The timing isn’t exactly right, but the style of the cover painting on this annual report looks similar to the paintings used in some of Great Northern’s 1965 advertisements. Unfortunately, the report doesn’t give us any clue about who the artist might have been.
“Our cover scene is really a prototype,” says the inside front cover, “as anyone knows who has traced the westward march of ‘prairie skyscrapers’ (country elevators) across the vast grain-producing territory served by Great Northern.” Do they know what the word prototype means? Perhaps they meant an icon.
It’s a shame the cover is devoted to a freight train as 1962 was a banner year for Great Northern passenger service. Revenues grew by 16 percent over 1961 thanks to the Seattle World’s Fair. Rail travelers visiting Glacier Park doubled from 1961 thanks to so many people stopping at Glacier on their way to or from Seattle. Despite this, the only picture of a passenger train in the entire report is a photo of the William Crooks and its two 1860-vintage passenger cars.