Posted 10 years ago
What initially caught my eye about this booklet was the cover art - a beautiful, vivid color collage showing the transition from horse and buggy to streamlined deco locomotive.
As it turns out this is a playbill for a 250-member cast production performed at the 1939 Ny World's Fair entitled "Railroads on Parade," portraying "the magnificent progress of rail transport in American for the past 110 years." Talk about an industry blowing its own horn!
As it happened, 1939 was pretty much the top for the RR industry. WWII came along, and so did the aiplane, trucks, suburbs, the Federal Highway system - everything conspired to doom railroads to a 2nd class freight system after that (although they're making a compeboack today due to fuel efficiency).
The great thing about this booklet is the visual richness and how it captures a moment in time - from the Art Deco modern/progress motifs to the drawings of the actual Railroad exhibit building at the fair.