By the 1860s, the railroad's popular allure resulted in myriad stereographs, photographs, paintings, and prints aimed at all strata of American society. William Henry Jackson seized on these possibilities and in the 1880s and early 1890s made a number of views to promote railroad tourism. This image began as a painterly black-and-white photograph of the Denver & Rio Grande tracks curving through Echo Cliffs along the Colorado River, formerly called the Grand River. The high, forested, red-colored cliffs topped with meadows are more prominent than the tracks along the river, promising the tourist a glimpse of the spectacular scenery. The site is east of the Shoshone hydroelectric dam in Glenwood Canyon, along the route of the California Zephyr. In 1907, Jackson copyrighted the image as a Photochrom--a multi-plate, expensive and elegant form of color reproduction worthy of framing. The Denver & Rio Grande began construction of a narrow-gauge line in Glenwood Canyon in 1886, reaching Glenwood Springs on October 6, 1887. In 1890, the railroad converted this stretch to standard gauge, giving Jackson an opportunity for this picture. Jackson titled it "Echo Cliffs, Grand River Canyon, Colorado."
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