Under the Turquoise Sky

This is Rock Island’s 1928 entry into the Colorado travel booklet competition. The turquoise cover and theme is brilliant (though Colorado skies are no more turquoise than skies anywhere else), and the theme is continued on the inside with the use of a highlight color on almost every page that is actually closer to aqua than turquoise.


Click image to download 15.7-MB PDF of this 36-page booklet. Click here for an OCR version.

Unlike Rock Island’s Yellowstone brochure, whose pages were about three-quarters text accompanied by small photos, most of the pages of this booklet feature nearly full-page photos–though some pages have two or three photos–with very little text. Many of the photo subjects will be familiar to those who know the UP Colorado booklet or the Burlington Rocky Mountain Park booklet: Big Thompson Canyon, Bear Lake, Longs Peak, Garden of the Gods, Buffalo Bill’s grave, and Pike’s Peak.

Like its competitors, Rock Island apparently offered escorted tours, but this booklet says very little about them. Nor does it have any photos of or laudatory remarks about Rock Island trains. The booklet starts with a one-page, unsigned testimonial to the virtues of visiting Colorado, and it ends with two maps and a list of Rock Island agents. Other than this and a brief caption for each photo, all that the booklet really says is contained in 14 lines that, like a strung-out poem, appear at the top of the first 14 photo pages and then are repeated on the next fourteen:

The nation’s summer playground
Best served by Rock Island lines
Colorado all-expense plan tours
Personally conducted or go-as-you-please
Rock Island Lines–“The Colorado Way”
Route of the Rocky Mountain Limited
Low round-trip fares all summer
To Colorado via Rock Island Lines
Direct line–fast time–fine service
Via Rock Island Lines to Colorado
Colorado—under the turquoise sky
Direct via Rock Island Lines
Colorado Flyer and other fast trains
to Colorado via Rock Island Lines


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