CPR Posters: Heavyweight to Domeliner

The Canadian Pacific liked to bill itself as the world’s greatest travel system as it had, besides the railroads, hotels, steamships, and, for a few years, an airline. It advertised all of these with numerous travel posters. Click any image for a larger view.

The Trans-Canada Limited was an all-Pullman train, summer-only train that operated between 1919 and 1931. Some of its elegant cars have been fully restored and are displayed at the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in Cranbrook, BC. This 1924 poster is by George Y. Kauffman (1868-1940), an American artist who also did magazine covers and even speculative science illustrations.

The locomotive in this poster urging people to take the Canadian Pacific to the 1933 World’s Fair shows a conventional locomotive in this pre-streamlined era. The poster is Norman Fraser, who was one of Canadian Pacific’s most prolific poster artists.

By 1937, the Canadian Pacific had semi-streamlined some of its steam locomotives as shown in this poster, which is also by Norman Fraser. Though the locomotives were sleek, the passenger cars were still heavyweights.

This 1947 poster shows that the Canadian Pacific had emerged from the war with about the same fleet of locomotives (and trains) that it had at the start. This poster is by Peter Ewart (1918-2001), who was also a prolific poster artist for CPR.

By 1952, the Canadian Pacific can finally advertise that it has replaced steam with Diesels for its premiere passenger service–something most major American railroads had done years before. This poster is also by Peter Ewart.

In 1955, Ewart was able to combine his love for snow scenes with the new streamlined Canadian.

The classic poster for the Canadian was done by Roger Couillard, who made posters for both Canadian Pacific and Canadian National as well as ski and other travel posters.


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