Dining Car China
To railroads, dining car china was more than a food service item—it was a valuable promotional tool.
The names of railroad china patterns often reflected the regions through which the train passed, such as Flora of the South or Prairie Mountain Wildflowers.
China also touted the names of trains—20th-Century Limited, Southern Pacific Daylight, and Capitol Limited—or featured the name or emblem of the railroad.
Utilitarian by nature, railroad china had to be sturdy enough to withstand heavy use (akin to that used in hospitals, cafeterias and restaurants) as well as attractive. It needed to stand up to the “short order” atmosphere of a dining car kitchen and the constant bouncing of the train cars.