Issue Date: August 26, 1999
City: Cleveland, OH and Union, IL
Quantity: 6,000,000 panes of 20
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
In 1935, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (called the “Milwaukee Road”) introduced the Hiawatha, one of the first streamlined passenger trains. Owners considered calling the train “Flash” or “A-1,” but eventually named it for writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s legendary Indian who was fleet of foot.
The first run the Hiawatha made was between Chicago and the Twin Cities of Minnesota (St. Paul and Minneapolis). The start of this route made Milwaukee Road one of the first railroads in the nation to offer regularly streamlined passenger train service.
The Hiawatha transported about 200 people a day in its first year of service. By 1936, the number of daily passengers had increased to over 700. On some routes, the train had to be loaded to 15 coaches in order to transport the huge number of travelers and baggage. In 1952, the Milwaukee Road added “Skytop” glass-roofed observation cars to the Hiawatha trains.
By the early 1940s, diesel power had replaced steam as fuel for locomotives. This allowed trains to travel faster and more efficiently. Soon, Americans began relying on the automobile for transportation, and demand on the railroads declined. The various Hiawatha models began to disappear after this time.