California Picture Book

This 1938 Santa Fe booklet is not nearly as elegant as Union Pacific’s travel booklets of that era. The paper is thinner, about the same as Life magazine, and the black-and-white photos aren’t quite as crisp as in the UP booklets. Santa Fe tried to add interest by adding a reddish color to many of the photos, but in most cases it makes them look less, rather than more, realistic. Still, this booklet is designed to attract people to California, not to attract people to take expensive escorted tours as the UP booklets were designed to do.

Click image to download a 30.8-MB PDF of this 48-page booklet.

Most of the photos are unattributed, but a couple say “Spence Air Photos.” These, and probably at least one of the unattributed photos in the booklet, were taken by Robert Spence, who took more than 100,000 photos of California, many from an airplane.

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