publications

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the welfare of its farm customers and sponsored a number of livestock, poultry, and dairy trains in the 1920s to teach farmers modern agricultural methods. In 1929 it sponsored a Profitable Pork Special that sought to encourage the Nebraska pork industry. Newspaperman Will M. Maupin, who traveled with the train and reported its progress and success, noted October 10, 1929, in the Hastings Democrat:

“Not more hogs, but more profit in hogs is the basic idea behind the ‘Profitable Pork Production’ special that the Burlington has been sending out over its Nebraska lines during the last two weeks, and which will continue for another 10 days. . . . The special consists of a baggage car, six exhibit cars, a sleeper and a diner-club car. The baggage car contains the feed for the hogs carried for exhibit purposes and for the tons of literature to be distributed.”

Maupin noted that the most interesting and informative exhibit on the train was on the third car, “an open flat car. There one sees a sanitary hog lot containing big, healthy pigs that have been kept on clean ground and provided with plenty of fresh, clean water. Next to it is a typical old hog lot, full of old bones, decaying cobs, filthy watering troughs and a mud wallow. The pigs therein were kept in just such a lot. The pigs in the clean lot and those in the unsanitary lot are the same age, and were fed exactly the same rations. But the pigs in the sanitary lot outweigh the others two to one. No more striking demonstration of the value of hog lot sanitation could be given, nor better explained by pages of pamphleteering.

“The other open car carries a properly constructed A-type hog house, a self feeder and a tank wagon. . . . One coach is devoted to showing feeds and methods of feeding. The last exhibit coach shows a comparison between three types of hogs, explaining why a certain type is the most profitable. . . . A correspondent of the Democrat has been privileged to travel with the special for several days. Three demonstrations a day are given and so far the average daily attendance has been upwards of 4,500, most of them farmers and farm families.

“Not more hogs, but more profit in hogs! The Burlington officials want that idea emphasized! ‘The same number of hogs but more profit in each hog marketed.’ If it takes five carloads of feed to produce a given tonnage of pork, and an equal tonnage can be produced with four carloads of feed, the farmer will profit to the extent of that carload, and the Burlington will profit from the revenue derived from hauling that same carload to market.”

This pig production exhibit was installed in the first coach of the Profitable Pork Special, October 2-25, 1929. NSHS RG1431.PH:3175

diseas takes 1 in 4

Disease exhibit installed in the first coach. NSHS RG1431.PH:3171

 

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph).   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.