Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Title The Story of Phoebe Snow & Reprints of Original Phoebe Snow Jingles. Lackawanna R.R., [N.Y.], n.d., probably July 1943.
Object Name Pamphlet
Catalog Number 2011.005.0094
Collection Hoboken Railroad Collection
Credit Museum Collections. Gift of a friend of the Museum.
Scope & Content The Story of Phoebe Snow and Reprints of Original Phoebe Snow Jingles. Lackawanna Railroad, [New York], no date, probably July 1943.

Booklet with color cover, 3-5/8" wide x 6-3/4" high, unpaginated [24 pp.]

This publication about the fictional advertising character was issued six years before the actual train bearing that name first ran (Nov. 15, 1949). The jingles are from advertising campaigns used over the decades. See notes.

Main text and a few typical jingles (from pp [8-9]) are below:

THE NAME OF PHOEBE SNOW

The name "Phoebe Snow" and "The
Road of Anthracite" are synonymous
because in the early days coal was
closely identified with the origin of the
Lackawanna Railroad and anthracite
was burned exclusively in all of its
passenger locomotives. So general was
the appreciation by the traveling public
of the importance of this feature that
Phoebe Snow, the Lackawanna's imper-
sonation of this idea, became in the public's
mind the synonym of cleanliness in travel.

In keeping with modern progress,
ditioned and suburban trains electrified.
The cleanliness resulting from the burn-
ing of anthracite is today enjoyed
through air-conditioned equipment and
electrified trains. The Lackawanna, the
route of Phoebe Snow, is still one of
America's great anthracite carrying railroads.

IS THERE SUCH A PERSON AS PHOEBE SNOW?

"Is there such a person as Phoebe
Snow?" is a question that is asked
almost daily, and in view of the wonderful
popularity of this famous lady this
curiosity as to her identity is only
natural.

While the advertising character of
Phoebe Snow, as shown in the car cards
and newspapers some forty years ago,
was the creation of an artist's fancy, to
the traveling public she has become
almost a living personage.

Phoebe Snow, through her jingles
bearing tribute to the burning of anthra-
cite in all of the Lackawanna's passen-
ger locomotives, had become in the
public's mind the synonym of cleanliness
in travel.

The idea of a series of advertising
jingles exploiting the adventures of a
girl dressed in white typifying such
cleanliness, was originated by the
Advertising Department of the Lacka-
wanna Railroad, about 1900, and was
continued up to World War No. 1,
when the railroads of the country were
placed under Federal control, and
bituminous coal was substituted for hard
coal, or anthracite in Lackawanna
passenger locomotives.

At the start of the Phoebe Snow campaign
of advertising, the verses were
parodies on the familiar nursery jingles,
"Here is the maiden all forlorn
Who milked the cow with crum-
pled horn."
The first one of the series being as
follows:
"Here is the maiden all in lawn
Who boarded the train one early
morn
That runs on Road of Anthracite
And when she left the train that
night
She found to her surprised delight
Hard coal had kept her dress still
bright."

Owing to the limited number of char-
acters in this nursery epic, this meter
was abandoned and a new form of verse
adopted. For the sake of euphony and
because of its obvious rhyming possibili-
ties, the "maiden" was given the name
of Phoebe Snow.

Years of publicity have resulted in
giving "Phoebe" a foremost place among
the characters in America's advertising
hall of fame. Phoebe still lives in the
minds of Lackawanna travelers and
shippers, and recently the Lackawanna
revived the name "Phoebe Snow" by
painting on the side of box cars the
inscription "Lackawanna - The Route of
Phoebe Snow."

PHOEBE SNOW JINGLES

Says Phoebe Snow
About to go,
Upon a trip
To Buffalo
"My gown stays white
From morn till night
Upon the Road of Anthracite."

The man in blue
Now helps her through,
And tells her when
Her train is due.
"He's so polite.
They do things right
Upon the Road of Anthracite."

Miss Phoebe Snow
Has stopped to show
Her ticket at
The gate, you know,
The guard, polite,
Declares it right.
Of course-
It's Road of Anthracite.

Now Phoebe Snow
Direct can go
From Thirty-third
To Buffalo.
From Broadway bright
The "Tubes" run right
Into the Road of Anthracite.

Each cut and fill
'Cross dale and hill
Has made "The Shortest"
Shorter still.
Like arrow's flight
I now delight
To speed o'er
Road of Anthracite.

With dimpling face
All full of grace
Fair Phoebe pictures
In a daze
That journey bright
When clad in white
She used the Road of Anthracite.

Related Records Show Related Records...
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 1943
Year Range from 1943
Year Range to 1943
Search Terms Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad
Lackawanna Railroad
Phoebe Snow (train)
Caption front cover
Imagefile 091\20110050094.TIF
Classification Advertising
Railroads
Business & Commerce
Transportation