Marketing the CB&Q – to Children

In the 1950s when tourism by rail was facing stiff competition from other modes of family travel – the interstate highway system and the airplane industry, just as two examples – the CB&Q worked to keep its passenger service as family-friendly and fun as possible.   Advertising and products began to be marketed to children and their parents, including children’s menus, infant seats, and other accommodations.


Children’s Menu, California Zephyr, ca. 1958-1959

The back of this children’s menu for the California Zephyr train featured four Mother Goose rhymes, modified to refer to the Zephyrs in the CB&Q fleet, emphasizing the ease, speed, and smoothness of the ride.


The company also printed a coloring book so that the little ones would have something to pass the time while learning interesting facts about the Zephyrs.

Mother Goose Coloring Book, 1959


Marketing the CB&Q – to Children — 2 Comments

  1. Is any of this art work credited? If so, let’s add that information to the blog entry. It would be even more significant if — anywhere in the CB&Q records — there is correspondence with artists and designers. It is very hard to document work for hire of the sort. Information at that level of detail probably doesn’t belong in your finding aid for the collection, but we could index it in the Newberry’s index to printed ephemera.

  2. Hi Paul, The artwork for this piece is not credited, unfortunately, and didn’t come with any accompanying information about its design. However, there are other printed pieces that have some information accompanying them, and I’ll be sure to add that when I find it. For example, in my blog post about marketing the Zephyr trains, I included some original artwork for the sales brochure, which is signed by the firm Brown & Bigelow – which I added to the caption. Thanks for the comment!