The Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University

Serving Up a Slice of America

These days, it’s hard to imagine that railroad travel was once the most stylish, gracious, and exciting way to get from point A to point B. American Railroad China: Image and Experience, The Jay W. Christopher Transportation China Collection written by Chuck Kratz, examines railroad china design as an instrument of corporate image building and an intriguing episode of American design history.

In addition to showcasing the era’s beautiful plates, cups and saucers, tea pots, and other serving pieces—some by industrial design pioneers Dreyfuss, Loewy and Cotler—the book’s text offers a thoughtful, smart, and engaging historic account. A wealth of period photos, ephemera, and even recipes (Capital Limited Oyster Pie, anyone?) vividly portray the dining car as a major source of pride and brand differentiation for the many passenger railroads that once crisscrossed the country.


Included in the Communication Arts Design Annual. Selected as a winner in the 2009 American Association of Museum Publications Design Competition.

Book visual concept and design
Art direction
Production oversight