Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Oriental Limited [1929] and MORE

From our collection ...

Imagine the year is 1929. The economy is rolling along and people are calling the decade "The Roaring Twenties". You're living in New York City, have a good job and about ready for a vacation. How about a trip across the country to see the newly developing Pacific Northwest and perhaps even go on across the Pacific Ocean to the Orient (as they called it back then). You might stop by a Travel Agent's office to see what's available and pick up the brochure you see below. Remember, there are no planes, so the fastest and most relaxing way to travel is by train. This brochure, published by the Great Northern Railway, in 1929, is designed to introduce you to the train. Can you, for just a moment, mentally go back in time and imagine how this trip might look to you?

The Oriental Limited
Great Northern Railway's name train across the continent.
Published 1928

[Click on images for larger view.]

Great Northern Railway passenger representatives
are travel experts well qualified to aid you
in planning your trip.

The efficient crew, veterans all, and natty in their
dark blue uniforms, are all attention to
welcome the Oriental Limited's guests.

All about The Pullman Sleeping Cars

Separate dressing rooms for women and men

A complete barbershop is available as well as
Valet Service!

A daintily furnished boudoir and lounge room,
with a shower, provides for the feminine guest.
A ladies' maid is available for a manicure!

All about the Dining Car

Seasonable delicacies, prepared in spotless kitchens
and served at reasonable prices, are features of the
menus on the Oriental Limited.

All about the Observation Car

Extra high windows make it possible to view,
with the greatest ease, the diversified and
beautiful scenery en route.

Telephone service at terminals is but one of the many little
conveniences that add to travel enjoyment.

Splendid views along historic river highways are
obtained from the Oriental Limited's deeply recessed
rear platform.

The reason we collect these old brochures is that we love trains, but more than that, we have a fascinating look back at the culture of these times. Just months after this brochure was published the Stock Market crashed in October, 1929. The Great Depression ensued and was not declared over until ten years later. So, we're curious how many people still made the trip across country or, even further, to Asia.

From the Journal ...

Third trip this summer to Volunteer Park Dalhia Garden ...

Bee at work!

All of these dahlia photos taken on the morning of
August 23rd 2016

If you like the dahlia photos, be sure to see our earlier posts on July 15th and August 5th.

Ships Spotted ...

First morning Ferry from Bainbridge Island enroute Seattle
August 19th 5:38 AM

Hyundai Container
August 24th 7:33 AM

August 24th 4:58 PM
Afternoon sunshine turns the Sound into
a sea of sparkles

Afternoon Sailing on Puget Sound
Afternoon of August 24th

Bainbridge Ferry near entrance to
Eagle Harbor
August 25th 6:35 AM

Luxury Yacht Tamsen
The taller mast must be near 100' ... wow!
August 25th 7:17 AM
 More info on Tamsen here.

NYK Deneb
August 25th  6:16 AM
NYK Deneb Info from

August Skies ...

Easy to see the smoke from forest fires in
the Olympic Mountains in this sunset snap.
August 19th  8:20 PM

August 23rd  8:00 PM
How do you like the clouds?

August 24th  7:53 PM
Sunset --- Olympic Mountains
August 26th  8:17 PM
Smoke from fires in the Olympic Mountains added
to the colorful sunset.

This will be our last post for August. We're taking a little end-of-summer break and will see you again in September. Thanks for stopping by John's Island.


  1. the grandeur of that train trip back then must have been something... love the views - the eagle harbor one really struck me as beautiful. the dahlias are always amazing.

  2. Hello, I think a trip on the Orient Limited would have been grand! I love all your beautiful flowers, the dahlia is gorgeous. Lovely views of the water and boats. I like the first shot of the ferry and the shot of the sailboats. But, they are all gorgeous photos. Happy weekend to you!

  3. I love all the gorgeous pictures, the trip back in time on a train, the flowers, the ships...and then "Hyundai Container"...wait, what? Hahah! That just sounds funny, :-)

  4. Great series of photo sthis week. Love the Orient Ltd box, great piece of history, wonder if they were copying the orient express in the UK & Europe. Love the flower photos and the ships you record

  5. I love the Dahlia pictures and of course the clouds/sky shots.Great pictures all around.

  6. Since I was born in 1939 air travel was not at all common so trains were the main method of travel. U was too young to really understand the magic of train travel.

  7. Love the blooms, especially the red ones.
    Terrific series of the train and sky.
    Enjoy your little break.

  8. The dinning experience on the train looks amazing!

  9. I'd like to sign up for that train trip. Back in time my grandpa was perhaps a chef on that run...:)

  10. It's almost unimaginable, the extent of the luxury of those train trips. And of course everybody dressed to the nines. (I wonder where that phrase comes from?) And those clouds! They are spectacular, John. Enjoy your break. :-)

  11. Oh wow...I think I'm sold on that train trip. It's hard to imagine a train with a barber shop, valet service, and manicures! Sounds like a luxury trip. Perhaps though, if I were living at the time, it would be wiser to get my money out of the bank and invest it in something that would help me through the Depression... That must have been a shock for people to go into such hard times after the Roaring Twenties! Your photos of the dahlias are lovely. Now I'm wishing I had planted some this year! I also like the photo of the 5:38 ferry (I like how it still has its lights on!). Also your photo of of the sailboats is a good one.

    I was going to be disappointed when you said this would be your last post for August, but considering we only have a few days to go, I will survive...I'm already excited to see your September posts!

  12. A beautiful collection. I just love limited editions.
    The flowers and skies and the seas are such sights to behold. Reminds me of how little I am in this universe and how beautiful life still is.

  13. oh my goodness...a train ride down memory lane! How fun! There's an old steam train that still runs up in CT, and we love to go in the Autumn when the leaves are at their gorgeous colorful peak...get off the train and board the river boat for lunch, then head back to the train for a cocktail on the journey back.
    And the boats and dahlias...what a lovely post. But to see those sky shots, well the last one took my breath away! THanks for sharing! Aloha!


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