Trip Of The President Of The United States from Washington D.C., October 1940
This elegant menu with a PRRS1 classic steam locomotive etched in white across the center was created in 1940 to mark The Trip of The President of The United States from Washington DC to Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Before Air Force One came into use, * Presidents traveled the length and breadth of the country by train and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who had been diagnosed in 1921 with polio and was paralysed from the waist down, made frequent travels in a special Pullman luxury train car that accommodated his physical needs.
This particular trip was made in the shadow of World War II in Europe, as the US was emerging from the Great Depression, while FDR was campaigning for an unprecedented third term of office.
Travelling by train allowed the President to be highly visible – he insisted that the trains he traveled on went at 30 mph or less - and to make speeches from the observation deck when the train pulled into his various destinations during his whistle stop tours.
A month later, FDR swept aside his Republican rival, though his margins were less decisive than they had been in 1932 and 1936.
The menu, in colors of turquoise, white and gold, was created so that passengers who used the Pennsylvania Railroad would have a souvenir of this important occasion. Dinner cost one dollar and twenty five cents or travelers could choose from an extensive a la carte menu.
* President John F Kennedy became the first US President to fly in a jet specifically designed for Presidential use , a modified Boeing 707, in 1962.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu or cover.