Salt Lake Route Orange

A century ago, railroads sometimes die cut menus and booklets in the shape of products along their routes, such as apples, potatoes, and fish. Here is a 40-page booklet cut in the shape of an orange for the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad, which was half owned by Union Pacific. The booklet says it was printed in an edition of 175,000, which probably made the extra cost of die cutting very low per copy.

Click image to download a 4.9-MB PDF of this booklet.

The booklet contains photos of Arrowhead Mountain, Riverside, Redlands, Ontario, Pomona, Pasadena, Los Angeles, and Long Beach. Each of the photos is in an oval frame but one part of the photo spills out in the frame in a manner that the designer must have thought was artistic. However, in many cases the part that spills out was an irrelevancy, such as a cloud or a sidewalk. In my opinion, they would have done better by making the photos fill the pages, which were already pretty small.

The booklet notes that San Pedro harbor is 27 miles from Los Angeles. The city of San Pedro merged with the city of Los Angeles in 1909, and even today the two are connected by a corridor that is only about a half-mile wide. The railroad changed its name to Los Angeles and Salt Lake in 1916 and, as noted yesterday, was merged into the Union Pacific in 1921.

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