Thursday, July 5, 2012

Marielle Ravosa---Really Interesting Facts About Phoebe Snow

After learning about the origins of railroad advertising in class, I wanted to learn more about Phoebe Snow and how advertising increased railroad sales.

According to Wikipedia, Phoebe Snow was one of the United States' most recognized advertising mascots. The advertisements featuring Phoebe had been built upon the nursery rhyme, The House That Jack Built.

"Phoebe Snow" was the only name ever used in railroad ads. Moreover, original artwork for advertisements was painted by Henry Benton who worked from a series of images of a model, Mrs. Murray, who was photographed in a variety of actual railroad activities. Gowned in white and standing in for the fancily dressed Phoebe, Mrs. Murray was one of the first models to be used in advertising.

However, during WWI, anthracite was needed for the war effort, and its use on railroads was prohibited, thus ending Mrs. Murray's modeling career as Phoebe Snow.

Here were the popular jingles associated with Phoebe Snow:

Says Phoebe Snow
about to go
upon a trip to Buffalo
"My gown stays white
from morn till night
Upon the Road of Anthracite"
Now Phoebe may
by night or day
enjoy her book upon the way
Electric light
dispels the night
Upon the Road of Anthracite

Miss Phoebe's trip
without a slip
is almost o'er
Her trunk and grip
are right and tight
without a slight
"Good bye, old Road of Anthracite!"

---Marielle Ravosa

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