Go West This Summer

This 1936 menu exhorts passengers to “Go West” via the Baltimore & Ohio. I’m not sure what waterfall is pictured on the cover, but it may be in Glacier National Park. The back cover pictures scenes from Glacier, Yellowstone, and Yosemite parks.

Click image to download a 2.9-MB PDF of this menu.

For some reason, eastern menus were often more crassly commercial than menus of western railroads, containing small ads here and there and overtly enticing people to ride the railroads’ trains instead of just picturing scenes along and near the route. In this case, none of the scenes pictured are within a thousand miles of the nearest B&O track, whereas photos on Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Union Pacific, and other western railroad menus were always of parks and vistas directly accessed by those rail lines.

The commercialism continues inside, where the bottom banner brags that travel on the B&O only cost 2 cents a mile in coaches and 3 cents a mile in Pullmans (plus Pullman fare). This, the menu adds, would give you roomy seats, clean washrooms, and air conditioning.

Fortunately, the menu itself is quite complete, with soft-shell crabs, chicken, prime rib, sirloin steak, and cold ox tongue on the table d’hôte side. Most of these are also on the a la carte side along with lamb chops, minute steaks, vegetable plate, fresh fish, and Maryland crab flakes. For some reason, going from a la carte to a complete meal cost a different amount for each entrée, ranging from 25 cents for the sirloin steak but 45 cents for the prime rib. The most expensive item on the menu was still the sirloin steak dinner at $1.75 (about $24 today).


Go West This Summer — 1 Comment

  1. That picture is Appistoki Falls in Glacier, with Appistoki Peak looming in the background. The view at http://www.mlewallpapers.com/image/16×10-Widescreen-7/view/Appistoki-Falls-and-Peak-1301.jpg is almost identical to the one on the menu. I don’t know for what the menu drawing was done but I assume it was summer, since that’s the tourist season in Glacier. The major difference in the two views is the dramatic decrease in perennial snow on appistoki Peak.


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