CTA Validating Machine

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Machines such as this were used throughout the CTA's rapid transit system, allowing passengers to stamp a paper transfer that provided a reduced bus fare. Chicago's four early rapid transit "L" lines were privately owned and operated, each serving a different area of the rapidly growing city. The first line opened in 1892, the last in 1900. In 1897, Chicago's Union Loop elevated tracks were put into operation, allowing all the rapid transit lines to bring passengers into the city's central business district. The entire system was municipalized in 1947, when the newly formed Chicago Transit Authority took control of most of the city's rail and street transit operations.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
red (validating machine color)
black (stand color)
validating machine & stand: 51 1/2 in x 15 in x 12 1/4 in; 130.81 cm x 38.1 cm x 31.115 cm
validating machine: 11 3/4 in x 10 1/2 in x 12 1/4 in; 29.845 cm x 26.67 cm x 31.115 cm
stand: 40 in; 101.6 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Donald A. Bruno
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
America on the Move
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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