The Union County Museum continues its Third Tuesday Series August 20, with a presentation about the connection between railroad history, tourism and the settlement of the West. The event begins at 7 a.m., in the Little White Church, across South Main Street from the museum in Union.
Titled The Art & Influence of Early 20th Century Railroad Advertising, the focus of this presentation is the influence of the four major railroads, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Milwaukee, as they forged their way into the Pacific Northwest. During the second great Railway Age of development, beginning in 1890, railroad companies produced rather extraordinary and artistic promotional materials to extol the virtues of railroads and traveling by rail. Together we will explore how, using this beautiful and creative advertising, the railroads prompted settlement, promoted tourism and fostered economic growth, as well as helped shape the region’s character and travel corridors the people of the Pacific Northwest have followed since the beginning of the 20th Century and still use today.
Presenter David Arnold has worked for the Wallowa Union Railroad as a conductor and licensed Locomotive Engineer for 18 years. A railroad historian and Vice-President of the Friends of the Joseph Branch, Mr. Arnold has a broad background related to railroad operations in the Northwest.
As a Graduate student at the University of Washington, the focus of his Master’s degree in history thesis was the relationship between Union Pacific Railroad and the development of sports and recreation in Wyoming Territory, 1868-1890. Mr. Arnold subsequently earned a Master’s degree in public health from Oregon State University, with an emphasis in Safety Program Management. He specifically focused on transportation and railroad safety issues, working closely with Union Pacific Railroad and Operation Lifesaver Programs.
Through George Fox University, Mr. Arnold taught a summer seminar on Northwest Railroad History for 8 years in the Rhodes Scholar Program, from 1992 until 2000. From 2010 until 2016, he served on the Oregon Transportation Commission’s State Rail Plan committee designing regional rail transportation models for both freight and passenger operations for the 21st century. Mr. Arnold currently serves on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Rail Division Advisory Committee overseeing distribution of funds to support both mainline and branch line economic and infrastructure development needs for the state of Oregon. Having utilized passenger rail as his primary source of transportation since the 1940s, Mr. Arnold is a strong advocate for the need and return of this mode of travel through Eastern Oregon and is currently engaged in efforts to make this happen.
Mr. Arnold also has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from George Fox University and an earned Doctorate of Psychology (Ph.D.) from Gonzaga University.
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Illustration by Edward Teller, famed commercial artist and painter, for the Pennsylvania Railroad.