Back at the turn of the century there was a railroad with an idea that seems strange to our ears today: it wanted to advertise for passengers. It had two things to sell—the shortest main-line route from New York to Buffalo, and the fact that it owned anthracite mines and thus burned hard coal, which makes much less smoke and dust than soft. Casting about for a catchy idea, the officials of the company, the famous Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, hit upon the notion of a lady passenger dressed all in white whose clothes stayed clean upon “the Road of Anthracite.” Presently they invented a name, Phoebe Snow; hired a pretty and most ladylike young woman, Mrs. Marion E. Murray, to impersonate her; and made the name and face famous for more than a generation with car cards and doggerel as memorable in their day as Ronald McDonald and Mr. Clean are now. Phoebe appeared by name in 1903, and many jingles were produced. The first one (and the most famous):
Says Phoebe Snow / About to go / Upon a trip to Buffalo, / “My gown stays while / From morn till night / Upon the Road of Anthracite.”
We are offering a set of 12 of these jingles, along with the original advertising artwork, as a set of 12 detachable postcards.