[Various locations in the West: 1909]. Forty-seven leaves containing forty-one photographs (4 x 6 inches) supplemented by postcards and a few newspaper clippings. Oblong octavo album. Original leather, cover gilt, black paper leaves. Spine perished but holding, covers worn. Some leaves intentionally trimmed on fore edge. Two photos loose and laid in. Contents clean and fresh. Very good. Item #1557
An interesting album documenting a train trip to the Western United States taken by several businessmen from Chicago on a tour to study irrigation investments in Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming. The album starts out with panels from the trip brochure pasted onto the first two leaves, followed by newspaper clippings documenting the trip, as well as a map of the train routes in the west, and a sheet of stationery signed by all the members of the party. The trip was organized by Trowbridge & Niver, a municipal bond company based in Chicago, and one Denver newspaper headline notes "Half-Billion Dollars Represented in Party. Many are already backing projects here and are making trip to investigate."
Each photograph is captioned with a typed label, documenting stops along the route starting with Fort Morgan, Colorado. There are several images of Eldorado Springs, including the swimming pool and a large building whose roof says "Moving Pictures," which we presume to be an early movie theatre. There are many group shots of the "Buffalo Party" along the way, all looking quite dapper in caps and touring coats, out to spend their millions. One image shows the group on a tour by buggy, captioned "Our party inspecting irrigated orchards at Palisade, Colorado." There are three photographs of Salt Lake City, followed by a series in Idaho which includes a charming photo of several women laughing captioned "Shoshone Indians at Pocatello, Idaho." There is a series taken along the Snake River in Idaho and Oregon, followed by several images taken in Boise. This cataloguer's favorite is a pair of photos taken at the local pool showing the men in their swimsuits: "Buffalonians in the Natatorium, Boise." The final four photos depict the group at stops in Wyoming. Throughout, the compiler has used postcards to set the scenery for the trip, using the photographs to capture the group itself on tour.
Altogether a wonderful album documenting a business trip, yet assembled like a family vacation album or young woman's scrapbook. The format speaks to the novelty of such a trip, even for businessmen, in the early years of the 20th century.