The Astoria Elevated runs from Queensboro Plaza north to Ditmars Boulevard on 31st Street; it has been here since 1917, and was originally run in an unusual joint operation by Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit and Interborough Rapid Transit. The two operators were bifurcated in 1949, when the IRT got the Flushing Line and the BMT got the Astoria, which is why the #7 runs on the Flushing tracks and various letter trains including the B, N, Q and W have all run on the Astoria.
Behind the Astoria Line we see buildings that belonged to the Marblette Corporation, which manufactured industrial plastic (specifically phenolic resins) used in the manufacture of oven handles, cooking tools and decorative door and cabinet parts, and other household items. It competed in the market with Bakelite which had many of the same uses.
Marblette was in Astoria from 1931 to 1982; before that time they had been acquired by one company and then another. The company’s painted signs remain on 30th and 31st Streets north of 38th Avenue.