NP Calendar Blotters

These blotters from the Dale Hastin collection were doubly useful, both to sop up ink and check the date. The first three shown here also have a pretty background pattern showing Old Faithful, Indian teepees, and a simplified North Coast Limited.


Click image to download a PDF of any blotter PDFs average about half a megabyte.

This card suggests that the bucking horse is named Teapot Dome. Rodeo horses rarely, if ever, became famous like racing thoroughbreds, so I don’t imagine anyone outside the rodeo circuit to recognize the name, if indeed that was the horse’s name.

Multnomah Falls was made popular by the construction of the Columbia River Highway. This picture carefully crops out the Union Pacific tracks that crossed the creek in front of the highway bridge shown. Passengers on NP trains riding on half-owned subsidiary Spokane, Portland & Seattle could get a distant view of the falls from the other side of the river if they were lucky enough to pass this area in daylight.

Spanish Creek is a tributary of the Gallatin River, which joins the Jefferson and Madison rivers to form the Missouri. The snow-capped peak in the background is Lone Mountain, home of today’s Big Sky ski resort, which was developed by Chet Huntley, Burlington Northern, Chrysler, with several other partners on former NP grant land.

For some reason, between April and July, 1927, NP dropped the background colors and scenes from its calendar blotters.

The elimination of the background images coincided with a new focus on cityscapes. While it pleased NP to call Butte a “Northern Pacific city,” Butte was first served by the Utah & Northern, which later became part of the Union Pacific. NP apparently had an agreement with UP that the latter would monopolize Butte mining traffic while the former would monopolize Helena mines. NP built to Butte only when Great Northern broke both their monopolies.


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