This little butter pat with a deepest cobalt blue band surrounded by thin golden lines is a fine representative of the Union Pacific Railroad's "Blue and Gold" pattern china.
This understated pattern was purchased for passenger dining cars on "The 49er," a name train that ran between San Francisco, CA and Chicago, IL, a trip of over 2,000 miles that took just under two days. With the name also spelled out as "The Forty Niner" this service debuted in 1937, and sadly lasted only until 1941. Following the discontinuance of the name train service, the UP continued to use "Blue and Gold" in its station restaurants.
CONDITION: You won't find any better. There is little if any use, and NO cracks, chips or repairs. The gold decoration is uniform with almost no sign of wear.
Blue and Gold was made by several manufacturing companies, and sold commercially as a stock pattern. This butter chip carries a correct Shenango bottom marking, date coded for being made during the first half of the year 1955. It never rode a train, but possibly could have been UPRR used in one of the restaurants. There is no way to be sure, but it is a great representative of the pattern, and no good Union Pacific collection should be without an example of Blue & Gold.
Blue & Gold is listed in the books with Union Pacific patterns, since the UP initiated the original train service for which it was purchased. There is an interesting reason why the pattern was never marked with any railroad identification. According to "Dining on Rails," because of the great distance involved, the UP shared operations of "The 49er" trains with two other railroads. They were unable to agree on a shared china pattern, and at last compromised on Blue and Gold. The final arrangement was no railway markings at all on any of the dining car ware, because they all refused to use china aboard their trains that was marked for one of the other lines. A unique pattern honoring all three never happened.
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