1949 Glacier Park Photo Booklet

Eleven years have passed since the Great Northern issued yesterday’s photo booklet of Glacier Park, and what a difference a decade makes. In contrast to the clear but colorless photos in the 1938 publication, the photos in this 1949 booklet are all in color. The newer booklet’s pages are also only about half the size of the older one: 5-1/2″x7-3/4″ vs. 8-1/2″x11″. But the newer booklet has 32 pages instead of 24 and a colorful fold-up map in the centerfold.


Click image to download a 9.9-MB PDF of this 32-page booklet.

The pages are oddly cut: some are nearly the same size as the cover, but most are a little smaller with a slight gap on top. This makes sense for the fold-up map, but not the other pages.

In 1949, the Empire Builder didn’t stop at Glacier, and the park was served instead by the heavyweight Oriental Limited. This train is illustrated on pages 30-31 of the booklet, with Great Northern’s iconic orange-and-green Diesel locomotives pulling green heavyweight cars. The artwork is signed “Ray Craig,” about whom I can find little information except that he liked to paint pictures of birds. He did this 1961 cover of Reader’s Digest magazine, and also did a 1958 painting of goldfinches that is in the New York Historical Society Museum but unfortunately not illustrated on line. The notes about the painting say it is signed “Ray Craig / 8 S. Michigan Avenue,” which sounds like a Chicago address.


Click image for a larger view.

Here is a May, 1948 magazine ad that has pretty much the same map as is in the centerfold of the 1949 booklet. The unsigned map shows, obviously not to scale, the Oriental Limited with Diesel locomotives and heavyweight cars passing along the south boundary of the park from West Glacier (Belton) to East Glacier. Also shown on the map are several hotels, the Going-to-the-Sun Road, lots of bears, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep, and the John Stevens statue at the railroad’s summit, Marias Pass.


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