Today is the second anniversary of the first post to Streamliner Memories. Over the past two years, I’ve posted nearly a thousand PDFs of rail memorabilia. Almost 24 percent of them have been from the Union Pacific Railway, partly because UP had so many different colorful menus. Great Northern comes in second at 19 percent, Santa Fe at 13 percent, Burlington at 10 percent, Southern Pacific 6 percent, and Northern Pacific 5 percent. All other railroads combined make up about 25 percent.
In recognition of Union Pacific’s popular menus, today I’m posting an interesting booklet published by Lee Paper Company to advertise their Corinthian Cover stock, on which UP printed its menus. To demonstrate the paper’s ability to display color photos, the booklet reprints the covers of eighteen Union Pacific menus. There are also several blank pages in the back showing different weights and finishes of the paper. There’s no date, but the covers used put it somewhere around 1955.
This booklet raises an interesting question: Just how many menu covers did Union Pacific use? The menus with color photos that usually wrapped around to the back cover are dated from about 1946 through 1968. Streamliner Memories has presented 47 of these menus with cities and scenery along the Union Pacific Railroad. Of the eighteen menu covers shown in the Lee Paper booklet, only half have been displayed in Streamliner Memories, suggesting that UP had nearly 100 menus during this 18-year period. By comparison, I’ve found only about seven or eight menus used on Great Northern’s streamlined Empire Builder and Western Star.
One hundred may be high, but between the Lee Paper booklet and various photos on the web, I’ve identified nearly two dozen scenic menu covers that aren’t in my collection. This doesn’t even count an entire series of menus showing various college and university campuses. None of these are included in the Lee Paper booklet and I have just one in my collection, showing the University of Denver, that I haven’t yet posted here. I know there are several more, including the University of Washington and Kansas State College. If UP made at least one for every state it served, there must have been a dozen or more.
I have lots more memorabilia left to post here. Although this post will appear August 1, I’m actually writing in April, by which time I have scanned enough items to last through November. By the time you read this, I’ll be well into 2015. I haven’t even begun to scan Union Pacific and other railroad calendars, partly because they are so big, but I’ll eventually get to them.