1935 San Francisco Overland Menu

Although the San Francisco Overland Limited went from Chicago to Ogden on the Chicago & North Western and Union Pacific railroads, this menu is marked for the Southern Pacific. This suggests that the railroads each switched their own diners into and out of the train at Omaha and Ogden. The New York Public Library has menus with this cover dating as late as 1946, indicating that SP wasn’t very imaginative in its menu designs during the Depression and war years. After 1946, SP switched to UP’s wrap-around color photo menus for the Overland.

Click image to download a 1.0-MB PDF of this menu.

The image on this long-lasting cover appears to portray a passenger train pulled by a Southern Pacific MT-1 (4-8-2) or GS-1 (4-8-4) locomotive. SP’s 28 MT-1s were built by Alco in 1923-1924 while its 14 GS-1s were built by Baldwin in 1930. Since I can’t find any evidence of this menu being used before 1935, I suspect it is a GS-1 as railroads liked to show off their latest power. Unlike the locomotive portrayed on this menu, later editions of these wheel classes (MT-2 through MT-5 and GS-2 through GS-6) were all semi-streamlined. The image is signed John something, but the last name is unreadable.


1935 San Francisco Overland Menu — 2 Comments

  1. Gah! Sardine canape, sweetbreads, and tongue are back. Anyway, the name “San Francisco Overland Limited” was used from 1931 until 1947, so we know it was in that time span. They were selling beer and wine, so it has to be after 1933, when Prohibition was repealed. It looks like a GS-1 to me as well, so around 1935 is as good a guess as any.


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