Rip Van Winkle’s Dream was published in 1883 in dedication to the Michigan Central Railroad – The Niagara Falls Route. The book contains over 30 beautiful, full-page illustrations, many of them featuring the beloved Rip Van Winkle. Wemple & Co., of New York, worked on the book as lithographers.
The first seven pages of the book, unrelated to the main story of Rip Van Winkle, includes “A Parody on Iolanthe,” written by Davison Dalziel, which is an alternative take on the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera Iolanthe, but is instead dedicated to the conductors of the Chicago & Alton Railway. The last 22 pages of the book contain advertisements for a variety of businesses around Chicago, including, as just a few examples, the Ansonia Clock Company, the Crescent Steel Works, the Leland Hotel and the Haverly Theatre.
Rip Van Winkle’s Dream was published by Davison Dalziel (1852-1928), of Chicago. Dalziel was born and raised in London, England, and after being “granted the privileges of a superior education” he entered the journalism industry. He was engaged in newspaper work in Sydney, Australia in the late 1870s. He afterwards went to San Francisco, where he established the San Francisco Daily Mail. He then relocated to Chicago, where he remained prominent in the newspaper industry and served as the editor of the Chicago News Letter, “the leading dramatic newspaper in America.” He then returned to London, where he formed Dalziel’s News Agency and became an influential businessman in the transportation industry. He served as president of the Pullman Car Company and the International Sleeping Car Company. He was elected to serve as a Member of Parliament for Brixton from 1910 to 1923 and again from 1924 to 1927. Dalziel passed away in 1928 after a short illness.
The lengthy advertisement for the Michigan Central Railroad at the back of Rip Van Winkle’s Dream provides an overview of the company and the Niagara Falls Route.
“Michigan Central. The Great Highway of East and West Travel.
The Michigan Central has become the deservedly favorite route between the great cities and Summer resorts of the East and West, being the only route under a single management between Chicago, Niagara Falls and Buffalo, and offering to the traveling public the many great advantages resulting from that fact. Whether one travels East or travels West, he finds that the Michigan Central has spared no pains nor expense to make his journey as rapid, safe, comfortable and pleasant as possible. He finds not one only, but many, daily Fast Express trains, made up new and sumptuous Parlor, Dining and Sleeping Coaches, replete with every convenience that money can provide and ingenuity devise. These trains are veritable first-class hotels upon wheels, in which the passenger can eat, drink, smoke, sleep, lounge and take comfort as in his own inn. And the traveler is sure of quick time and close connection at junction points.
The title of “The Niagara Falls Route” belongs peculiarly and especially to the Michigan Central, for it is the only route running trains directly to the Great Cataract itself. Its trains halt at Falls View Station, almost at the very brink of the down-pouring flood, where the views is finer than is obtainable from any other point. From this point, the trains follow the course of the river to the great Cantilever Bridge, which is a marvelous triumph of engineering science. It is constructed of steel, with a double track, and stood the severest test upon its completion. It is the first bridge ever built upon its particular principle, and is probably the safest, as it is one of the most elegant, in the world. Crossing this grand structure, two hundred and fifty feet above “the angriest bit of water in the world,” the traveler sees again the great Falls, the dark river gorge, and the rushing Whirlpool Rapids.
The route to Buffalo follows the river bank for miles, affording varied and delightful pictures of the emerald flood, the foam-crested Rapids, the Falls, the leafy islands and peaceful Canada shore, while the thunders of the great Cataract sink with distance into a monotone, and are finally lost, save as their echoes long linger in memory.
Entering the beautiful city of Buffalo, the traveler finds the superb Palace Cars taken on without change to Albany and New York, by the New York Central and Hudson River, and from Albany to Boston by the Boston and Albany railroads. To the Michigan Central, and to no other road, all this applies, and therefore it is that the public have bestowed upon it the title of “The Niagara Falls Route.”
Excepting only the almost inaccessible Yellowstone Park, there is no spot combining so many of the glories, beauties and advantages of a tourists’ paradise as Mackinac Island. Rising grandly over 300 feet above the channel in which the waters of the earth’s greatest unsalted seas meet and blend in billowy harmony, it is nearly nine miles in circumference. The United States Government has, with a just appreciation of its wonderful attractions, reserved entire island for a National Park, and the Michigan Central has made it accessible to tourists.
O. W. Ruggles, Gen. Passenger and Ticket Agent, Chicago.
F. I. Whitney, Ass’t Gen. Pass. And Ticket Ag’t, Chicago.”