Yosemite Park 1935 Dinner Menu

Possibly prompted by the introduction of the first streamlined trains, in 1935 Union Pacific began a new series of menus that replaced the art nouveau borders of its earlier menus with a clean white background set off by blue pinstripes. The interiors were also simplified with blue pinstripes replacing busy borders. Some if not all of these modern-style menus used the same front and back cover photos and text as the art nouveau versions, including menus showing Mt. Rainier and the Great White Throne in Zion National Park.

Click image to download a 1.7-MB PDF of this menu.

This particular menu shows Yosemite Falls, with a back cover photo of Half Dome. This is the same image used in the art nouveau menu showing the falls. It seems likely that other images in the art nouveau series, including Crater Lake, Grand Canyon, Longs Peak, Mt. Rainier, Multnomah Falls, and orange groves, were also used in these modern-style menus.

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Bryce 1935 Dinner Menu

Bryce Canyon is one of my favorite national parks because it has a seemingly unlimited range of incredible views. So it seems strange that, when Union Pacific decided to put a natural color photo of Bryce on the cover of its art nouveau menus, it would choose a photo taken from almost exactly the same view as the previous hand-colored photos (of which there were at least two taken at slightly different angles and with very different hand coloring).

Click image to download a 2.6-MB PDF of this menu.

This menu cover says it was printed in January, 1935, the same as yesterday’s Zion menu. There is no date on the inside or indication of which train the menu was used on.

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Zion 1935 Breakfast Menu

The image of the Great White Throne on the cover of this menu is from almost exactly the same location as earlier menus in the art nouveau series. But the previous images were hand-colored versions of black-and-white photos, while this is labeled a “natural color photo.”

Click image to download a 2.8-MB PDF of this menu.

The back of this menu has a printer’s date of January, 1935, while the inside is dated 3-15-35, which would be the date the menu items were printed on a menu blank. I saw a menu with the same natural color photograph on ebay that was dated 1932 and which also credited the photo to Frank G. Fulton. This menu cover is shown below.

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Ogden Canyon 1934 Breakfast Menu

The Union Pacific traveled to lots of incredible sights, many of which were illustrated on this series of menus, including Bryce, Grand Canyon, the Mormon Temple, Mt. Rainer, Multnomah Falls, Old Faithful, Yosemite Falls, and Zion. Ogden Canyon, while scenic, was hardly in this class of sites, so why was it included in this series?

Click image to download a 2.6-MB PDF of this menu.

A man named Billie Wilson opened the Hermitage Hotel in the canyon in 1905, and David Eccles’ Ogden Rapid Transit company opened electric trolley service to the hotel in 1910. The trolley tracks were removed by the date of this menu and the hotel burned to the ground in 1939. One possible reason for featuring the Hermitage on this menu cover is that the investors who owned the hotel at the time were also investors in Union Pacific.

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Zion 1930 Breakfast Menu

We’ve seen that the Union Pacific had hand-colored menus showing two slightly different views of the same scene in Bryce Canyon National Park. This menu shows that it also had menus in this series–which I call the art nouveau series based on the decorative frames–with slightly different views of the Great White Throne in Zion National Park.

Click image to download a 2.4-MB PDF of this menu.

What’s more, I’ve found a third variation of this menu cover that I’ll present in a few days. Three variations of the same scene seem especially peculiar because UP had such a limited number of art nouveau-style menus: in addition to Bryce and Zion, we’ve seen Mt. Rainier, Multnomah Falls, Crater Lake, Longs Peak, and Grand Canyon. I’ll present an Ogden Canyon menu tomorrow and I’ve also seen covers in this series with California orange groves, the Mormon Temple, and Old Faithful, as shown below, plus Yosemite Falls, less than a dozen menu covers in the series if you don’t count the near-duplicates.

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Chihuahua Pacific Railway

The Chihuahua Pacific is one of the most scenic lines in Mexico. Part of the route is through the Copper Canyon, which is larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon (though not as steeply sided).

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

Originally built as a part of the American-owned Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient, it was purchased in 1928 by the Santa Fe, which spun off the Mexican portion into a separate railroad, the Chihuahua Pacific. It was taken over by the Mexican government, probably in around 1938, but then was privatized in 1998. It is now part of Ferromex, which still offers passenger service on this route.

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The Scenic Route of British Columbia

This is the second booklet advertising the Pacific Great Eastern shown here; the first one was dated after 1959, as it mentions Alaska becoming a state in that year. This one is from several years before, as the railway described in this booklet only extended as far south as Squamish, British Columbia; the connection to North Vancouver was completed in 1956.

Click image to download a 12.7-MB PDF of this 20-page booklet.

The booklet mentions 1952, the year the railway reached Prince George, so it must be from 1953 through 1955. The passenger cars shown in the booklet are mostly wooden cars converted from interurbans. Although the booklet says the passenger trains were all hauled by Diesels, at least one photo shows a train with a steam locomotive.

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Canadian National Fall 1971 Timetable

CN lost about half its passenger trains from the 1963 timetable to 1971. The 1971 edition is just 24 pages long (plus covers), down from 64 in 1963, and contains about 51 table, down from 98. The system map, now back in the centerfold, has been vastly simplified to show only routes on which CN ran passenger trains or linked to bus or ferry services.

Click image to download an 13.1-MB PDF of this timetable.

Gone are trains from Montreal to New York, Detroit, and other U.S. cities (probably because Amtrak cut them). Montreal-Halifax is down to two trains a day from three in 1963; Montreal/Toronto-Vancouver is down to one with cancellation of the Continental in the late 1960s. Since the cancelled trains were milk runs that made lots of stops, the tables for these routes took much less space in 1971 as those former stops are no longer shown.

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Canadian National 1968 Map

Except for the cover panel, this map is almost exactly the same as the 1967 edition. Photos of Winnipeg and Edmonton street scenes in the panels on Manitoba and Alberta have been replaced, probably because they weren’t very attractive or possibly to removed dated automobiles and trolley buses.

Click image to download an 13.1-MB PDF of this brochure.

The replacement photos–a wheat field in Manitoba and an aerial view of downtown Edmonton (showing no cars) are a little more attractive than dirty, downtown streets. Winnipeg continued to run trolley buses through 1970 and Edmonton through 2009, so it seems likely that it was the scenery rather than the dated vehicles that prompted the change in photos.

Canadian National 1967 Map

CN changed the dimensions of its maps again in the 1960s. Where the 1960 map was about 34″x22″, by 1967 it had grown by about 8 percent to 32″x25-1/4″. In keeping with CN’s claim to be the only railroad that served all ten Canadian provinces, the non-map side devotes an 8″x8.4″ panel to each of the provinces.

Click image to download an 11.3-MB PDF of this brochure.

Another panel shows interior photos of CN train cars, including the former Milwaukee Road dome car and Skytop lounge car. The latter, which CN called the “Skyview” car, was used on CN’s Montreal-Halifax Ocean Limited. While it was a very special car, this is a rare appearance of it in CN advertising.