1935 Logo


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Fun On The Train

February 1st, 2004

In 1944 the New Haven Railroad Dining Car Department introduced a coloring book for distribution to children on diners and grill cars. The coloring book was called "Fun on the Train", and it featured several outline drawings involving passenger and freight operations on the New Haven Railroad for children to color. All items from the collection of Marc Frattasio.

1944 Fun on the Train Front Cover Here's the front cover of the "Fun on the Train" coloring book in its original 1944 format. The cover artwork, which was rendered to look as if it was colored in crayon, depicts an Alco-GE DL-109 (NHRR DER-1 class) powered passenger train running somewhere along the seacoast.
The back cover of the "Fun on the Train" coloring book originally featured the New Haven Railroad's classic 19th Century "script" monogram and an invitation to visit New England again in the future. The coloring book was intended to be taken home as a souvenir.  There was an expectation that it would be shown to friends and family and would serve as an advertisement for the railroad. 1944 Fun on the Train Back Cover
Fun on the Train Artwork Here's a typical page from the interior of the New Haven's coloring book, in this case a depiction of an original Osgood Bradley lightweight grill car. The level of detail incorporated in the drawings was pretty good, and specific to the New Haven Railroad. For example, note the silver plated ice cream dishes and the doily-underlined beverage glass. That's exactly how ice cream and drinks were served on the grill cars.
In 1955 the coloring book's artwork was revised to feature the McGinnis administration's revolutionary new image. Note that although the basic cover artwork from 1944 was retained, the train has been given a slight makeover to give it the red-orange, white, and black colors and NH logo of the McGinnis administration. Note also that the locomotive has been slightly altered to make it look like a more "modern" diesel with a flat front (like a PA-1 or C-Liner) and that the passenger train is now made up of stainless steel sheathed streamlined cars. 1955 Fun on the Train Front Cover
1955 Fun on the Train Back Cover The back cover of the 1955 version of the "Fun on the Train" coloring book was also altered, the original "script" monogram being replaced by the McGinnis administration's NH logo. Many of the coloring book's interior pages were updated as well, mostly in order to present the new NH logo. In this form, the coloring book was distributed by the railroad well into the 1960s.
Photographic evidence suggests that the original 1944 version of "Fun on the Train" was distributed with a plain box of crayons. However, by 1955 the railroad was distributing custom-marked crayon boxes with the coloring book. The earliest of these had the railroad's NH logo printed directly on the box as shown here. Crayons
Crayons In later years the crayons distributed with the "Fun on the Train" coloring book were marked for the railroad with a sticker, as shown here. Things like the coloring book and crayons were generally paid for by being charged off to advertising expense.


January 2004: Travel Folders #7

December 2003: Travel Folders #6

November 2003: Travel Folders #5

October 2003: Travel Folders #4

September 2003: Travel Folders #3

August 2003: Travel Folders #2

July 2003: Travel Folders #1

June 2003: The Berkshire Line

May 2003: Small Rectangular Travel Folders

April 2003: Football Trains

March 2003: Children's Dining Car Menus

February 2003: Sleeping Car Service

January 2003: Odds and Ends #6

December 2002: Old Saybrook China

November 2002: Platinum Blue China

October 2002: Grill Car China

September 2002: Diesel Builder's Plates

August 2002: Odds and Ends #5

July 2002: Odds and Ends #4

June 2002: Odds and Ends #3

May 2002: Odds and Ends #2

April 2002: New Haven R.R. Travel Bags

March 2002: Cost Saving Fare Promotions

February 2002: Odds and Ends #1

January 2002: Ladies' Day

December 2001: New Haven R.R. Locks

November 2001: The Streamlined Coaches

October 2001: The Comet

September 2001: Seashore Tours

August 2001: John Held, Jr. and the New Haven R.R.

July 2001: The East Wind

June 2001: The Rail-Auto Travel Plan

May 2001: Advertising Stickers

April 2001: Dietz Hand Lanterns

February 2001: Right of Way Signs

January 2001: Signal Lamps

December 2000: TDI Commuter Schedules

November 2000: To Florida on the New Haven Railroad!

October 2000: Local Schedules

September 2000: Train Service Cancellation Posters

August 2000: The New Haven Railroad Rail Charge Card

July 2000: Beverage Service!

June 2000: The Boat Race Trains

May 2000: Timetable Change Posters

April 2000: New Haven Railroad Station Signs

March 2000: The Key to New England

February 2000: Route 128 Station

January 2000: New Haven Railroad Cigarette Lighters

December 1999: The Dan'l Webster

November 1999: Postwar Travel Posters

October 1999: Modern Dining Car China

September 1999: New Haven Railroad Dining Car Service Pins

August 1999: New Haven Railroad Lapel Pins

July 1999: The 1939 New York World's Fair -- 60th Anniversary

June 1999: On-Train Ashtrays

April 1999: Matchbooks

March 1999: Pilgrim Tours

February 1999: Special Trains of the 1950s and 1960s

January 1999: Ticket Envelopes

December 1998: Holiday Advertising Material

November 1998: New York City Travel Advertising Material

October 1998: Boston Travel Advertising Material

September 1998: The Hurricane of 1938 -- 60th Anniversary

July 1998: The New Haven Goes Back to Cape Cod

June 1998: The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair

May 1998: Official Gifts of the McGinnis Era

April 1998: System Timetables

March 1998: Pre-War Advertising Brochures

February 1998: New Haven Railroad Freight Service Advertising from the 1950s and 1960s

January 1998: The Snow Trains

December 1997: Hotel Montclair Advertisement ca. 1939

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