Library receives vintage Great Western poster

Hamm officially made the poster donation to Library Director Linda Lloyd on Wednesday last week. The poster will be on display near the front desk to begin with, then will be rotated throughout the library along with the other artwork. Photo by Kacey Ginn

Clarion, though established as the county seat in 1866, started out smaller than some of the earlier-established cities in the county. But when the railroad lines came, that all changed.

“The Great Western was the largest employer in town,” said William Hamm, a former Clarionite who now resides in Waverly. “There are still people in town whose fathers worked for the Great Western.”

Hamm’s father, Ralph, was one of those men. That’s why when he saw a vintage poster for the Great Western Railroad on Ebay last year, it was “kind of an impulse buy.”

The poster was designed by Bern Hill, a famous mid-century illustrator. The poster is titled “Streamlined for Freight."

Hamm wanted to donate the piece and considered a few museums, but decided he would like it to reside in Clarion due to the great importance the Chicago Great Western once had in the community. He chose the library because the poster could be on display and appreciated by visitors all year round, and because his mother, Pauline Hamm, worked for the library for 22 years in the 70s and 80s.


For the full story, see the January 18 edition of the Monitor.