The Boston subway is the
oldest in the United states. It is officially called the
MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority), but
is known locally as "The T".
The subway has been
immortalized in song and fiction. The most famous
publicity is the Kingston Trio Song "MTA" which tells of
the misfortune of a man named Charlie who, according to
the song, Music maestro, please!, was stuck on a
train due to a fare increase.
From The Kingston
Trio at Large
These are the
times that try men's souls. In the course of our
nation's history, the people of Boston have rallied
bravely whenever the rights of men have been threatened.
Today, a new crisis has arisen. The Metropolitan Transit
Authority, better known as the M.T.A., is attempting to
levy a burdensome tax on the population in the form of a
subway fare increase. Citizens, hear me out! This could
happen to you!
(Eight bar guitar, banjo
Well, let me tell
you of the story of a man named Charley
on a tragic and
He put ten cents
in his pocket, kissed his wife and family,
went to ride on
Well, did he ever return? No, he never returned and
his fate is still unknown.
(What a pity! Poor ole Charlie. Shame and scandal.
He may ride forever. Just like Paul Revere.)
He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston.
He's the man who never returned.
Charlie handed in
his dime at the Kendall Square Station
and he changed for
When he got there
the conductor told him, "One more nickel."
get off of that train.
Now, all night
long Charlie rides through the station,
crying, "What will
become of me?!!
How can I afford
to see my sister in Chelsea
or my cousin in
goes down to the Sculley Square Station
every day at
quarter past two,
And through the
open window she hands Charlie a sandwich
as the train comes
Now, you citizens
of Boston, don't you think it's a scandal
how the people
have to pay and pay?
Fight the fare
increase! Vote for George O'Brien!
Get poor Charlie
off the M. T. A.
He's the man who
He's the man who
Et tu Charlie?
Lifecast@aol.com has advised that the last line is a
play on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar-"Et tu Brutus:"
and music by J.Steiner and B.Howes
Atlantic Music Co. B.M.I.
The subway was
also featured in a Science Fiction Story. "A Subway
Named Möbius " which deals with a lost train when the
system became a Möbius Strip. The site
has this information:
After the completion of a new
addition to a subway system, making the system
completely closed, one of the subways disappears, with
more than 300 passengers on board. A mathematician named
Tupelo says that because the system is closed and
interconnected, the subway must still be there, but in
the 4th dimension. An investigation turns up nothing.
Months later, Tupelo boards a subway car, and doesn’t
notice for several minutes that the newspapers the
passengers are reading are months old. Car 86, the one
that had been missing, has returned, and the passengers
have no idea that any extra time has elapsed.
This story has
been reprinted in, among other places,
Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 12 (1950).
The author of this story was a professor of Mathematics
at Harvard, and Asimov believes that this may have been
his only science fiction story.
Möbius Strip, [is a
]surface that can be formed by taking a long,
rectangular strip of paper, rotating the ends 180° with
respect to one another, and joining the ends together to
form a loop. The Möbius strip is a two-dimensional
surface that has only one side. This can be demonstrated
by drawing a line down the middle of the loop; the line
will eventually end up where it began. Another curious
property is that if the Möbius strip is cut along the
line down the middle of the loop, it will become a
single two-sided loop, instead of falling apart into two
loops. The Möbius strip is named after the German
mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius, who was a pioneer
in topology in the 1800s.
A Möbius strip is three-dimensional, but it only has
one side. If you try to trace a line down just the
inside or just the outside of the loop, you will
find that the line passes over all of the loop
before coming back to the starting point. This shows
that the loop has only one side.
Microsoft ® Encarta ®
2008. © 1993-2007
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Strips have been used as conveyor belts (to make
them last longer, since "each side" gets the same
amount of wear) and as continuous-loop recording
tapes (to double the playing time). In the 1960's
Laboratories used Möbius Strips in the design of
versatile electronic resistors. Free-style
skiers have christened one of their acrobatic
stunts the Möbius Flip.
Enough of Math
and music- back to the T
The system has three
subway lines and five active trolley
lines. They also have commuter rail and Bus
Rapid Transit- the Silver Line . They even run
some Ferry service .