Union Pacific Color Photo Wraparound Menus

In 1947, UP introduced a series of menus each featuring a color photo that (usually) wrapped around the back cover. The front cover included a very brief photo caption and sometimes the name of the train. The back had a more detailed photo caption. By the time Amtrak took over in 1971, UP had issued well over 100 of these menus.

As of October, 2016, I’ve posted menus with 112 different covers, have identified a total of 122, and strongly suspect there are several more. Please download my checklist and let me know if you have seen one that I haven’t identified.

These menus can be classified into several distinct series: Colorado; Missouri; Nevada; Pacific Northwest; San Francisco Bay Area; Southern California; Sun Valley; Utah; Wyoming; and Universities and Colleges. UP also had a menu for Boys Town in Nebraska that doesn’t fit into any other series; you can see it on my 2015 missing menus page. Except as noted below, these menus were likely to be found on any Union Pacific dining car. Color wraparound menus were also sometimes used in Union Pacific lodges in Utah parks, Sun Valley, and Union Pacific’s West Yellowstone dining hall.

Colorado

Colorado photos feature Rocky Mountain National Park and Denver; Denver photos seem to have been restricted to the City of Denver while Rocky Mountain Park photos were used on other trains as well. I have a postcard that appears to show a menu with the state capitol but from a different view than the one shown here, but haven’t found the actual menu. Two different photos of Bear Lake appear to have been taken on the same day as they both have the same woman in the picture.


1953 Menu

1955 Menu

1957 Menu

1957 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1960 Menu

1971 Menu

Missouri

At least two menus used exclusively on the City of St. Louis featured sites in Missouri: the Kansas City Union Station and St. Louis botanical gardens.


1958 Menu

1952 Menu

Nevada

This series includes at least two menus featuring Las Vegas and four showing Boulder/Hoover Dam.


1947 Menu

1948 Menu

1954 Menu

1958 Menu

1959 Menu

1968 Menu

1970 Menu

Pacific Northwest

This series includes photos of Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, the Columbia River Gorge, Portland, and Seattle. Counting one photo showing both Portland and Mt. Hood, UP had five color photo menus featuring Mt. Hood, more than any other landmark except Sun Valley and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Some of the dinner menus shown here vary from the norm in two ways. First, the photo doesn’t wrap around to the back cover. Second, a second fold has been added just to display the UP logo. Unlike most dining car menus, these do not have an a la carte side, instead just offering table d’hôte meals. A few other menus from the late 1950s to the early 1960s also omit the a la carte side, and at least three others don’t have wrap-around photos, but these are the only ones in my collection with the extra fold.


1950 Menu

1953 Menu

1953 Menu

1953 Menu

1954 Menu

1954 Menu

1954 Menu

1954 Menu

1954 Menu

1957 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1959 Menu

1959 Menu

1959 Menu

1959 Menu

1959 Menu

1959 Menu

1959 Menu

1959 Menu

1960 Menu

1960 Menu

1967 Menu

1970 Menu

1971 Menu

San Francisco Bay Area

These menus were used exclusively on UP-SP trains such as the City of San Francisco and San Francisco Overland Limited. With the exception of one menu picturing the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City (which is included in the Utah menus below), I haven’t found any non-Bay Area color photo menus used on San Francisco-bound trains. The California State Railroad Museum has three San Francisco menus not in my collection; you can see them on my 2016 missing menus page.


1947 Menu

1949 Menu

1949 Menu

1949 Menu

1949 Menu

1950 Menu

1950 Menu

1951 Menu

1951 Menu

1954 Menu

1955 Menu

1955 Menu

1957 Menu

1957 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1960 Menu

1960 Menu

1960 Menu

1961 Menu

1961 Menu

1961 Menu

1967 Menu

Southern California

These menus include Disneyland, Los Angeles, and various beach scenes. Union Pacific’s Southern California guide included Monterey in this geographic area even though more people associate it with Northern California. Curiously, I haven’t found a UP color wraparound menu featuring Yosemite Park: UP evidently consider that to be an SP destination and SP didn’t include any such photos on its San Francisco train menus.


1947 Menu

1950 Menu

1950 Menu

1950 Menu

1954 Menu

1955 Menu

1955 Menu

1958 Menu

1959 Menu

1961 Menu

1961 Menu

1964 Menu

1966 Menu

1967 Menu

1967 Menu

1971 Menu

1971 Menu

1971 Menu

Sun Valley

UP promoted its Sun Valley resort with more than a dozen menus featuring the area in both summer and winter. UP sold the resort in 1964, so it’s not surprising that the newest menus I’ve found featuring Sun Valley are dated 1965. One more menu showing two skiers is on my 2016 missing menus page.


1948 Menu

1948 Menu

1948 Menu

1950 Menu

1950 Menu

1952 Menu

1952 Menu

1953 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1961 Menu

1961 Menu

1965 Menu

1965 Menu

1965 Menu

1969 Menu

Menu

Utah/Grand Canyon

This series includes two different views of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City as well as several of the southern Utah Parks: Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon, of course, is in Arizona but the UP served it via its Utah Parks Company.

UP photographers sometimes rephotographed scenes several years apart. This might be necessary to update photos that displayed dated automobiles, hairstyles, or clothing. Curiously, two photos of the Great White Throne in Zion Park, one including a pretty girl with a now-dated hairdo and the other without the girl, were used on menus from a similar time period and may even have been taken the same day. Another Zion menu is on my 2016 missing menus page.


1948 Menu

1949 Menu

1950 Menu

1950 Menu

1950 Menu

1950 Menu

1952 Menu

1952 Menu

1952 Menu

1952 Menu

1955 Menu

1958 Menu

1965 Menu

1966 Menu

1970 Menu

1970 Menu

1971 Menu

1971 Menu

1971 Menu

Wyoming

Most Wyoming photos are of Yellowstone geysers or Jackson Hole, but there are also two of Lake Marie in the Snowy Range near Laramie, Wyoming.


1947 Menu

1947 Menu

1947 Menu

1952 Menu

1957 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1958 Menu

1965 Menu

1967 Menu

1968 Menu

1970 Menu

1970 Menu

1971 Menu

Universities and Colleges

In 1949, UP began a series of menus featuring the campuses of various colleges and universities in the eleven states served by the railroad. My collection includes fifteen, and I’ve identified three more for the University of Southern California, the University of Idaho-Caldwell (which no longer exists), and the Municipal University of Omaha (now the University of Nebraska-Omaha). You can see these on my 2016 missing menus page.

There are two each from most states, four from California, and just one from Montana and Wyoming. Based on this, there should be two from Oregon, at least one from Nevada, and one more from Utah, but I’ve never seen them. Wyoming has only one state university so there wouldn’t be a second menu for it. The Montana menu shows the University of Montana but misidentifies it as Montana State College; since neither are in cities on the UP, I doubt there is a second one unless it is for the Montana School of Mines, which is in a city on the UP. Anyway, it seems likely that there are at least four more menus in this series.

Except for one menu used for a local Kiwanis Club meeting, I can’t find that any of these menus were used after 1952. Most of the cover photos show the college’s administration building, which tends to be a pretty boring subject, so it is easy to see why UP dropped this series.


1949 Menu

1949 Menu

1950 Menu

1950 Menu

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1951 Menu

1951 Menu

1951 Menu

1951 Menu

1951 Menu

1951 Menu

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1952 Menu

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1952 Menu

1954 Menu