Canadian National 1955 Freight Map

As shown in the image below, one panel of this brochure shows off CN passenger trains, but the rest is devoted to describing CN’s expedited shipping services. The main map is identical to the one used in the 1954 map, while four smaller maps must be oriented to exporters to the United States as they show CN facilities in Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, and on the Central of Vermont.

Click image to download a 13.0-MB PDF of this brochure.

Canadian National would not be completely Dieselized until 1960. But this brochure gives no hint that the railway is still relying on steam locomotion. A photo of a Diesel is accompanied by a caption reading, “Diesel locomotives haul freight trains smoothly and swiftly on the Grand Trunk Western.” Note that this doesn’t mean GTW was exclusively using Diesels; like parent CN, it continued to use steam locomotives until 1960.

Canadian National 1954 System Map

The cover of this map shows the streamlined, Dieselized Super Continental in place of the semi-streamlined, steam-powered Continental Limited that was on the cover of earlier editions. CN introduced this train on April 24, 1955, the same day that Canadian Pacific introduced its stainless-steel dome-car equipped Canadian.

Click image to download a 13.7-MB PDF of this brochure.

The brochure now has four color photos, two of Jasper Lodge and one each of Minaki and Pictou lodges. The map and text are nearly identical to the 1947 map. One minor change is the 1947 map describes Jasper as “the largest park in America” while 1954 changes this to “largest playground in America.” Someone must have told CN about Wood Buffalo National Park, which–since it was established in 1922–was and is more than four times larger than Jasper.

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Minaki Lodge 1954 Menu

In 1914, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway built a hotel in Minaki, a resort area in northwestern Ontario. The hotel burned to the ground in 1925, and Grand Trunk successor Canadian National rebuilt it into a major lodge that opened in 1927. CN continued to operate it until the year after this menu was issued, when it sold it to a real estate company. The hotel then went through a succession of owners including the Ontario government, which spent $50 million renovating it only to sell it for $4 million. In 2003, it burned to the ground again and, since the owner at the time lacked insurance, has not been rebuilt.

Click image to download a 1.6-MB PDF of this menu.

This is a dining car menu, not from the hotel. One side says, “Dining Car Service” and lists a la carte items; the other side lists non-alcoholic beverages, cigars, and cigarettes. There’s no indication whether this is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, though it does say “See Table d’hôte Menu” (which isn’t included) for other items. While there are plenty of egg dishes on the menu, it also has sandwiches, salads, and vegetables, so I suspect it is a lunch menu. I’m dating this to 1954 solely because of a handwritten note reading “July 17, 1954.”

Jasper National Park: 1953

This 1953 edition of a presumably annual booklet continues to advance the use of color. It includes ten color photos and eight large, four-color graphics illustrating the interiors of Jasper Lodge and its golf course. However, highlight colors are limited to cyan and, on just one page, magenta.

Click image to download a 54.3-MB PDF of this 46-page brochure.

Page 35 of both this booklet and yesterday’s has little illustrations of people wearing clothing appropriate for Jasper. Although the basic illustrations are identical in both booklets, the color combinations in this one are somewhat different. I’m not sure it’s an improvement.

Jasper National Park: 1948

This 44-page booklet (plus fold-out map) makes a more sophisticated use of color than pre-war advertising such as the 1940 Quebec booklet. First, it has nine full-color photos including the photos on the front and back covers. Second, pages with black-and-white photos are highlighted with solid colors that aren’t always yellow or cyan: some are green, and at least two pages have green and one other color, either cyan or yellow. There are even some four-color illustrations on pages 27 and 35.

Click image to download a 35.6-MB PDF of this 46-page brochure.

This is slightly more advanced that Canadian Pacific’s 1948 booklet about the Rockies. That booklet uses color photos but all highlights are either magenta or cyan.

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Canadian National 1947 System Map

With the end of the war, CN could print this map on higher-quality paper than yesterday’s. It also features a four-color illustration on the cover and one four-color photo inside the folds of the brochure. The maps are nearly identical, but some of the text and photos have been updated to attract post-war tourists instead of wartime business travelers.

Click image to download a 12.8-MB PDF of this brochure.

For example, two panels are used to describe Jasper Park Lodge, including the one color photo showing tourists looking at a scenic view while an an auto tour of the park. One panel each are devoted to Minaki Lodge in Ontario and Pictou Lodge in Nova Scotia, both part of “Canadian National’s Hotels of Distinction.”

Canadian National 1944 System Map

“This folder is printed on newsprint paper in conformity with the requirements of the wartime prices and trade board,” so it has yellowed quite a bit. The non-map side has descriptions of destinations reachable by Canadian National illustrated by two-dozen black-and-white photos of trains, hotels, and cities.

Click image to download a 12.5-MB PDF of this brochure.

Despite wartime travel restrictions, the booklet also includes an attractive drawing of what appears to be a luxurious CN passenger train, complete with semi-streamlined steam locomotive, passing through the Rocky Mountains. However, the accompanying text is quick to point out that CN is “Canada’s greatest war industry,” carrying “materials and men in a constant and ever-increasing stream, comprising the major portion of Canada’s contribution to the United Nations’ war effort.”

Historic Quebec

Quebec residents in 1940 still hauled freight with horses and wagons and baked bread in outdoor community ovens–or at least, that’s the impression the cover of this booklet conveys. Indeed, the black-and-white photos inside show several horses and carriages and an outdoor oven, though it seems likely that both were more for the tourists’ sake than for residents.

Click image to download a 30.5-MB PDF of this 30-page booklet.

Page 26 consists of presumably paid advertisements for several Quebec hotels that were not owned by Canadian National: the Ford Hotel in Montreal; the Au Pic de L’Aurore in Perce, near Gaspe; and the Round Lake Inn in Weir. The inside back cover also mentions that CN-subsidiary Trans-Canada Air Lines served many Canadian cities with Lockheed Super-Electras, 14-seat planes that competed with the DC-2 and Boeing 247.

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Jasper in the Canadian Rockies

This 1932 booklet features Jasper Park Lodge, which CN opened in 1923 on the site of a former “tent city.” Probably due to financial constraints, CN didn’t build a gigantic hotel like Banff but a smaller central building that housed the lobby and restaurant surrounded by bungalow cabins.


Click image to download a 23.8MB PDF of this 36-page booklet.

In addition to the cover painting and numerous black-and-white photos, this booklet contains four more color paintings, most of which are signed A.C. Valentine. I can’t find any information about Valentine other than that he or she painted other Canadian landscapes, so presumably was Canadian.

Canadian National On-Board Stationery

The linen finish on this stationery suggests that it dates to the 1920s or 1930s. According to this history of the CN logo, the railway used the square logo shown on this stationery from 1923 to 1927, after which it used a rectangular logo. If so, this stationery dates to the mid-1920s.


Click image to download a 160-KB PDF of this letterhead.

The name on the logo, “Canadian National Railways” (rather than “Railway”) probably reflects the fact that Canadian National was formed from the government takeover and merger of numerous bankrupt railroads. CN currently uses “Railway,” a change that may date to 1995, when the government finally sold its interest in the company.

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