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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

See America First 104 Years Ago

The back of this post card promotes that Americans should see their own country first. It is very politely worded, "SEE EUROPE IF YOU WILL BUT SEE AMERICA FIRST". It is very cute that they have a dark outline of all of North America (with white border line above and below the States) but they don't really mention Mexico and Canada as options. The giveaway to me is that HUGE American flag. I am pretty sure that they meant for Americans to visit the 48 states (there were only 48 in 1914) first, then, if there is time left in the visitor's life, he or she can go to see Europe.
Of course, the front of the card hints at the absolutely very best way to "See America first".... take the train. This is a picture of a steam train crossing the Great Salt Lake in Utah on the Lucin Cut-off. The train is leaving the Midlake Station on its way to the other shore. The Lucin Cut-off is a railroad line which included a railroad trestle which crossed the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Built by the Southern Pacific Company between February 1902 and March 1904 across Promontory Point, it bypassed the original Central Pacific Railroad route through Promontory Summit where the Golden Spike was driven in 1869. By going west across the lake from Ogden, Utah to Lucin, Utah, it cut off 43 miles and avoided curvatures and unpleasant grades. The trestle was eventually replaced in the late 1950s with a parallel causeway built under contract by the Morrison Knudsen construction company. Today the wood from the old trestle is being re-used by the Trestlewood Company. I have a piece of the original trestle to go along with my train post card collection. Thank you, Trestlewood.

The message on the back is reassuring if not disconcerting. "Everything is just right in this city. Will depart 21st." If everything in the city is just right, why are they leaving?

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.