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Decades of Miss Subways smiled on NYC straphangers

By Ula Ilnytzky

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 12 2012 12:35 a.m. MDT

This image provided by the MTA courtesy of the New York Transit Museum shows Ellen Hart, who appeared on placards in the New York City subways during March and April of 1959 in the “Meet Miss Subways” campaign that ran for 35 years as eye candy to bring attention to other advertisements in New York’s transit system. "Meet Miss Subways: New York's Beauty Queens 1941-76," is now an exhibition at the New York Transit Museum running Oct. 23-March 25, and a companion book of the same name with current-day photos of the women.

MTA courtesy of the New York Transit Museum, Associated Press

NEW YORK — It was an ad campaign conceived as eye candy for other advertisements in New York's transit system. But the "Meet Miss Subways" beauty contest posters of young women and their aspirations quickly evolved into a popular fixture that ran for 35 years, from 1941 to 1976.

When photographer Fiona Gardner first learned about it she "immediately wanted to know what happened to all the women."

She set out to find out.

The result is "Meet Miss Subways: New York's Beauty Queens 1941-76," an exhibition at the New York Transit Museum that runs from Oct. 23 to March 25.

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Online: www.mta.info/mta/museum/

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