The Railroad Commissary

Welcome to The Railroad Commissary's Missouri Pacific  /  MP  supplementary information page. Please feel free to send questions or comments to:    Relevant information, and credits, will be posted.

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The Eagle Pattern

Missouri Pacific's "The Eagle" pattern china went through a couple of distinct phases through its years of use.  It appears that the first version was similar to the well-known Eagle china, except that the colored band was gold leaf.  These were made by Shenango, and bear the full color Indian potter backstamp.  As one can imagine, wear to the gold leaf soon became a substantial esthetics failing, and the pattern was evidently reworked, changing the over-glaze gold band to an under-glaze mustard yellow band.  The Eagle logo was also slightly redesigned in a less stylized, more "relaxed" image.

The date of these changes are not well known.  What can be said, is that the locomotive depicted in the logo was built in 1939, so the design must not be older than that.  It is also said that the well-known Syracuse version dates back to the early 1940's, so it appears that the Shenango version was made for only a few years - quite possibly only the initial order.  Pieces in this early style are much scarcer than the Syracuse version, and pieces with no wear to the gold stripe are real prizes.

Sometime between 1958 and 1959, the base color of MP Eagle china changed. It was a more tan color in the earlier years, thereafter is was a bit closer to white. The change was very subtle and not a matter of concern for most, but the more fastidious collector might care. The manufacturing date will be your best guide.

St Albans Pattern

St Albans pattern china was a common stock pattern used by the Missouri Pacific, the Lackawanna and probably 350 restaurants.  Remember that only St. Albans china back marked for either railroad has any value to a collector of authentic dining car china.  Plenty of shady dealers will sell non-railroad marked St. Albans china as railroad china, but their sales pitches fall on deaf ears with experienced collectors.  The Railroad Commissary never stocks non-railroad marked St. Albans china.