If you need a great example of the famous Milwaukee Road's over-the-rails dinnerware, look no further ! Beyond being a striking depiction of the Chicago Milwaukee St Paul & Pacific Railroad fast-flying goose pattern called "Traveler" it is a showpiece for Syracuse China's trademark airbrush decorating technique called "shadowtone."
"Traveler" china was used on the Milwaukee's streamliner trains between 1937 and 1969. This is a double egg cup, designed for serving two eggs to a dining car passenger. The cup-like shape lent itself to flexibility and it could also have been used for custard, pudding, fruit or another similar food. A single Canada goose sports hand-painted black details, while on the opposite side, sharply defined pine trees set off a mountain background.
SIZE is approximately 3 inches tall and 3.25 inches across the top.
CONDITION is extremely nice with no signs of use. Even tilting it in bright light, we could not find any surface marks. There are NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs. The glaze is so hard and bright it glistens. The pink and black decoration are superbly done. The bottom is correctly marked with the Onondaga Pottery / Syracuse China green backstamp. The 11-Y date code translates to November 1944.
This is an authentic, railroad-ordered dish. It has no railway markings, which is absolutely acceptable, because "Traveler" was a so-called "exclusive" pattern, made by Syracuse China for one customer only, the CMStP&P. Notably, the vast majority of Traveler pieces carried only Syracuse China markings and no railroad marks, but a small number indeed are stamped with the railroad name and accordingly are more sought-after.
Because of the artwork and condition, this would be a very, very nice addition to any collection of railroad or restaurant china.
BACKGROUND: As the story goes, a Syracuse China senior salesman had traveled to Chicago to present several pattern designs to RR officials -- who rejected them all. After the unsuccessful meeting, as he walked back to his hotel, he passed by an art gallery where a painting of Canada geese was on display in the window. Inspired that the geese could become a unique symbol suggesting that the new trains could be swift over long distances, the salesman again approached the railroad officials, who liked the new idea. Using the fast flying geese as their inspiration, the china artists in Syracuse then created the Traveler pattern.
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