March 16, 2014

1035 UNITED STATES (California) - The GS-5 steam locomotive No. 4459 in 1953, in Los Angeles

This is the first postcard about which there was no need to search informations, because what it is written on its back it is more then enough:

"Four years before this great picture was taken, reproducing the glamorous, glory-days of steam, when a Lima Southern Pacific "Northern" waltzed a shiny red-orange-and-black Coast Daylight out of Los Angeles - on April 12, 1953 - just four years earlier there were trains prancing all over the Coast Route. She was then the Morning Daylight, this No. 99, this proud beauty - and acknowledged money-maker. There was also a sister train, the Noon Daylight, out of L.A. at a quarter past noon - because this service was so popular. The swank all-Pullman Park skirted the Coast Line at night. Even the well-known Coaster, Nos. 69 and 70, ran in those wonderful days. And 71 and 72, lowliest rattler of all, but once displaying those haughty numerals on the original Daylight Limited in pre-streamlining days - she sill ran.

Here, in 1953, is one of the noble pair of roller bearing 4-8-4 Daylight engines, the 4459. Her twin sister, No. 4458, sported Timken rollers in her driving-boxes. These two great million-mile locomotives made up the GS-5 Class. They spent most of their earlier years wheeling the Daylights, the Lark, and finally the Starlight. Seldom were they in the shop. They glided on rollers. They were money-makers, like the Daylight trains. And here is 4459 with 15 cars in tow. There is no more Noon edition of the fancy daytime streamliner, but there is now a nocturnal mate, the Starlight. In 1955 thirty minutes was chopped off the Lark schedule between Los Angeles and San Francisco, making her a strictly first-class sleeper train, featuring her famous triple-unit diner-lounge-kitchen cars - and making her run in eleven hours thirty minutes. The 8:30 AM srrival in both cities was early enough. Plenty of business men rode her. Plenty of them wanted her kept running when, a few years later. Southern Pacific got permission to discontinue this famous train.

In those palmier days there was also an oakland Lark, coming down around the other side of San Francisco Bay to connect at San Jose, forty-seven miles south of San Francisco. It wasn't too many years before all this was gone - even the majestic, money-making Coast Daylight, the sleek nine-and-three-quarter-hour flyer, which at one time made the run in nine-hours-and-a-half. But Nos. 98 (south- or eastbound) out of San Francisco, and 99 (north- or westbound) from Los Angeles, didn't die altogether. Today they still run under Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation). In fact, they run clear through to Portland, Oregon, carrying a through Seattle sleeping-car; and their business has boomed necessitating daily operation year-round! When steam still ruled the rails Southern Pacific, Lima-built 4459, rolling free on S-K-F bearings, came smartly out of Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal - right past a waiting Santa Fe diesel - and headed toward her first stop, Glendale. This is the great year, 1953. Soon she was speeding up the coast, bound for the City by the Golden Gate.

About the stamps

The first stamp is part of the longest running commemorative series in US history, the Black Heritage Series, started in 1978. It was issued by U.S. Postal Service as part of its mission "to celebrate the people, events, and cultural milestones that are unique" to the nation, creting this series to honor black Americans and the vital role they have played in U.S. history:
1978 - Harriet Tubman (0,13 USD)
1979 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (0,15 USD)
1980 - Benjamin Banneker (0,15 USD)
1981 - Whitney Moore Young (0,15 USD)
1982 - Jackie Robinson (0,20 USD)
1983 - Scott Joplin (0,20 USD)
1984 - Carter G. Woodson (0,20 USD) - It's on the postcard 1773
1985 - Mary McLeod Bethune (0,22 USD)
1986 - Sojourner Truth (0,22 USD)
1987 - Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable (0,22 USD)
1988 - James Weldon Johnson (0,22 USD)
1989 - A. Philip Randolph (0,25 USD)
1990 - Ida B. Wells (0,25 USD)
1901 - Jan E. Matzeliger (0,25 USD)
1992 - W.E.B. DuBois (0,25 USD)
1993 - Percy Lavon Julian (0,29 USD)
1994 - Dr. Allison Davis (0,29 USD)
1995 - Bessie Coleman (0,32 USD)
1996 - Ernest E. Just (0,32 USD) - It's on the postcard 2137
1997 - Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. (0,32 USD)
1998 - Madam C.J. Walker (0,32 USD)
1999 - Malcolm X (0,33 USD)
2000 - Patricia Roberts Harris (0,33 USD)
2001 - Roy Wilkins (0,34 USD)
2002 - Langston Hughes (0,34 USD)
2003 - Thurgood Marshall (0,37 USD)
2004 - Paul Robeson (0,37 USD)
2005 - Marian Anderson (0,37 USD)
2006 - Hattie McDaniel (0,39 USD)
2007 - Ella Fitzgerald (0,39 USD)
2008 - Charles W. Chesnutt (0,41 USD)
2009 - Anna Julia Cooper (0,44 USD)
2010 - Oscar Micheaux (0,44 USD)
2011 - Barbara Jordan (forever)
2012 - John H. Johnson (forever)
2013 - Althea Gibson (forever) - It's on the postcard 1640
2014 - Shirley Chisholm (forever) - It's on the postcards 1035
2015 - Robert Robinson Taylor (forever) - It's on the postcard 2135

About the second stamp, featuring a portrait of George Washington, I wrote here. The last stamp, is part of the series Building a Nation,about which I wrote here.

Forever Stamps Honor America’s Industrial Workers - United States Postal Service

sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 19.02.2014
Photo: Donald Duke / 12.04.1953

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