As small railways grew into systems and long distance travel became more customary, the need for a timetable to display more information soon exhausted the limitations of a single sheet of paper. To facilitate this distribution and the presentation of timetables from various companies in an organized fashion, printers settled on a standard dimension of four inches wide by nine inches tall for most timetables intended for the public. First in the form of folded large sheets and later in the form of a double folded, stapled booklet, these timetables presented the offerings of the various railways to the public. Many were highly ornate and reflected the very latest in printing technology of their era. When the airlines began commercial operations in 1927, they followed along a similar path.
Left image: Classic Rail Timetables from 120 years ago!
If you are fascinated by timetables - the paper that brings man into coordinated contact with the machines of transportation - then you will benefit from becoming a member of the National Association of Timetable Collectors. Serving as a forum for collectors all across North America and the world since 1962, the NAOTC promotes the enjoyable collecting of timetables. Whether collected as historical records of transport services in a particular area, of an individual company's activities, or simply as fine examples of the printer's art, you will find that timetables become more informative and enjoyable with membership in the NAOTC. Our members' interests range through a wide variety of bus, air, rail employee, rail public and marine timetables of all dates. Members gather at our annual convention, as well as at local shows held at various locations throughout North America. They keep advised of current activities through the FIRST EDITION, our monthly newsletter. They also receive our quarterly magazine, the TIMETABLE COLLECTOR, which features articles on timetables from the past and present.
Right image: Classic Air Timetables courtesy of AirTimes