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National Railroad Museum: New Christopher Railroad China Exhibit opens at National Railroad Museum
6/8/2012

For Additional Information Contact: Deanna Novak
Phone: 920-437-7623, x-12

The National Railroad Museum will capture the golden era of the American passenger train. This new exhibit will delight the entire family!

Ashwaubenon (Green Bay, Wis.) – The National Railroad Museum will host an exhibit one of the world's most extensive, and exclusive, collections of vintage railroad dining car china beginning June 29, 2012 through March 3, 2013. The Jay Christopher Railroad China Collection features china and other objects used throughout the United States’ history of railroad dining.

The new exhibit kicks-off with an opening breakfast reception on June 28th, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. Breakfast, tours of the Museum, train rides and a presentation from the owner of the well-known kitchen product company and collector, Jay Christopher, will be $10.00 per person for the public. Please RSVP to Deanna Novak at dnovak@nationalrrmuseum.org and place the word RSVP in the subject line by June 18, 2012. Seating is limited!

Showcasing approximately 600 pieces of fine china created for use in railroad dining cars from the late 19th century through the establishment of Amtrak in 1971, the Christopher Railroad China Collection opens a unique window into the bygone days of elegant meals on the dining car. Featuring one-of-a-kind pieces from a highly unique collection, uniforms, menus, linens, children’s pieces and more will be on display from railroads that traveled across the country. An exhibit only shown to the public once before, the National Railroad Museum provides the perfect setting to view this premier collection amongst some of the great locomotives and passenger cars that once traveled the United States!

First intrigued with railroad china during his childhood vacation travels by train, Jay Christopher of Hinsdale, Ill. began collecting during the 1990s and quickly acquired a collection of thousands of pieces of china and other railroad dinning objects. "I have fond memories of riding the rails aboard the Chicago and North Western Flambeau 400 to my grandparents' vacation home in Wisconsin," Christopher said. "We also traveled out East to Washington D.C. and New York City on classic trains such as Pennsylvania Railroad's Broadway Limited and the New York Central's 20th Century Limited. The highlight of these childhood trips was the time spent in the dining cars enjoying a meal while watching the countryside pass by."

In addition to his appreciation for the beauty of dining car china, Christopher said he wants to preserve a piece of American history. "When I add a new piece of china to the collection, it not only represents personal memories of an era gone by, but my effort to safeguard this vital part of the American way of life," he said.

“This collection is one of the best in the nation”, states the National Railroad Museum’s executive director, Jacqueline Frank. “Not only does it provide a glimpse into what our grandparents enjoyed when traveling, but it helps tell the story of American social and decorative history in a way that appeals everyone – how we ate. The National Railroad Museum is honored to be chosen to show this wonderful collection”.


Founded in 1956, the National Railroad Museum educates the public through programs, exhibits, and preservation projects about the ongoing impact of railroads in our lives. Visiting the National Railroad Museum offers patrons an opportunity to explore our railroad heritage. Sit in the cab of the Union Pacific Big Boy, the world’s largest steam locomotive. View Gen. Eisenhower’s World War II command train. Examine the future of railroading in the sleek 1955 General Motors Aerotrain. The Museum is one of the oldest and largest institutions of its kind in the U.S. It receives 75,000 visitors a year.
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