At first glance, this brochure appears to be a guide to Rock Island’s exhibit at the 1949 Chicago Rail Fair. But actually only one fourth of the brochure is about that exhibit; the 1949 Rail Fair program actually said more about the exhibit–that it had a square dancing pavilion, Southwest-themed live music, a replica of an 1880s dining car as well as the Rock Island’s latest diner, and a movie theater–in one-quarter page than this entire brochure. Rock Island was one of several railroads at the fair that offered food services in their own diners.
The rest of this brochure advertises the Rock Island railroad: passenger trains, freight trains, operations, scenic destinations, and the latest right-of-way improvements. The connection between rockets and the Southwest was made in a note that New Mexico is the location of the White Sands Proving Grounds where “scientists are experimenting with aerial rockets” even as Rock Island’s “Diesel-powered Rockets are a down-to-earth reality.”