Go East — Go Great Northern

In 1960, less than five years after putting out a large brochure urging travelers to “Go East via Glacier National Park,” the Great Northern published this little brochure also aimed at travelers to the east. Although less than a third of the size of the earlier brochure, this one has eleven color photos of eastern destinations, compared with just six black-and-white photos (and two color drawings) of eastern cities in the earlier brochure.

Click image to download a 1.5-MB PDF of this brochure.

This is one of at least a dozen tiny brochures issued by the Great Northern in 1960 and 1961. Each of the twelve panels on these brochures is smaller than 2.9″x5.5″, compared with the sixteen 4″x9″ panels on older brochures such as the previous Go East one. The newer brochures have all color photos, yet the small size forced railway marketers to leave out important information.

A full quarter of the earlier Go East brochure highlighted Great Northern trains, including eight photos of the domes, dining cars, lounges, and comfortable reclining seats. Another quarter advertised Glacier National Park as an intermediate destination with five photos and two color drawings of sights in the park. Both of these would give prospective travelers a reason to choose Great Northern rather than a competitor or another mode of travel.

The newer, smaller brochures don’t have room for this, allocating just one panel to a brief description of Great Northern trains and saying nothing about sights seen along the way other than the GN has a “scenic route.” Photos of New York, Washington, and other eastern cities might be pretty, but they would be just as pretty to people taking the Northern Pacific, United Airlines, or their personal automobile.

Leave a Reply