Aeroplane Map of Glacier National Park

Though Brits still say aeroplane, the word airplane replaced aeroplane as the standard term in the United States in 1916. So GN’s use of the older term must have been merely for nostalgic effect, or perhaps to cast a posh, British air (aer?) over its Glacier Park hotels.

Click image to download an 8.0-MB PDF of this brochure.

This brochure, which has a colorful map on one side and black-and-white photos and text, with brown trim, on the other side, is undated. One photo shows a bus that is clearly older than the Glacier Park red jammers, which were introduced in 1936. So I would date the brochure to sometime between 1930 and 1935.

Trail Riding in 1935

Though this booklet has nearly the same title as yesterday’s, it is completely different from front to back. Perhaps to help promote Great Northern’s 1935 book of Winold Reiss’ paintings, this booklet features a painting of a Blackfeet Indian boy that was not in the Reiss book.

Click image to download a 20.5-MB PDF of this 32-page booklet.

The 1935 copyright note on the cover refers to the painting, not the booklet itself, but the booklet probably came out that year or shortly thereafter. The booklet mentions Olympic National Forest, but not Olympic Park, so it was published before 1938, when that park was created.

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Trail Riding in the Rockies

This booklet is undated, but it refers to the completion of Going-to-the-Sun Road “this summer.” The Park Service says that it “celebrated the completion of the Going-to-the Sun Road on July 15, 1933,” so the booklet must date from 1932 or 1933. Its crisp black-and-white photos and detailed tour descriptions give an enticing view of hiking and horseback riding in the park. Though some of the lodges have closed, most if not all of the trails described in the booklet are still open today.

Click image to download a 21.9-MB PDF of this 32-page booklet.

While the book lists many day trips, it is the longer trips that sound most intriguing. Trip costs ranged from $11 to $27 per person per day depending on the number of people in the party (the more people, the lower the cost per person). “A special guide and one cook, including their horses, are furnished parties of one or two persons, and for each additional three persons or any part of that number another helper is added,” the booklet says. These rates are about $150 to $375 per day in today’s dollars, which are pretty comparable to rates today.

GN Blotters from After 1936

Rocky replaced Old Bill in 1936, so all of these blotters from the Dale Hastin collection are from that year or later. The first two are simple, with the only difference between them being the color. Unusually for blotters, the same color of paper is used through the entire thickness of the blotter, instead of different colors in different layers as on many blotters.

Click image to download a 356-KB PDF of this blotter.

The message, “Fast, Convenient, Save, Economical,” is, by coincidence, echoed by my own theory of transportation investments: such investments pay off only if they meet the SECS test with SECS referring to Speed, Economy, Convenience, and Safety. In other words, new transportation systems are a waste of money if they don’t improve most if not all of these factors.

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GN 1929-1935 Blotters

In 1929, GN completed its 7.9-mile Cascade Tunnel, as commemorated in the blotter below. This blotter is from the GN archives at the Minnesota History Center, so I can definitely date it to 1929.

Click image to download a 356-KB PDF of this blotter.

GN President Ralph Budd decided that the faster times allowed by the Cascade Tunnel warranted a new train, so the Oriental Limited was replaced by the Empire Builder as the railway’s premiere train. As the blotter below states, the new train “saves a business day” because it took three nights and two days to get between Chicago and Seattle, compared with the Oriental Limited, which took three nights and three days. This blotter from the Dale Hastin collection has no date but is probably from around 1930.

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GN Indian Blotters

The first two blotters today are from the 1928 files in the GN archives at the Minnesota History Center.

Click image to download a 225-KB PDF of this blotter.

Chief Two Guns White Calf somewhat resembled the face on the buffalo nickel, so Great Northern marketing told the public that the sculptor who designed the nickel used Two Guns as a model. This wasn’t true, but the GN said it so often that Two Guns himself probably believed it.

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More 1928 Blotters

As a big shipper of apples from the Wenatchee Valley, GN loved to promote National Apple Week with special menus, recipe cards, and in this case a blotter. This and the other blotters shown today are from the Minnesota History Center Great Northern archives.

Click image to download a 266-KB PDF of this blotter.

The next blotter is similar but features raisins. Since few grapes were grown along GN’s route, this makes less sense–and raisin pie doesn’t sound very appetizing. Perhaps raisins were considered a delicacy in 1928.

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GN 1928 Blotters

All but one of these blotters are from the Great Northern archive at the Minnesota History Center, so I can confidently date them to 1928. Since the history center does not allow the use of scanners, I copied these using a camera, which leads to some slight distortion near the right and left edges.

Click image to download a 295-KB PDF of this blotter.

The first one seems designed to appeal to provincial interests in St. Paul, whose residents no doubt felt a strong rivalry with Minneapolis and, to a lesser extent, Milwaukee. Unfortunately, GN’s main competitor, Northern Pacific, was also headquartered in St. Paul, and in fact in the same building shown on the left side of this blotter.

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Early Great Northern Blotters

These blotters from the Dale Hastin collection are from the 1910s to the early 1920s. The first two are dated 1915, and include photos of Marguerite Motie, who was named Miss Spokane in 1912.

Note that the blotters urge passengers to take the Great Northern to the “1915 Exposition,” meaning the Panama expositions in San Francisco and San Diego. As previously noted here, Great Northern had a large exhibit at the San Francisco exposition.

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1929 Portfolio of Blackfoot Indian Portraits

My notes say this portfolio, which is from the Spokane Public Library Northwest Collection, was published in 1929, which is probably based on the tattered envelope the portfolio came in. The railway gave much greater care to this portfolio, which includes eight paintings by Winold Reiss and four by Langdon Kihn, than to Kihn’s solo portfolio, not only printing in color but mounting the paintings on gold paper that was then mounted on a black background as opposed to the nondescript grey background of the Kihn portfolio.

This painting by Winold Reiss truly humanizes its subject. Compare with the Langdon Kihn paintings on pages 13 and 15 of the portfolio, which look more like paintings of a costume with part of a face glued on top. Click image to download a 9.9-MB PDF of 12 prints.

While Louis Hill may have learned about Langdon Kihn’s paintings as early as 1921, he wasn’t introduced to Winold Reiss until 1925, when Reiss’ brother wrote Hill asking the tycoon to sponsor a second trip to Glacier, where Reiss could complete more Indian portraits. Hill not only agreed to support a 1927 trip, he purchased 51 paintings that Reiss completed that season. Reiss visited Glacier for many years after that, and Hill continued to purchase most of his Blackfoot paintings.

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