Railroad posters were at first relatively utilitarian objects announcing routes, rates, or basic informational needs, but as railroads expanded and competition increased posters became one of the biggest forms of advertising for the railroads. Most railroad executives knew that attracting passengers was a great way to build the business and they commissioned beautiful artwork and photography to be done for posters advertising their lines, special routes, new trains, and destinations for vacation. Some of the most iconic images of railroading were born on these posters. For a poster to be very valuable it will need to be in good condition with no fading, stains, tears, folds, creases, or other imperfections. Posters were originally hung in stations, depots, and travel offices and came framed with a matt featuring the railroad’s logo and title for the poster. Newer posters or unframed posters can easily grab hundreds of dollars and older posters still in original frame and in good condition can bring thousands of dollars, but are exceptionally rare. Occasionally, there are one-of-a-kind unique artworks relating to railroad posters or advertising that have brought over $25,000 but to see one of these is very rare and requires a special situation of bidders to drive the price up.
Also check out our complete Railroadiana Posters and Signs Value Guide