Monday, March 19, 2012

Railroad Letterhead


Wow - I don't think I could be more specific with a type of ephemera than today's post!  Well, okay, maybe - if I narrowed that letterhead to only western-based lines or ones that began with the letter "S".  :D

Isn't it funny how a collection begins?  I happened to see this "Ship it on the Frisco" letterhead first, which was (and is still!) for sale at Old Stuff Only.  I loved its tiny size (only 7" tall) and the curving engine.  The colors are wonderful, too!

And from that first sheet, it began.  Anytime Don and Chris would list a new type of railroad-themed letterhead, I HAD to have it!

Chessie logo, 1973

Earlier Chesapeake logo
Check out this Chessie Railroad System full-sized letterhead!  I've always been a fan of that logo, even more so than their older logo, which is shown on the bottom of the letterhead.  To someone my age or older, it's instantly recognizable.  I'm 43, so I'm of the generation that never got to experience train travel here in the U.S (I did, however, get to ride a wonderful train from Vienna to Salzburg in 1988).  I love my mom's stories of going to visit her grandparents in Southeastern Illinois and taking the train, by herself, when she was 9 or 10.  The railroad staff took excellent care of kids traveling alone back then, as it was a pretty common occurrence.  Can you imagine letting your kids do that today?


Here's another style of Chesapeake letterhead, but this one includes the B&O logo as well. My sister and I used to snicker whenever we heard B&O (from the Monopoly board, of course!), because to us it didn't conjure images of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad; to us, it sounded like B.O., or "body odor".  I'm sure our parents wondered what was so funny!  This piece is probably from around 1963, when the Chesapeake & Ohio took control of the B&O line.  It was only like this until a decade later, when three lines merged and became The Chessie System (see the letterhead above).

I love all three pieces I have so far, and I hope to acquire more.  I also hope they all come from Old Stuff Only, because my good heavens - you cannot beat their prices (each of these sheets cost me 50 cents or less!).

Because they're so inexpensive, I've purchased more than one of each - at least one to keep, and the others to use in my work.  So far, I've only used the "Frisco" one, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

"Ship it on the Frisco" ATC, using the aforementioned
letterhead, an old railway label, and a conductor illustration
from a kids' book

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