The Fine Print (Terms & Conditions)

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And for your viewing pleasure, this is perhaps the Finest Print I own...




In the early part of 1934, an entirely new concept in passenger train, the diesel powered "streamliner" was introduced.  As the Chicago & North Western railroad began operating their fleet of the new streamliners, they were known as the 400.  The most famous passenger train on the C&NW line was the "Minnesota 400".  That train ran from Chicago to the Twin Cities running over 400 miles in 400 minutes.  That is how it got its name.  The 400 was touted as a speedster able to travel 100 mph over heavy steel rails.  This passenger train ran from 1936 to 1963.

This original art in full color gouache was painted in 1942 for Western Printing & Lithographing Company.  Gouache is an opaque water based paint ensuring bright colors.  The painting was used for playing card backs.  The original artwork is huge, measuring 17-1/2 x 26-1/4 plus the border with instructions to the engraver.

Western Printing & Lithographing Company was headquartered in Chicago, IL and was a renowned producer of railroad advertising.  Sadly, this may be the only surviving work that memorializes their contribution to the industry.  When I purchased this piece some years ago, I asked the original owner about purchasing other works.  He replied, "As far as the existence of other art, I would say no.  When I worked in the art department at Western, my friend in Rights and Royalties called me over to their library.  On the table were two stacks of original art.  He said I could take it all or any part of it.  I"ve been kicking myself over the year for not taking both stacks.  I did take quite bit, mostly covers for various books and magazines.  There was only that one train art."