This quite different mid-size plate was made for use in grill cars aboard New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad passenger trains. It is approximately 8-1/2 inches across, and features a unique design with a passenger train running across an outline map of the New England seacoast states, through where the New Haven operated.
The pattern name is "Merchants," used between 1937 and 1952. This tableware was ordered specifically for the New Haven's grill cars -- not for tables in its more formal dining cars. In 1937, there were five grill cars from the Osgood-Bradley division of Pullman Standard. Grill cars served short order "fast food" -- such as hamburgers, sandwiches, french fries, chips and pickles.
Take a look at the train -- on the tender car just behind the streamlined engine, you can read NEW HAVEN. Character drawings add interest: mountains and pine trees in New York, a schooner under full sail in the ocean, and a cute cartoon whale just above Cape Cod. The design is enhanced by the subtle pastel base ware color, with white rim bands mixed with several shades of white. The back marking carries the full railroad back-stamp identifying its maker as Buffalo China.
CONDITION is lovely with only very slight signs of use (you must tilt it in bright light to see any). There are NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs.
Our information is that only three sizes of plates were made, and only a few other companion pieces such as cereal-size bowls and mugs designed to sit on the table without saucers, rather than cup/saucer sets. Only the plates carried the train artwork, making the other pieces difficult to recognize as railroad china unless you read the bottom marking!
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