Western Pacific Timetables

WP's Most Embarrassing Timetable

Visitor Miles Post has provided an interesting bit of WP and CZ lore. It seems that WP had to hastily pull their September 26, 1954 timetable from circulation do to an embarrassing printing mistake, wherein a publicity photo of a waiter serving dinner to some dining car patrons shows what appears to be a part of the male anatomy is hanging out from under the waiter's immaculate white jacket. Miles writes that he received the following report from another WP fan who had spoken with WP PR Director Art Lloyd about the timetable.

"As I suspected, Art Lloyd was VERY much involved in the entire fiasco----although this [the timetable] was a sales item, as PR Director he raced around with the Marketing Department people trying to scoop them all up off the shelves as fast as possible. The photos for the timetable were taken by the usual photographer, John Brennis and printed by Dover Litho----after they had been "on the street" for a week or so, an item appeared in Herb Caen's column about "the Western Pacific pornographic timetable." Art says that this was what tipped all of them off to the offending "addition"----he said that no one in WP caught it before or after it was printed----he also said that someone from WP had to have been the one to tip off Herb Caen. At any rate, it was a printing error---back in the days when photos were printed from metal plates, something in the process had gotten on the plate in that particular location----there was no sign of it in the photographer's negatives. The waiter in the photo, an actual employee, was absolutely mortified and as a result of this, the printer had to make cash settlements to him and the photographer as well. Art said that everyone was absolutely embarrassed beyond belief."

So, where's the picture? I debated whether to display it here, but have decided not to. Though it is of historical interest, this is a general audience web site, and I had to ask myself if I'd want my young daughter to see this...no, I wouldn't. Secondly, and maybe more importantly, this incident caused much embarrassment and pin to the waiter and his family. The crews of the CZ rank pretty high in my book, and I wouldn't want to crassly tarnish their memory. So how to balance decency with historical documentation? While I won't display the image publicly here, I will provide a copy by email to those who request it. Note: The image file that I had available to email out has unfortunately been corrupted (no pun intended!). I'll try to get a new copy of the scan for those who want it.

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