Canadian Pacific has had numerous creative and striking logos since the company was founded in 1881. The company produced an illustrated history of the designs in 2006 to mark the CPR's 125th anniversary but unfortunately it is no longer in print.
This scroll is actually a revision of an earlier scroll printed in 1990, also out of print. Should you happen to find a second-hand copy of the new version you might be interested to know that in order to fit in an additional fifteen years of logo development, it had to delete some of the details of the earlier logos:
Canadian Pacific lived out its construction years having only "Canadian Pacific Railway" in block letters as its company logo. The only distinctive flight of fancy the company would allow itself was to arrange the words "Canadian Pacific" in an arched quarter circle on its boxcars. After the driving of the last Spike on November 7, 1885, Canadian Pacific readied itself for the first transcontinental train run leaving Montreal and Toronto on June 28, 1886. With the inauguration of the transcontinental train service came the need for a more appealing timetable. This new folder had to be properly identified. The company name should, at the very least, be presented in a pleasing but eye-catching manner.
The 2006 version also doesn't clearly explain the overlap in logos in the 1920s: the circular logo was used on motive power and rolling stock while the older beaver crest remained on the timetable covers.
Below are the versions of the CPR logo that pertain to the time span covered by this web site.
As the official history mentions, the Thirties logo was designed to be customized for each division of Canadian Pacific and, in cases, for individual components of these divisions. The CPR site only illustrates the railway version of this logo so I have put together my own collection of the other variations. These illustrations are all taken from various pieces of ephemera and are sometimes very small to begin with which is why many of the scans are low resolution. The selection will continue to grow as I obtain more memorabilia from this period.
Variations of the Fifties Logo
The Airline Logos
I guess the beaver just wasn't cutting it as a mascot of the jet age because he was replaced in the 1950s with the much more aerodynamic - but equally patriotic - Canada goose. Like most other divisions, the airline logos didn't actually appear on the airplanes themselves, but on various printed materials such as luggage tags and timetables.
The original airline logo actually first appeared in 1943 with a slightly different airplane illustration as shown here:
In either case, it's quite mystifying how the designers of CPR's striking logos could have come up with an airline insignia that depicts an aircraft hurtling towards earth.
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