“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Schenectady in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)


Hiawatha, Super Chief and the J3 Hudson

Streamliners Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel
1. Streamliners Marker
Imagine what it was like before Americans began their love affair with the automobile. Local travel outside the cities was often difficult, uncomfortable and limited to horse-drawn carriages. The highway system we now take for granted was still over fifty years in the future and many roads were unpaved. In the heartland, railroads were the only form of distance travel.

In the 1920s, the American economy was roaring and employment was high. People were captivated by the idea of vacationing in exotic places like California and Florida advertised in colorful brochures and posters. Nearly 200,000 miles of railroad track was in service and passenger trains were reliable, fast, and luxurious - equipped with dining, sleeping and lounge cars.

With an eye on the domestic travel market, ALCO redesigned its passenger steam locomotives to look shiny, muscular and aerodynamic. It introduced the Milwaukee nClass A locomotives in 1935, including the famed Hiawathas which operated between Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul. A few years later, ALCO hired Henry Dreyfuss, the noted industrial designer, to design a dynamic
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bullet-shaped locomotive named the J3 Hudson for the New York Central line (1938) and the beautiful stainless steel J3A Hudsons for the Empire State Express.

The public loved both the ALCO-built Streamliners such as the famed Hiawathas, diesels like the Orange Blossom Special and the Santa Fe Railroad's sleek PA-1 and PA-2 Super Chiefs. Before the era of coast-to-coast airline service, Streamliner and diesel travel was the way Americans chose to see the USA: from the comfort of a Pullman, dining, dome or lounge car.

Advertisers promoted Streamliner and diesel travel with ads and posters. The Streamliner era is considerer the “Golden Age” of American Poster design. Four examples include: left- a brochure for the Streamliner Tennessean; center - the 1939 J3 Hudson; right - a poster for the Hiawatha; below, a postcard for the Orange Blossom Special. Main Image - ALCO's PA1 diesel was its 75,000th locomotive. It was built for the Santa Fe Railroad.

Credits: Streamliner
The 1939 J3 Hudson-SAME
ALCO advertisement-SAME
Seaboord's Orangle Blossom Special-SAME
The Hiawatha SAME
ALCO diesel-Schenectady County Historical Society

Erected by Schenectady County, ALCO.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars
Streamliners Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel
2. Streamliners Marker
. A significant historical year for this entry is 1935.
Location. 42° 49.465′ N, 73° 55.986′ W. Marker is in Schenectady, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker is at the intersection of Harborside Drive and Mohawk Harbor Way, on the right when traveling south on Harborside Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Schenectady NY 12308, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Schenectady (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Casey Jones (about 600 feet away); "Jupiter" (about 800 feet away); "Big Boy" (approx. 0.2 miles away); World War II (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dewitt Clinton (approx. 0.2 miles away); The “Works” (approx. 0.2 miles away); ALCo Site (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Schenectady.
Also see . . .
1. Streamliners Memories. (Submitted on November 12, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
2. Streamliners (Wikipedia). (Submitted on November 12, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 12, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 133 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 12, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 30, 2023