The Railroad Advertising Cat

Part Four: Chessie Collectibles

As Chessie's popularity continued through the decades, many promotional items displaying her portrait were created. Some of the items used for promotional purposes by the C&O included Chessie silk scarves, "flannelette" Chessie children's sleepwear, Chessie music-boxes, Chessie and Peake playing cards, and Chessie neckties. The C&O did not seek royalties for the production of these items, it just wanted to promote Chessie, who continued to be well loved by her public.

Chessie's charms brought her movie star popularity. She was featured on radio shows and fan clubs were formed in her name. Books were written featuring her and her adventures, including, "Chessie" and "Chessie and Her Twins." Letters were written to the C&O about children who would not go to sleep unless they could see Chessie from their beds.

One of this country's most perplexing questions has been and continues to be "Whether it's Chessie's tail or paw laying on the pillow next to her head?" Chessie's birthday, September 1, brought the C&O numerous birthday cards and presents for the little princess. I wonder what happened to all those presents...

Chessie's heavy durable railroad china, with her little face staring at you from each piece, was created in the 1950's to replace the elegant George Washington china which had been in use since 1932. This durable china was created to help streamline operating costs as the railroads began experiencing financial constraints because they were no longer needed for war efforts and families were traveling more and more by plane and car. In the late 1960's, Chessie's calendars went to spiral bound pages and promoted the carrying of freight versus people.

Part Five: Chessie Today
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