At first glance, this looks like one of the color photo escorted tour booklets that UP published after the war. But it’s a brochure (meaning it’s a single piece of paper that unfolds into a large sheet), not a booklet (several sheets stapled together), and it doesn’t advertise escorted tours.
One side of the brochure has six color and six black-and-white photos accompanied by a detailed written description of the dam and the area around it. The other side is a large (18″x31″) color, oblique relief map of the area.
Like the rest of the nation, UP had vacillated between calling the dam Hoover Dam and Boulder Dam. When then-Secretary of the Interior named the dam in 1930, some people questioned naming it after a sitting president. Others thought the Democrats changed the name after Roosevelt was elected to spite his Republican predecessor. The UP Boulder Dam brochure whose cover is shown above dates from 1935 while the Hoover Dam brochure whose cover is shown below dates from 1931–but the brochure itself observed that it had originally been named Boulder Dam. In 1947, Congress officially settled the debate by naming it Hoover Dam.
UP sent this brochure, along with yesterday’s map and a timetable, to 14-year-old George Trowbridge in September, 1947. Of all the brochures and publications young George could have asked for–booklets on California, Colorado, Yellowstone, and Zion, among other places–why did he choose a brochure about Hoover Dam?