Some of the great fun of processing the CB&Q records was running into the advertising for “excursion” adventures aboard the railways. These advertisements used bold and varied typography to make places like Kansas and Iowa seem like exciting new adventures.
As we work our way through the end of the collection, the photos of Colorado have connected me back to these excursion advertisements and illustrated them in quite an entertaining way. Most of the photographs I have processed were taken between the mid-1930s and 1940s and many show all there is for an adventurer to do in Colorado.
Although some (see above) illustrate the glamor of a Western excursion, with its horseback adventures and stylish headwear, others stick to simple Twain-esque Americana (below, see three city girls and one raft-bound outdoorsman).
Perhaps my favorite image thus far is one (below) of a solitary man standing, gazing into the distance from a cliff into more mountains. This one seems to best convey the goal of the ad-men behind CB&Q excursions (based on both these photographs and the excursion ads themselves): the railroad takes you to wonders that seemed so far away, but with better travel, are now in America’s backyard.