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Title Lackawanna [R.R.] The Route of Phoebe Snow. Brief History of Railroad with Photographs & Description of its Motive Power. N.d., issued ca. 1947-1948.
Object Name Pamphlet
Catalog Number 2012.007.0036
MULTIMEDIA LINKS CLICK HERE to view the PDF; note - please be patient while file opens.
Collection Hoboken Railroad Collection
Credit Museum Collections. Gift of a Friend of the Museum.
Scope & Content Lackawanna. The Route of Phoebe Snow. Brief History of the Railroad with Photographs and Description of its Motive Power. No date, issued ca. 1947-1948.

Booklet, 3-3/4" high x 9-1/8" wide. All photos printed in black-and-white. PDF on file.

Hoboken was the eastern rail terminus of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and was included in text on pages [4-6] with other mentions in locomotive routes. The company would celebrate its centennial in 1951, but this small brochure provides a useful snapshot of its history. It illuminates the aging motive roster - the oldest steam locomotives dates to 1903 while the newest equipment is diesel electric and thus it presages the end of the steam era.

The photos of locomotives have descriptive text including the date that they were built, the latest dated 1946. Since the Phoebe Snow as a named passenger train was not included (it was created and first run in 1949), the issue date is suggested as 1947-1948.

Page [24] is devoted to text about "The Return of Phoebe Snow." The advertising image of fashionable woman was used by the railroad starting in 1904 and up to 1917. It was discontinued until 1944 when it returned. Illustrations are shown of her in 1904 and an updated one of "Today." See notes for full text of this page.
Notes Archives 2012.007.0036 text from page [24]

[illustration, upper right, Phoebe Snow labeled: PHOEBE SNOW - 1904]
[illustration, right, Phoebe Snow labeled: PHOEBE SNOW - TODAY]

The Return of Phoebe Snow

Back at the turn of the century, when rail-
road travel was "in plush," although less
refined than the service of to-day, an auburn-
haired maiden, garbed in immaculate white
and adorned by a dainty corsage of violets,
made her bow on the American scene.
Her name was Phoebe Snow. And her
spark-ling-white dress and hat symbolized
cleanliness of travel on the Lackawanna Railroad.
The Lackawanna of those days was one of
the few railroads whose locomotives took the
"sin" out of cinders by burning hard coal
instead of soft coal.

Penrhyn Stanlaws and other celebrated portrait
artists glorified Miss Phoebe Snow with
palette and canvas. Vaudeville vocalists sang
her praises. Poets and wags, too, contributed
to Phoebe Snow's popularity. Advertisements,
set to rhyme and illustrated with action
pictures of Miss Phoebe, appeared in
profusion in street-cars, in magazines and
in newspapers.

Typical of these verses was the one in which
Phoebe admitted:
"I won my fame and wide acclaim
For Lackawanna's splendid name
By keeping bright and snowy white
Upon the Road of Anthracite."

But when Phoebe Snow had reached her
peak of popularity someone started a war -
the first of the two World Wars. Then the
Government took over the railroads, which
were ordered to burn soft coal. That order
restored the forgotten cinders and grime of
Lackawanna travel. Phoebe Snow and her
garb of dainty white disappeared from the
scene for 27 long years.

It was not until 1944, during the second
World War, that Phoebe Snow was
"rein-carnated" by the Lackawanna. She
reappeared in Lackawanna advertisements,
reeling off jingles as in the old days. This
time Miss Phoebe extolled the Grade A job
her railroad was doing in the war effort.
Gone were the debonair white hat and gown,
also the pert bouquet of violets. The new
Phoebe Snow - lovelier than ever - made her
wartime debut bedecked in natty service uni-
form and jaunty overseas cap.

Today, new equipment bears the legend,
"Lackawanna - the Route of Phoebe Snow."
And like "Granny," an ultra-modern Phoebe
Snow in glorified white uniform, soon will
break forth in verse again to tell the story
of Lackawanna's new super-speed Diesel
locomotives and of its streamlined, air-con-
ditioned trains which will provide clean,
smooth-riding, speedy and safe travel.
Date 1947-1948
Year Range from 1947.0
Year Range to 1948.0
Search Terms Lackawanna Railroad
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad
Caption pg [1] front cover
Imagefile 120\20120070036.TIF
Classification Advertising
Business & Commerce