The Railroad Advertising Cat

Part Two: The Chessie Calendars

Once the C&O realized how much the public enjoyed its kitten, it decided to produce Chessie calendars to promote railroad improvements in passenger service. These calendars are now collectors' items as are most promotion items used by the C&O with Chessie as its logo. In 1934, the C&O printed 40,000 calendars but demand still far exceeded supply.

Based on Chessie's evident popularity, the C&O decided to continue its calendar promotion with its new "pin-up girl." As time went on, the C&O's imaginative promoters used Chessie to herald the railroad's innovations and goals.

Chessie's twin kittens, her first family, was introduced on its 1935 calendar. That year, the C&O's calendar distribution jumped to 100,000 copies. In 1936, we find a young golden-haired child kneeling in front of Chessie's berth saying her night time prayers.

The 1938 calendar made use of several pictures of young children. One picture includes a young child waking up and another has two children kneeling in prayer in front of Chessie who is tight asleep. In 1938, the C&O thought it was time for Chessie to set a proper example to all young women and become a "good girl" and again increased her family. In June 1937, the C&O introduced Peake, as Chessie's "old man" in a Father's Day ad. For some reason, the C&O did not advertise when Chessie and Peake met or their wedding. Wonder if it had anything to do with the twins....

Part Three: Chessie In The 1940s
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