Santa Fe Postcards

The first three postcards today are very similar to the Fred Harvey photochromes shown yesterday, right down to the statement on two of them that they could be “Sent Courtesy of the Super Chief.” The only thing missing is the Fred Harvey logo. This could mean they are from the late 1960s, after Fred Harvey stopped operating Santa Fe dining cars.

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

This card shows the Super Chief going by a rock in New Mexico called the Devil’s Footstool. At least, that’s what the Santa Fe Railway called it; I can’t find any reference to this object outside of Santa Fe photo files. This photograph, and probably those of most of the other Santa Fe streamliner postcards, was taken by Santa Fe photographer R. Collins Bradley. Many of Bradley’s black-and-white photos can be seen on the Kansas Historical Society‘s web site. Judging by these photos, Bradley worked for Santa Fe in the 1950s and 1960s.

Click image for a larger view.

This postcard was issued in two forms, one in portrait mode as shown at the beginning, and one in landscape mode as shown immediately above. I don’t have the above postcard, but the photo was clearly taken the same day of the same train, just a few moments before the first photo.

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

Here’s a postcard showing a couple enjoying a champagne dinner in the Turquoise Room of the Super Chief‘s dome car. I show a menu for the champagne dinner in a few days.

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

Here’s the Hi-Level El Capitan in Shoemaker Canyon, New Mexico. The back of the card (which was postally used and is postmarked 19 July 1969) looks just like a Fred Harvey card, including the statement “Kodachrome Reproduction” right below where the Fred Harvey logo can be found on other cards.

I haven’t been able to pin down a precise date when Fred Harvey stopped operating Santa Fe dining cars. Fred Harvey’s grandchildren sold the company, including the national park lodges and various restaurants, to Amfac (which changed its name to Xanterra) in 1968. There is no evidence that Xanterra ever operated a dining car, so Santa Fe must have taken over operations then or shortly before then.

Almost all Santa Fe dining car menus in my collection dated 1965 or before say “Fred Harvey Service.” Menus dated 1970 and 1971 don’t. Unfortunately, my collection doesn’t have any menus from 1966 through 1969 or it might be possible to pin down exactly when Santa Fe began operating its own diners.

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

Finally, this heavily retouched color postcard doesn’t really belong with the others as it is from the linen postcard (pre-WWII) era and doesn’t say it was issued by Santa Fe or Fred Harvey. I presume it is based on a black-and-white photo taken before the R. Collins Bradley era, but I haven’t found any evidence of that photo.

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