 2017 publish date – this was published on April 17, 2020)



Before the Lincoln Tunnel (1937), before the Holland Tunnel (1927), there were (and still are) the Hudson Tubes, which opened in 1909 and in which trains ran/run between the Hudson Terminal/World Trade Center in lower Manhattan and Jersey City, NJ.

This commemorative medallion celebrates the opening of the Tubes (“Three minutes from Broadway”):


This 1920 sheet music – seen in an earlier post (https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=6696) shows all the happy bigwigs rushing into the new river-crossing of choice. If you’d like to read the song’s pro-New Jersey, anti-prohibition lyrics, click the link.


I don’t have many Holland Tunnel items – not my favorite tunnel.

This postcard shows the inside of the Holland Tunnel. It looks similar to the Lincoln Tunnel, but how much tunnel variety could you expect between 1927 and 1937?


75 years after it opened, we have this:



The caption seems to imply that this is a photograph of the approach, but it appears to be an early mockup that’s sitting on a table somewhere before the tunnel got its name. The caption also got the state wrong:


Prior to the tunnel’s opening, this fold-out brochure was created. This shows the first two pages:


This rendering takes up pages 3,4 and 5:


Page 6:


This commemorative envelope was postmarked the day before the tunnel opened:


These two large photos – one fuzzy and one semi-fuzzy – appear to have been taken at the dedication ceremonies:


This is the commemorative medallion for those ceremonies:


This was published by Creative Educational Society in 1940:


Inside the Lincoln Tunnel:


Outside the Tunnel:


Variations on a theme: the NJ approach


So where does all that toll money go? Into a locked Lincoln Tunnel money bag that looks like it says “P.A.N.Y.A.”, (I can’t make any sense of that.) It probably says, “P.O.N.Y.A. (Port of New York Authority) – its original name from 1921 to 1972, when it became The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:


You may have noticed that all the images are from the New Jersey side. I DO have one from the New York side, but somebody screwed up big time on the flip side’s caption…………they even got the decade wrong:

The cars shown are from a time closer to the tunnel’s opening in 1937. But the caption is from the 50s (its mentioned subject opened in 1951).

To prove that these aren’t two different cards, look at the diagonal crease in the upper right corner of the top image and find the corresponding crease in the upper left of the bottom one.

Oh, I think I see the problem! Look below that upper left crease…………..this is a HoJo card that was probably NOT sold at a Lincoln Tunnel HoJo rest stop.


Well, it may turn out to NOT be the super-rare error card I thought it was. I just checked eBay and there are FIVE of these being sold – and all have the error. Four of the sellers didn’t notice it and the one who did acted like it was supposed to be there.




One Comment

  1. Robert D Griffin April 17, 2020

    Just 3 years to complete the Lincoln Tunnel. Imagine how long it would take nowadays.

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