Monday, January 5, 2015

An Apple A Day ... [early 1900s]

From our collection of railroad memorabilia ...

A "Dining Car" menu published by the Northern Pacific Railroad in the early 1900s ... 

The cover of the menu states, "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away"  No offense to any of you who are physicians. :-)

Here is the  "A la Carte Breakfast Menu" ...

Patron comments are shown on another page ... We found Olive Fremstad and Margaret Illington Bowes in Wikipedia if you wish to read more about them.

John's history analysis:  You may be wondering why the railroad would publish and use a menu shaped like an apple in its dining cars. In our opinion, it's due to a combination of  factors: The NP Railroad was one of the transcontinental lines serving the Pacific Northwest, both freight and passenger, and, the Pacific Northwest is one of the prime apple producing regions in the world. So, although this may seem like just a sort of cute thing to do, it actually was a serious effort to promote business both in agriculture and transportation.

Other links for history buffs ...

NP Railroad History in Apple Country

Read more about Dr. Harvey W. Wiley in Wikipedia.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


  1. What fun! And I knew that the Seattle PI had been around a long time, but I am amazed to learn how long. I was also fascinated by the menu, which seems rather different than one we would have today. What are German Fried potatoes, for example? :-)

  2. what a cute design and very fitting for that region. :)

  3. Cute post. I like the apple idea for economic and "fun" reasons.

    I've said a prayer for your journey and I hope you have made it home now. I know how the roads can be. Every time we visit mom we pass through the mountains too and in winter this case be dicey though this Christmas there was hardly any snow. Let me know how long your drive takes. Take care John.

    1. Oops, I see now when you will travel and will say another prayer today. I hope you took some great photos at your restful retreat :-)

  4. The apple actually looks a bit odd in shape, as I'd think of it more of a side shot, if you get my drift. But I'll be you are right...done for the Pacific Northwest and the apple harvesters.

  5. How unusual to have it shaped like an apple but what a clever idea.

  6. These menus are certainly eye-catching.

  7. I love this, John! Even though I was born in 1956 I have a love for things before my time...early 1900's to 1940's especially. Seeing this menu reminds me of the menu they had on the Titanic in 1912.


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