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Title The Story of Phoebe Snow. Lackawanna R.R., [N.Y.], n.d., ca. 1949-1952.
Object Name Pamphlet
Catalog Number 2013.005.0203
Collection Hoboken Railroad Collection
Credit Museum Collections. Gift of a Friend of the Museum.
Scope & Content The Story of Phoebe Snow. Lackawanna Railroad, [New York], no date, possibly late 1949 to 1950. May have been a stock issue for use into the 1950s.

Booklet with color cover, 3-3/4" high x 6-7/8" wide, unpaginated [24 pp.] Route map on back cover.

This publication is about the fictional advertising character used for several decades by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. An actual train bearing that name first operated Nov. 15, 1949 from Hoboken to Buffalo, N.Y.

Consists mostly of Phoebe Snow advertising jingles. They are in three sections: The Original Phoebe Snow Jingles. From the Turn of the Century to World War I; Phoebe Snow's World War II Jingles; Phoebe Praises Lackawanna's Modern Trains.

Text below found on pages [3-6]

Back at the turn of the century, when railroad travel was "in plush", although less refined than the service of today, 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 sparkling 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 instead of soft coal. Penrhyn Stanlaus 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 pictures of Miss Phoebe, appeared in profusion in streetcars, 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 brought about the disappearance of Phoebe Snow and her garb of dainty white for many long years.

But when the Second World War started, Phoebe Snow came out of retirement, volunteered her services, donned a uniform and went to work for Victory. Her verses decribed the tremendous part the railroads of America played in the war effort.

When Victory was won, Phoebe Snow was honorably discharged from service and turned her attention and her verses to the safety, speed and comfort of travel along the Road of Anthracite. Gowned once more in "snowy white", she again symbolizes the cleanliness of travel on Lackawanna's smooth-riding, cinder-free Diesel-powered trains. More than that, Phoebe Snow now has a train all her own!

Yes, today she lends her "name and splendid fame" to the greatest of all Lackawanna trains, the luxurious, ultra-modern streamliner— the PHOEBE SNOW!

Phoebe Snow was NOT based on a real person and the creation and use of the character is discussed in a different text found in archives 2011.005.0094, a mid-World War Two publication titled: The Story of Phoebe Snow and Reprints of Original Phoebe Snow Jingles. See notes.

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Notes The Phoebe Snow. A long distance passenger train that was operated by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (Lackawanna Railroad) from New York (Hoboken) to Buffalo, 1949 to 1966.

The Lackawanna was known as the The Road of Anthracite (or The Anthracite Road) as well as the The Route of Phoebe Snow (or The Phoebe Snow Route.) A fictional character created for advertising campaigns about 1900, it became the name of a real route with service that started Nov. 15, 1949 and made its last westbound trip starting Nov. 27, 1966 (as the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad.) While New York was listed as the point of departure or arrival, it actually operated from Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken.
(In that seventeen year period, there was a hiatus from 1960-1963 because of track changes (see Tabor); resumed service at Hoboken August 1, 1963.)

Curiously, schedules listed Hoboken as mile 1.0 from or to New York as the railroad wished to make its service centered on New York City. The mile was taken as the Lackwanna Terminal's distance from the Barclay Street ferry terminal in Manhattan which the railroad owned and operated. (To depart or arrive in New York required a trip on their ferry service or the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad- later PATH - subway.)
Date 1949-1952
Year Range from 1949
Year Range to 1952
Search Terms Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad
Lackawanna Railroad
Phoebe Snow (train)
Caption pg [1] front cover
Imagefile 220\20130050203.TIF
Classification Advertising
Business & Commerce