Northern Pacific Letterhead

Here’s a piece of stationery that NP staff might have used to write to customers or other railroads. It doesn’t have a return address, nor does it particularly focus on passenger or freight except to note that NP is the “route of the vista-dome North Coast Limited.”

Click image to download a PDF of this letterhead.

If anything makes this special, it’s not the logo or the red stripe but the fine, sans serif font used for the company name. Particularly intriguing is the Y, which is in a lower-case format while all the other letters are upper case. Great Northern’s Empire Builder font also had a few letters, including M and N, that appeared to be in a lower-case format. I’ve always disliked fonts that mix upper and lower case, but I have to wonder: who designed and selected these fonts, which appear to be unique to the railroads that used them?

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