At York Street, you might notice this porcelain on steel sign along the walls of the subway tube. NO SMOKING, NO SPITTING it warns straphangers under Sanitary Code Sect. 216. These signs date from before the consolidation of the subway, and the individual companies would put up messages to discourage bad behavior.
For the full text: “Smoking in subway is prohibited. Smoking or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette or pipe in or on any stairway, platform, station or car of any railway running underneath the ground surface is herby prohibited.”
The sign came courtesy of the Board of Transportation, the Board of Health and the City of New York. We haven’t found evidence that the sanitary code exists anymore, and given the urgency about cigars we’re assuming it’s been replaced by another regulation.
For more fun signs, Forgotten NY has put together some of the vintage cartoons about subway etiquette published under the fake newspaper, “The Subway Sun.”