Leaflet discussing the Underground Railway ventilators 6407
Medium: Print on paper
The Metropolitan Railway in London opened the first underground railway in the world on 10 January 1863 with a line that ran between Paddington and Farringdon Street. This new and exciting mode of transport was immediately very popular: there were so many passengers that the first train to leave the station could not accommodate them all and many had to wait on the platform for a second train.
The first train carriages had wooden frames, were lit by gas lamps and had leather seats. Despite assurances that the specially designed locomotives incorporated condensers to minimise steam and smoke, and the provision of ventilation shafts at regular intervals along the tunnel, the air in the carriages was often far from fresh. This leaflet of 1883 argues for the retention of the ventilators or, if they were to be demolished, for the necessity of another system of ventilation.