Color Photo Contest

This little booklet announces a color photography contest open to anyone (except CP employees) who registered as a guest with a Canadian Pacific hotel or lodge in the Rocky Mountains during 1939. The top prize was $250 (close to $3,400 today), with 46 additional prizes ranging from $5 to $100. The booklet notes that the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise sold Kodachrome, Agfa, and Dufay film.

Click image to download a 4.3-MB PDF of this 8-page booklet.

Many Canadian Pacific brochures about the stainless steel Canadian, as well as the company’s timetables in the 1950s and 1960s, used a yellow background with major headlines in red. This is the oldest Canadian Pacific memorabilia in my collection that uses this color scheme, though a search on the web reveals this 1928 timetable that used the same colors. Given that it painted its trains a dark red, why did it pick bright yellow and red–colors that by 1939 were already identified with the Union Pacific–for so much of its advertising?


Color Photo Contest — 1 Comment

  1. That was one expensive contest to enter in 1939. You had to first stay at one of the CP’s Rocky Mountain hotels, which weren’t cheap, and then you had to only take color photos. Color film and processing cost an arm and a leg in 1939, and any good photographer took at least five exposures for any one scene in hopes of getting at least one usable photo. If you won first prize, you might break even. Maybe it was just for the fame of being the first place winner. I wonder what the winner’s photos were used for in CP advertising?


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