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Friday, January 5, 2018

One Hundred and Seven Years Ago Today

I had never heard of the "Eastern Express" until I saw this post card (and two others in my collection). I searched the internet for a reference to the Eastern Express but could only find people trying to sell post cards on-line with Eastern Express in the titles. Knowing that the transcontinental railroad had several names for their cross-country trains, one would think that this name would be listed officially somewhere. But, I cannot find it; at least, none connected to the Union Pacific Railroad.
This particular Eastern Express is just southeast of Ogden, Utah at a little unincorporated area of Utah called Croyden. I did look on a map and there is a railroad track that passes just a wee bit south of Croyden today. You can see in the post card picture that there are two locomotives pulling it up the hills toward the Rocky Mountains.

I like this post card because it tells us that the person who wrote it mailed it while he or she was on the train. The post mark tells us that is was mailed on January 5th of 1911 on the line between Ogden and some place that starts with an SAN... I took out my super-magnifying glass and it continues on the stamp with SAN FRAN!! But it also tells us it was mailed on the train, itself, because the bottom of the postmark contains the letters R. P. O. The R.P.O. stands for Railway Post Office.

The first railroad post office car in North America was used on July 28, 1862 when the train traveled over the Hannibal & St. Joseph RR in Missouri as the mail made its way to California.

This post card is from the Divided Back Era. The number on this card is A-9091... It was published by the Barkalow Bros. Company. The Barkalow Brothers, Sidney D. Barkalow and Derrick V. Barkalow, arrived in Omaha from Ohio in 1856. BARKALOW BROS., news agents U. P. R. R., firm composed of D. V. and S. D. Barkalow, commenced business in 1865. They became the exclusive distributors of printed materials, including postcards, for the Union Pacific Railroad.
They won won their contract with the U.P. in 1865 and became the exclusive news agents on the trains and in the stations along the line. The Barkalow Brothers also published non railroad oriented view-cards that were often printed by Tom Jones. They eventually became suppliers of hotel gift shops and moved their business to Fort Myers, Florida. They have been known to cooperate with Williamson-Haffner Company in their publishing efforts.

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