This being the start of a new year, I’m introducing the first of a number of tour books published by the Union Pacific Railroad. The railroad published similar guides over the years for California, Colorado, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, Yellowstone, and Zion/Bryce/Grand Canyon national parks. It also had “summer tours” booklets that described and priced escorted tours to the various destinations.
I have four different series of tour books. This one, which I call the “painted-cover” series, with black-and-white photos inside and colorful covers, came out in the early 1920s. Later in the 1920s came the “embossed-cover” series, which featured deeply textured covers and, in some cases, color photos inside. In the 1930s came the “maps-on-cover” series, which had a stylized map of each region on the covers. Finally, after the war, came the “color-photo” series, which had color cover photos and color throughout the booklets.
This particular guide has dozens of black-and-white photos of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite, Mt. Shasta, Lake Tahoe, and other sights throughout California. The photos are balanced by the text, which devotes a paragraph or so to many cities and regions.
The booklet notes that Union Pacific trains “include the famous Overland Limited, the premier long-distance train; its twin the Los Angeles Limited; the Pacific Limited; the Continental Limited; and the Oregon-Washington Limited. All trains from Chicago depart from the handsome Northwestern Terminal via C.& N.W. Ry., except for the Pacific Limited, which departs from Union Station via C. M. & St. P. Ry.”