The cover of this annual report shows a P2 4-8-2 locomotive pulling the Empire Builder out of St. Paul. The cylinder cocks are open to drain water built up while the train was in the station, and the safety valve has popped off, pouring steam in all directions. In 1971, a painter named James Bennett Deneen would use this photo as the basis for a painting in his series, “Saga of the Iron Horse.” But he relocated the train to the Flathead River, which is unrealistic as the engineer would have closed the cylinder cocks shortly after leaving the station.
The centerfold this year honors the Northwest timber industry and the fact that the Great Northern gets to haul wood products from the Pacific Northwest to Midwestern markets. As in the case of the 1942 annual report, this one has some pages stapled in, apparently to update data on page 25. As before, I’ve shown each page separately as a right-hand page, which means page 24 gets repeated several times. I hope this isn’t too confusing.