Spectacular 1893 Denver & Rio Grande Railroad promotional brochure

Poole Bros. / Knight, Leonard & Co. Panoramic Views Along the Line of the DENVER & RIO GRANDE Railroad. THE SCENIC LINE OF THE WORLD [and on verso:] SCENES OF THE DENVER & RIO GRANDE RAILROAD. [Denver?: Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, ca. 1893-1894.]
Folding chromolithographic brochure, 8”h x 3 ¾”w (folded), 8”h x 51”w (open). Very minor soiling, a few reinforced fold splits, and parts of letters of caption lost to cropping. Very good.

A superb 1893 promotional brochure for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, featuring a sequence of nine chromolithographic views of Colorado’s natural wonders, many with trains cutting through the landscape. 

The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad was incorporated in 1870, its primary function to connect Denver and Salt Lake City. It also developed several branch lines in Colorado and New Mexico, running as far south as Santa Fe, as well as spur lines into the gold regions of Utah, including a line to Alta. It was the highest mainline railroad in the United States and “the epitome of mountain railroading”; fittingly its original motto was “Through the Rockies, not around them.” (Wikipedia)

The superb promotional brochure offered here can be dated by internal evidence to late 1893 or early 1894. One side features a decorative title panel, 11 columns of text, and a small map of the Denver & Rio Grande System. The text touts Colorado’s climatic, scenic, economic and recreational advantages, emphasizing the wealth pouring from its gold and silver mines and going so far as to assert

“Someone has said that “Colorado is the Switzerland of America.” The comparison would be truer if it were stated thus: “Switzerland is the Colorado of Europe.”

Panels are dedicated to the scenic splendors offered by the Denver & Rio Grande; the Colorado Springs and Pike’s Peak region; Manitou and the Garden of the Gods; game hunting and fishing; Glenwood Springs and the Grand Canon; and “health and pleasure resorts”. The final panel offers a similarly effusive description of Salt Lake City, where “the Almighty seems to have determined upon this spot, in and around which to accumulate every element necessary to make for man a perfect dwelling place.”

The breathless text is amply supported by the nine splendid chromolithographic views on the reverse side of the brochure. All depict locations served by the Denver & Rio Grande, including Manitou, the Garden of the Gods, Royal Gorge, Marshall Pass, Canon of the Grand River, the resort at Glenwood Springs (opened 1893), Toltec Gorge, Cathedral Spire and Castle Gate.

OCLC 14011648 et al., giving numerous institutional holdings dated 1893 and 1894.