Ellen Nash's poster
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Miss Subways beauty contest showed the faces of NYC

As commuters rode the New York City subway in the 1940s, their eyes were drawn to posters of pretty young women.

Miss Subways, a beauty contest run by the New York Subways Advertising Company, featured the fresh visages of young women who lived and worked in New York. It lasted for more than three decades, ending in 1976.

Photographer Fiona Gardner became interested in the contest in 2004, when the agency brought it back in a limited form.

Gardner and journalist Amy Zimmer went in search of former Miss Subways across the US for their book Meet Miss Subways: New York's Beauty Queens 1941-1976.

They photographed the women again and asked how their lives had been changed by the contest.

Photographs courtesy of Fiona Gardner.

Produced by Taylor Kate Brown; edited by Bill McKenna.

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