Scenic Grandeur of the West

This packet of sixteen color photos is dated 1943. Photos include three Southern Pacific trains: the Coast Daylight, San Joaquin Daylight, and City of San Francisco (with the Union Pacific and Chicago & North Western logos airbrushed away from the locomotive nose). Nine other photos are scenes from California–Yosemite, Redwoods, San Francisco bridges–plus three from Arizona and one from New Mexico.


Click image to download a 20.2-MB PDF of this packet of 16 8″x10″ photos.

These prints are, as they say, suitable for framing. However, the colors on my copy are either faded (which seems unlikely as there is no evidence they’ve been framed or otherwise left out in the light) or were poorly printed. For example, below is the print of the Wawona Tunnel tree, a Sequioa tree which fell in 1969, no doubt partly because someone in 1881 had enlarged a fire scar into a tunnel big enough to drive through. The tree appears overly purple; the faces of the two women appear greyscale as if the photo was originally black-and-white and had been colorized.

Compare this with the postcard below, which was mailed in 1951. The colors are much more natural appearing and it doesn’t look colorized at all. It is possible that color printing was rare enough in 1943 that people didn’t know the prints in this collection didn’t really represent the true colors found in nature.


Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.


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