Railroads on Parade Poster at Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

Millions who flocked to the 1939 New York World’s Fair were awed by its Railroad Exhibit, the largest single attraction on site, which occupied seventeen acres. The exhibit’s Railroads on Parade, hailed as “a mighty stage spectacle presented on the world’s largest stage,” impressed spectators with four daily performances that featured a cast of 250, music by composer Kurt Weill – and twenty locomotives! Raymond Loewy designed the exhibit and his S-1 locomotive – billed as “the Big Engine, the world’s largest and most powerful steam locomotive” – was displayed nearby. The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, in Strasburg, Lancaster County, holds an extensive collection of railroad memorabilia and ephemera, including an original poster for the “super-spectacle.”