Northern Pacific Map of the United States

Most railroad maps like this have the map on one side and advertising on the other. NP instead printed an 8″x9″ cover and a 17″x31″ map that is folded and glued to the inside of the cover. Since the backs of the map and cover are both blank, they aren’t included in the PDF.

Click image to download a 5.7-MB PDF of this map.

The map, of course, highlights the Northern Pacific route in thick red lines and most other railroads in thin black lines. Curiously, the Spokane, Portland & Seattle is shown in red lines just like the NP routes. However, the Burlington Route is shown in brown lines that aren’t quite as thick as the NP red lines. NP owned 50 percent of the SP&S and 48.6 percent of the CB&Q (with GN owning equal amounts of both), so it is puzzling why the two were treated differently on this map.

Guide to Points of Interest on the Scenic Route

This is the 1956 version of yesterday’s 1952 along-the-way booklet. Some of the photos were updated, partly to show of the North Coast Limited‘s new color scheme, but most of the text is the same.

Click image to download a 16.0-MB PDF of this 24-page booklet.

The number of pages were reduced by 4. To compensate the booklet lost the centerfold map, space for the passenger itinerary, sidebars about Indians, NP locomotives, and Rainier National Park, and an ad from the Association of American Railroads.

Scenic Route Across America

This 1952 booklet is from the collection of Gerald McGinley, who generously scanned it for us. Starting in St. Paul, it describes cities and other major sites on the way to Seattle and Portland, along with the line to Duluth.

Click image to download a 34.1-MB PDF of this 28-page booklet.

Although I call this a 28-page booklet, it numbers each panel with two panels per page so there are 54 numbered panels. This is also one of those booklets that puts the display cover on the back; the front “cover” provides room to list a passenger’s itinerary and tells “how to use this book.”

Timberline Lodge Menu

The front cover of this menu features a photo of Mt. Hood taken from the plaza of Timberline Lodge. It’s a little odd that they didn’t include the impressive-looking lodge itself in the photo, but it is possible that they figured people knew it as a ski lodge but they wanted to advertise it as a summer resort as well.

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

Like the Guardians of the Flock menu, this one’s back cover focuses on a different subject than the front cover, in this case, Alaska. This elegant series of menus uses thick, textured paper and the front cover photos are printed separately and glued on. We know this one is from 1942 because someone wrote on the cover that they used it on a trip from Carrington, ND, to Seattle on July 24, 1942.

NP 1941 Yellowstone Park Booklet

Although this pre-war booklet has a nice four-color photo on the cover, all of the interior photos are black-and-white. Despite the lack of color inside (other than some yellow trim), the booklet is a good balance between showing the sights of Yellowstone and conveying an impression of the transportation and lodging facilities people will enjoy during their visits.

Click image to download a 32.0-MB PDF of this 36-page booklet.

One surprise to me is a photo of the Geyser Water Swimming Pool, a natatorium that once stood near Old Faithful but was torn down in 1951. The booklet also pictures sunbathers, apparently near the pool, looking completely unconcerned that Old Faithful is going off in the background with almost no one watching. Of course, today the crowds on warm summer days are overwhelming.

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Guardians of the Flock Dinner Menu

This menu is undated, but I’ve seen another one of this style on which someone wrote “1942.” However, I suspect this one is from before the war as it doesn’t have any patriotic declarations inside, such as those found in this Mount Rainier menu of the same style.

Click image to download a 2.1-MB PDF of this menu.

The table d’hôte menu offers halibut, beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin, omelet, or cold prime rib for $1.25 (close to $20 today). There’s also a beef casserole dinner for 75¢ and a plate dinner, with meat or fish, potato, vegetable, and beverage, for 50¢. That’s a pretty good deal since almost all of the a la carte entrées are 55¢ or more.

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1930 North Coast Limited Business Card

This little booklet advertising the North Coast Limited also served as a business card for Northern Pacific’s passenger agent in Detroit, Michigan. New equipment from Pullman that was put into service on May 14, 1930 (previously featured here and here) is described and pictured in eight photos in the booklet.


Click image to download a 1.2-MB PDF of this 12-page booklet.

The booklet advertises the North Coast Limited‘s “Baths. Maid. Valet. Barber and beauty shop.” These were all amenities that the Oriental Limited had in 1924, so if they were new on the 1930 train, NP was a bit behind the times. The booklet also says that the train is the only all-Pullman train to the Northwest, but in fact the NP added coaches to the day-time portions of the trip in 1930, so technically it was no longer all-Pullman.

NP Mt. Rainier Dining Car Service

This menu dates from before 1909, when NP began selling its Great Big Baked Potato. Other than the fact there are no giant spuds on this menu, there’s not much to date it except for prices.

Click image to download a 1.1-MB PDF of this menu card.

A sirloin steak was $1, which if the menu were from 1908 would be about $25 today but if from 1900 would be nearly $30. From 1890 it would be closer to $25 again as the late 19th century was a deflationary period which ended in 1899. So I’m inclined to think either 1890 or 1908.

NP Pacific Northwest & Alaska Postcards

While much of NP’s advertising and postcards focused on Yellowstone, the end of its rails was in the Pacific Northwest so naturally it issued many cards from that region. Click any image to download a PDF of that postcard.

NP and GN subsidiary SP&S completed a line to Bend, Oregon in 1910. The photo on this postcard seems more oriented to attracting settlers than tourists. But the card was postmarked 1915 to Ema Gregg in Indiana from someone who says “I have seen lots of sites.”

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NP Montana Postcards

Although Yellowstone Park is mostly in Wyoming, the Gardiner Entrance to the park, along with the Cook City and West Yellowstone entrances, were all in Montana. So visitors to Yellowstone taking the Northern Pacific would likely see some of these other Montana sights as well. Click any image to download a PDF of the postcard.

This doesn’t appear to be issued by the railroad, but it shows the Northern Pacific train station in Missoula. There’s no date on the card, but the cars in the driveway look like they are from around 1930.

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