Manufacturer: Shenango China
User: Norfolk & Western Railway
Pattern: Yellow Bird
Date range of examples: 1951 – 1952
Notes: This pattern was used by Norfolk & Western Railway on the Pocohontas and Powhatan Arrow trains. The railroad sold off their complete supply of china and other items in 1971 in Roanoke, Virginia due to the introduction of Amtrak.
The pattern was customized with the addition of the wider maroon or dark red band around the center design of a tropical yellow, red and green bird with multi-colored flowers on an ivory body. Larger pieces had the complete design while smaller pieces had a portion of the design but all had the distinctive maroon or dark red band.
This stock pattern, also made by Shenango, can be found with a thinner blue or red line and the same bird and floral motif as shown in the plate, above. This was never used by the railroad. Similar patterns have been found made by Mayer, Scammell and Syracuse china companies but only the Shenango version was used by N&W. At the present time, the official Shenango name of this pattern is unknown, although it's been commonly called Yellow Bird for many years.
Douglas W. McIntyre, The Official Guide to Railroad Dining China
Richard Luckin, Dining on Rails
Coupe-style bowl contributed by Susan Phillips
Relish, demi set and condiment contributed by reddygal