L&N Magazine Farewell Edition

Front of L&N Magazine
Back of L&N Magazine
L&N Magazine Farewell Edition – No. 578 May-June 1974
We often receive handwritten requests for literature about our attraction and the famed L&N rail line. Our most recent request was from a youth from Illinois, eager for insights from our archive. Luckily, our treasure trove includes several copies of the L&N Magazine, with duplicates filling gaps in our collection.

While thumbing through our magazines, my attention was captivated by the final publication, the “Farewell Edition – No. 578,” dated May-June 1974. Its covers, adorned with timeless images from past issues, immediately drew me in. With a background entrenched in the newspaper industry, I still relish the tactile experience of holding newsprint in my hands, a habit reinforced by my daily newspaper delivery.

Anticipation mounted as I returned home, eager to immerse myself in the pages of this half-century-old magazine. Amongst its eclectic array of articles—some of which I’ll undoubtedly share in future blog posts—the highlight for me was undoubtedly the list of cover selections for this concluding edition.

As penned within the magazine’s pages, the cover selections are a veritable journey through time:

Front Cover: Center: March 1925 – A poignant homage to our inaugural front cover, a collector’s gem marking the railroad’s 75th anniversary and the genesis of the L&N Magazine. Lower Left: December 1926 – A festive scene featuring Santa in a railroad setting, a harbinger of the many Christmas-themed covers to follow. Lower Right: October 1942 – A snapshot of wartime secrecy, depicting troop movements by rail during World War II. Upper Left: March 1950 – Celebrating the railroad’s centennial and the L&N Magazine’s 25th anniversary, an issue brimming with historical insights. Upper Right: March 1970 – A visually striking “wrap-around” cover by Artist Gene Mulhall, encapsulating two transformative decades for L&N from 1950 to 1970.

Back Cover: Center: February 1928 – A glimpse of our Louisville general office building, then tall but half its current width, before expansion in 1929 doubled its size. Lower Left: March 1937 – An early nod to innovative transportation, showcasing L&N’s “Ship Your Car and Travel by Train” service, a precursor to modern Auto-Train concepts. Lower Right: April 1962 – Documenting the filming of a movie about The General, a historic Civil War locomotive that served as an L&N “publicity getter.” Upper Left: March 1946 – Announcing a contest to name two new L&N deluxe streamliners, with the winning names “The Humming Bird” and “The Georgian” selected from 300,000 entries. Upper Right: March 1953 – A poignant illustration heralding “The End of Steam,” capturing the melancholy of an engineer witnessing the scrapping of his beloved steam locomotive.

Over the years, dedicated volunteers like Mike Dowell and Miliska Knauft have diligently worked to complete our magazine collection. Mike’s efforts to organize our archives and create a comprehensive catalog were invaluable, while Miliska’s ongoing dedication ensures the maintenance of our museum archive. Magazine donations are meticulously checked to fill gaps and preserve pristine copies, contributing to our mission of preserving the legacy of passenger travel.

Though our collection isn’t currently accessible to the public, these publications serve as invaluable resources for research. While we aren’t a traditional artifact museum, the pieces we share help weave the narrative of passenger travel through the ages. Donated artifacts are carefully stored for use by volunteers and staff, ensuring our mission endures. So, the next time you come across an old magazine, take a moment to flip through its pages—you never know what fascinating discoveries await within.