The Secret Subway is an interesting look at New York City in the 1860s, when the streets were clogged with horses, animals, people and dirt. Transportation was a big problem, and an inventor named Alfred Ely Beach had an idea. He built a secret pneumatic train, underground.
This book reads much more like a story than most nonfiction books, and gives a great picture of the city above and below ground, and what it took to build the subway. Though Beach’s underground train was initially a success, politics and eventual lack of interest led Beach to eventually abandon his invention. Many years later (around 1900) when the current New York subway system was being built, tunnelers found Beach’s tunnel and train.