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1887- Boom and Bust

This button, with “NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD” on its border (DVC 12/4 in 15mm and 24mm) went into production in 1887, according to the Scovill archive per Don VanCourt. 1887 was a prosperous year for the Northern Pacific Railroad. It finally connected, on its own track, from the Great Lakes to the Puget Sound, fulfilling its charter obligation and securing the federal land grant of millions of acres.

1913- Hard Rubber on Uniform

This is the second installment of the 4-part Button Aerogramme Series on the Northern Pacific Railway. See Part I: Great Big Baked Potato (1913-1970). Interestingly, in 1913 NP employee uniforms were to be outfitted with black (hard) rubber 4-hole buttons, over which…

1913 is the year that the Northern Pacific Rules and Specifications Governing Uniforming of Employes booklet went into effect, introducing these brand-new buttons.

Great Big Baked Potato

The Route of the “Great Big Baked Potato” was the passenger train service, North Coast Limited by the Northern Pacific Railway. This is a story about NP’s 1913 uniform button. Huge potatoes grown in the fertile soil of Yakima Valley in Washington were previously considered simply too large, too tough to cook and undesirable until NP adopted them in its dining car menu in 1909. The Route of the Great Big Baked Potato operated until Amtrak took over the passenger service in 1970.

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