One more piece of railroad-related art before we move on to other things ... and this one is perhaps my favorite.
The construction of the Milwaukee Road across Montana was one of the state's greatest engineering efforts, and it had an even more exceptional sequel -- soon after it opened, the railroad decided to electrify the most mountainous parts of its line. Hydroelectric power from Great Falls was transmitted to the railway, and then transferred to specially-built locomotives via a system of catenary wires strung above the tracks. It was thoroughly impressive technology for its day, almost unprecedented in its setting and scale. For decades thereafter, the Milwaukee was the longest electrified railroad in America.
Justifiably, the Milwaukee's electrification project drew significant attention, both in the engineering community and beyond. The railroad heavily advertised the new technology and its benefits -- as did General Electric, which designed and supplied much of the equipment. Many of the promotional materials featured dramatic, almost futuristic art ... like this gorgeous example, which graced the cover of a small book about the electrification that the railroad published in 1917.