Marketing Patriotism: Pennsylvania Railroad Advertising During World War II

During World War II, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) spent lavishly on patriotic magazine advertising. No other railroad put so much effort, money or creative talent into a campaign to boost the war and create favorable public opinion for itself. As the single largest railroad in the United States, the Philadelphia-based “Pennsy” carried 10 percent of all freight in America and 20 percent of all...
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WWII Target: Altoona

The tale of the bold but fizzled 1942 Nazi plot to sabotage the Horseshoe Curve railroad landmark near Altoona, Pennsylvania, has been told in books and articles almost since the day the spy-thriller story began to unfold. First came a juvenile-fiction account in 1944 titled The Long Trains Roll by Stephen W. Meader. It recounts the story of Operation Pastorius, a wry allusion to the theme of...
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Branch Line Empires by Michael Bezilla with Luther Gette

Branch Line Empires The Pennsylvania and the New York Central Railroads by Michael Bezilla, with Luther Gette Indiana University Press, 370 pp., cloth $55, e-book $54.99 During my time as a student at Penn State, I saw plenty of railroad tracks in Centre and Clearfield counties. Many of them were weed-grown and disused. I thought, “Somebody built these, but why? And what happened?” Now author...
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Grif Teller Paints the Pennsy

Grif Teller never drew a Pennsylvania Railroad paycheck, yet today his name is more widely recognized and more closely associated with that monolithic transportation machine than the names of any of the company’s fourteen presidents. From 1928 to 1942 and from 1947 through 1958, Teller cre­ated the distinctive oil paint­ings for the railroad’s annual advertising calendars, which were...
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America’s Dream Highway

Almost no one could have foreseen, fifty years ago, that an experiment in trans­portation engineering mean­dering across the rugged southern Alleghenies could profoundly affect the way tens of millions of Americans tra­vel. But from the very day it opened on October 1, 1940, the Pennsylvania Turnpike did just that – despite the fact that its first section ran from nowhere to nowhere. The...
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The Romance of Pennsylvania Agriculture

When a small group of men met at Lancaster’s Leopard Hotel in August 1916 to organize the first Pennsylvania Farm Show, they did not have in mind mammoth displays of fifty thousand dollar tractors, mountains of steaming baked potatoes or presentations of grand champion livestock ribbons. They didn’t envision a state fair of the type that had become so popular in places like Iowa,...
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Ninety-Five Years of the Pennsylvania Society: A “Who’s Who” of Business and Politics

From industrialist Andrew Carnegie to television personality Mister Rogers, The Pennsylvania Society has both honored and drawn its energy from prominent personages of the Commonwealth’s civic, business, academic, entertain­ment, and government circles for nearly a century. Best known for its legendary annual December awards dinner that lasts for but a few hours each year, the organization...
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A Century of Conservation: The Story of Pennsylvania’s State Parks

Pennsylvania’s state park system is celebrating its centennial as one of the country’s largest and most popular recreational attractions. Each year, thirty-six million people visit one (or more) of the Keystone State’s one hundred and fourteen parks to picnic, hike, swim, boat, camp, ski, snowmobile, fish, hunt, or raft white water rapids. This sprawling collec­tion of open...
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