Under Sapphire Skies

Rock Island advertising claimed Colorado skies were turquoise, which doesn’t seem right to me. A bit more realistic is Missouri Pacific’s claim that San Antonio skies are sapphire blue. However, the interior pages are printed in sepia tones with a yellowish-brown trip, and even the color cover shows the sky to be a pale aqua color, so potential visitors to San Antonio had to rely on their imaginations to see sapphire skies.

Click image to download an 18.0-MB PDF of this 36-page booklet.

The booklet contains photos of many San Antonio landmarks, including the Alamo, Brackenridge Park, and Mission San Jose. It also shows the Missouri Pacific depot, which looks much larger and more elaborate than the Southern Pacific depot that is currently used by Amtrak. The MP depot still exists in a restored condition and is apparently used as a bank.

In 1926, when Missouri Pacific issued this booklet, San Antonio’s population was about 200,000, making it the 39th or 40th largest city in America. Today, it has more than 1.4 million people and is the nation’s seventh-largest city, though only the 24th-largest urban area. Unlike most other states, Texas allows cities to easily annex nearby lands so they embrace a much larger share of their suburbs than other cities. For example, less than a third of the residents of the Portland, Oregon urban area live in Portland itself, while three-fourths of San Antonio’s urban-area residents live in the city of San Antonio.

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