COLA Bryce Lunch Menu

This menu has a very different cover from yesterday’s. Yet the lunch menu inside is identical.


Click image to download a 1.8-MB PDF of this menu.

You can still go horseback riding in Bryce Canyon. Though at least nine outfitters offer horseback riding in the area, only one has a concession to offer rides in Bryce, Zion, or the North Rim of Grand Canyon national parks. (The mule rides on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon are a different concession.)

COLA Las Vegas Lunch Menu

This menu is dated 1970, but the automobiles in the image appear much older; the newest seems to be a 1961 Pontiac. The “Bingo” sign on the 1959 Las Vegas menu was replaced by the “Lucky” sign on the right side of this menu in 1961, so this photo probably dates from 1961. By comparison, the photo on the 1959 menu shows a 1957 Mercury. So though the menus are dated 11 years apart, the photos are only about four years apart.


Click image to download a 2.2-MB PDF of this menu.

The 1970 menu includes nine entrées on the a la carte side and five on the full-meal side. Only one, a Spanish omelet, is on both sides: $1.75 (about $10.50 today) a la carte or $2.25 (about $13.50 today) with French fries, bread, dessert, and beverage. The a la carte side also has seven sandwiches that come with cole slaw or French fries and a beverage.

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UP Children’s Lunch Menu

Five years after yesterday’s dinner menu, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is still 40 cents. The most expensive meal is a hamburger, French fries, soup or juice, dessert, and beverage at $1.15, or about $7.50 today.


Click image to download a 0.8-MB PDF of this menu.

The young cowboy in the pictures is shown playing with a toy pistol, which was common for young boys in those days. Today, even pretending to have a toy gun can get children sent home from school.

UP Children’s Dinner Menu

This menu is dated 1964, which means it was probably used on a streamliner as Union Pacific didn’t have many heavyweight trains with dining car service left. Children under 12 could order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for 40 cents (about $3 today) or a lamb chop with soup, vegetables, French fries, bread, dessert, and beverage for $1.45 (about $11 today).


Click image to download a 0.9-MB PDF of this menu.

The menu features the “Yellowstone bears” that had been used in Union Pacific publicity as early as the 1920s. The original bears were drawn by Chicago cartoonist Walter Oehrle, who also carved some of the bears that decorated Old Faithful Inn. Oehrle continued to work for Union Pacific at least through 1948, but since this menu dates 16 years later it is likely that these bears were drawn by someone else in imitation of Oehrle’s work.

GN 1961 Winter Timetable

Starting in 1957, the Great Northern put this eye-catching cover on its complete timetables. Whereas the 1947 and 1951 timetable covers were printed with just two colors (green and orange), with green print on all inside pages, this timetable cover uses the four-color process to get the green, orange, and yellow train. Interior pages are printed in black while the back cover uses blue ink.


Click image to download a -MB PDF of this timetable.

The bright colors contrast with the diminished size of the timetable, down to 28 pages from 36 in 1955 and 44 in 1947. Where I count 69 separate timetables of Great Northern and SP&S trains in 1947 and 51 in 1955, there are only 17 such timetables in 1961. Gone are nearly all of the local trains that do not cross state boundaries, meaning the Great Northern could discontinue them with permission from state authorities and without consulting the Interstate Commerce Commission, whose discontinuation process was much more rigorous.

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Glacier Park Cabin Camps

The lack of four-color photos in this brochure advertising tourist cabins initially led me to think it was from the 1930s. But in fact it is dated March 1955, when the Western Star was the Great Northern’s train to the park. Train service is mentioned only briefly in the last column on page 2 of the brochure.


Click image to download a 5.1-MB PDF of this brochure.

Although the front of the brochure still identifies Glacier Park with the Great Northern Railway, the railway’s Glacier Park subsidiary was happily accommodating people who traveled to the park by auto. The Swiftcurrent cabins described in the brochure were built in 1933, while Great Northern built Swiftcurrent coffee shop in 1941. The Rising Sun cabins were built in 1940 and were the only overnight facilities in Glacier Park open during the war.

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GN 1958 Condensed Timetable

This condensed timetable requires just four pages the same size as the full 1955 timetable. The condensed version gives the schedules for Great Northern’s main trains, leaving out the dozens of local trains that the railroad was rapidly discontinuing anyway.

Click image to download a 1.7-MB PDF of this timetable.

Also missing are connecting trains, the station index, fares, and the Great Northern system map. However, the condensed timetable does list the equipment used on the Empire Builder and Western Star and the addresses of “Great Northern travel agents” in 49 cities (compared with names and addresses of agents in 56 cities in the full 1955 timetable).

Great Northern Score Pad

Long train trips could be boring, so club cars sold playing cards and provided score pads. I’ve already shown a Great Northern bridge score sheet, but this 1959 pad is for bridge, gin rummy, and canasta.

Click to download a 1.3-MB PDF of this score pad.

The score pad has about 50 sheets in it (or had; some of this one have been torn out), each of which has a score sheet for bridge on one side. The other side of half the sheets have canasta scoring while the other half have gin scoring. I’ve scanned a sample of each sheet. The inside covers provide the rules for scoring each game, while the back cover is an ad for Great Northern trains.

As advertised on page 26 of yesterday’s timetable, a deck of cards was 70 cents in 1955 (a little over $6 today), up from 50 cents in 1947 (a little over $5 today; see p. 21 of the 1947 timetable). Both ads mention “New Blackfeet Indian Series,” but feature the same cards with Winold Reiss paintings of Chief Wades in the Water and his wife, Julia Wades in the Water.

GN Summer 1955 Timetable

Great Northern’s summer 1955 timetable was the first to feature dome cars on the Empire Builder. The domes are illustrated in an ad on the back cover whose drawing is carefully cropped to disguise the fact that the dome closest to the observer is a full-length dome, which wouldn’t actually appear on the railway for another year.

Click image to download a 23.7-MB PDF of this timetable.

The 1947 timetable was 44 pages long, but this one is only 36. The biggest difference is that a lot of minor Great Northern trains no longer operate; while there were 92 numbered timetables in 1947, there were only 80 in 1955. GN also somewhat condensed the presentation of its mainline trains from 9 pages in 1947 to 7 pages in 1955. In total, the ’55 timetable has 6 fewer pages of Great Northern train timetables than in 1947. There is also one less page each of train equipment descriptions, rail fares, and interior ads, but a whole page of connecting bus schedules.

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