March 1932 Calendar

This painting shows Jim Blood, who was born in 1862. His parents were named Singing in the Middle and Singing Under.

Click image to download a 1.5-MB PDF of this calendar. The PDF includes the calendar portion that is omitted from the above image.

While the previous two paintings showed the subject’s clothing, this one just shows his face, hat, and kerchief. It is likely that Jim Blood was wearing Europeanized clothing at the time of the portrait and Reiss didn’t want that to detract from the Native American character of the subject.

February 1932 Calendar

By 1932, the Reiss calendars used a design of simple geometric shapes. I believe that Winold Reiss himself designed the background. Note that the letters are each individually drawn to fit in the space available.

Click image to download a 1.6-MB PDF of this calendar. The PDF includes the calendar portion that is omitted from the above image.

This painting of Arrow Top was also in the 1940 portfolio. The Blackfeet geneology tells us that Arrow Top was born in 1862 to parents named Old Man and Blanket Woman. When he was 24, he married an 11-year-old girl named Squirrel. They are listed as having twelve children, at least one of whom died in infancy. Since most of the paintings Louis Hill bought from Reiss were painted in 1927 and 1928, Arrow Top was probably about 65 when this painting was made.

October 1928 Calendar

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Great Northern issued a new calendar every month, each one featuring a Winold Reiss painting of one or more Blackfeet Indians. This painting of Morning Bird was also included in the 1940 portfolio of Reiss paintings.

Click image to download a 2.1-MB PDF of this calendar.

I can’t find the name Morning Bird in the Blackfeet geneology database. A man named Harley Morning Bird recently passed away; he was the son of Harvey Morning Bird, who was born in 1927, and Mary Margaret Vielle. I can only speculate that Harvey was the son of the Morning Bird in the painting.

First Anniversary of the New Oriental Limited

Great Northern introduced a new Oriental Limited in 1924, and this brochure advertises its first birthday. I photographed the brochure at the Minnesota History Center, which doesn’t allow the use of scanners, so there are some slight parallax issues.

Click image to download an 2.7-MB PDF of this brochure.

“This New Oriental Limited is more than just a train,” says the brochure (note that “new” was made a part of the train’s name), “it is a complete system within the greater system of the railroad, and every day seven of these trains are following the banks of the Mississippi, crossing the plains of North Dakota and eastern Montana or traversing the low passes of the Rockies and the Cascades, while three more are at the terminals preparatory to their departure.” It is somewhat astounding to realize that the railroad needed ten entire train sets to serve this route, while the 1947 streamlined Empire Builder needed only five.

Glacier National Park in 1920

This booklet has the same introduction by Mary Roberts Rinehart that was used several years later in The Call of the Mountains, but otherwise appears to have different text and photos. It still contains the usual blend of stories, photos, and information about getting to and staying at the park.

Click image to download an 22.6-MB PDF of this 32-page booklet.

Great Northern hadn’t yet completed the Prince of Wales Hotel, but this booklet advertises Glacier (in East Glacier), Lake McDonald (then called Lewis’ Hotel because GN hadn’t yet purchased it), and Many Glacier hotels, Two Medicine, Going to the Sun, Sperry, and Granite Park chalets (all of which still exist except Going to the Sun).

Fishing the Skykomish River

One of the photos in yesterday’s postcard folder showed fly fishing on the Skykomish River. This was an important enough activity that Great Northern devoted a whole booklet to it in 1909.

Click image to download an 26.8-MB PDF of this 16-page booklet.

In addition to several pages of photos, the booklet includes eight pages of text lauding fly fishing on the river, which I suppose could be appreciated by anyone who is a fly fisherman. It also has three pages describing resorts on the river, in the Cascade Mountains, and around Lake Chelan. This booklet is from the Northwest Collection of the Spokane Public Library.

Oriental Limited Postcard Folder

The photos in this folder follow the route of the Oriental Limited from St. Paul to Seattle. It is dated 1906, or one year after Great Northern inaugurated the train. Published by C.H. Shaver, a news agency in St. Paul, it was no doubt sold in Great Northern train stations.


Click image to download an 11.2-MB PDF of this postcard folder.

Attracting settlers was as if not more important than attracting tourists in 1906. Nearly half of the photos in this folder show farming, logging, and other natural resources.

Cascade Postcards

This was a set of ten different postcards, but I only have five of the set. The cards are linen and say nothing about a streamlined Shasta Daylight, so I would guess they were issued either right before or right after World War II.


Click any image to download a PC of that postcard.

Monteith Rock is a prominence visible from both the railroad and from U.S. Highway 58 west of Willamette Pass.

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SP Streamliner-Era Postcards

These postcards all show Southern Pacific streamlined trains. None appear to have been issued by SP, but most were probably issued with the railroad’s cooperation to be sold at newstands in various SP train stations.

Click any image to download a PDF of that postcard.

Although this card says it was published by Western Publishing & Novelty, it also says it is a C-T Colortone. CurtTeich was probably the printer while Western Novelty was the distributor. It has a number on the front, 8A-B3002, and the “8A” indicates it was published in 1938.

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SP Pre-Streamliner Era Postcards

These postcards all appear to have been issued before 1920, and all but one of them from before 1915. One of cards is Southern Pacific issue, while the others were probably issued with the cooperation of the railroad.

Click any image to download a PDF of that postcard.

This card has a divided back, which means it was issued in 1907 or later, and a Southern Pacific logo on the back. The large white space on the front suggests it was issued right after the Postal Service allowed people to write messages on the back; prior to 1907, many postcards came with space on the front for writing messages. We’ve previously seen later postcards of the Wawona tree, which–contrary to this card–was probably about 2,300 years old when it fell in 1969.

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