A "tired sheep salesman and his wife" discover the West.
December 12, 2010 11:17 AM   Subscribe

"Rock Springs is a mining town - coal mainly. All the men who lived here in town were not shaving in honor of the Frontier Days Celebration and did they look terrible. We heard that a prize was to be given to the one who had the best growth of alphaalpha on his mug." -- The travel scrapbooks of Ruby and Sam Anglund, 1935-1956.

Found in an antique store, these travel scrapbooks of "sheep salespeople in Illinois and liked to fish and travel" provide a glimpse of the pleasures of traveling by both car and plane through the West in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, when the American tourism industry and its infrastructure was still being built. A small goldmine of commentary old restaurant menus, maps, tourist ephemera, and information on what sorts of foods United Airlines used to serve on a short flight from Denver to Salt Lake in 1956.
posted by heurtebise (5 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, thank you for this! Having grown up in Colorado and Wyoming, I'm especially in love with the 1937 scrapbook of their trip through the West. I nearly hyperventilated when I saw this and this -- the Plains Hotel (where Sam and Ruby "filched some stationery") was run by my Aunt Dotty and Uncle Sonny after the war, though I don't know that they had it before the war, and the "Laramie: Gateway to the Snowy Range" brochure is the same one that my grandparents had on their mantel in Laramie when I was a kid, along with plenty of other bits of old local travel ephemera from the '30s-'50s that (heartbreakingly) got thrown out as "trash" after they died before my sister or I had a chance to grab it. So to see a piece of it again has brought a few (happy) tears to my eyes. Thanks again.
posted by scody at 12:30 PM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]

Woo hoo! Wyoming! Thanks for sharing this.
posted by elder18 at 12:59 PM on December 12, 2010

*fist-bumps my Laramie homeboy*
posted by scody at 2:02 PM on December 12, 2010

This is great. My wife's parents had a business (well, they still own it but they don't run it anymore) that made replacement rollers for potato harvesters and from the 70's to about 2005 they would go on annual business/vacation road trips just like this to the potato growing areas of North America. Sadly, they didn't make charming scrapbooks of their trips.
posted by gamera at 6:48 PM on December 12, 2010

heurtebise, thanks a lot for posting this, it's a great read and quintessentially American.
posted by hat at 10:33 AM on December 13, 2010

« Older Weasels Ate My Flesh!   |   What happened to Qantas flight QF32, or: How to... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments