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The Key To New England

March 1st, 2000

The New Haven was an extremely passenger oriented railroad and a great proportion of its revenues came from New England vacation travel. During World War Two, heavy military traffic demands forced the New Haven to actively discourage civilians from riding its trains for non-essential purposes. Once the war ended, however, the New Haven Railroad set out to recapture the New England vacation travel business with large scale purchases of new passenger equipment and an unprecedented mass marketing campaign. One important aspect of this postwar vacation travel marketing campaign was the slogan 'The New Haven Railroad - Your Key to New England'. This slogan was promulgated via a key-shaped logo which appeared on advertising materials of all kinds and seven travel booklets which were called 'The Seven Keys to Delightful Summer Vacations in New England'. Advertising materials from the collection of Marc Frattasio.

Key To New EnglandThis is a New Haven Railroad 'Key to New England' pin. The 2 1/2 inch stamped brass pin has a pilgrim figure on the handle, the letters 'NH' (for New Haven) on the working part of the key, and 'Pilgrim Tours 1946' cast into its back side. These pins were probably worn by Pilgrim Tour guides.

The New Haven produced seven different 'Key to New England' summer vacation travel booklets, each one highlighting a popular on-line vacation destination, starting in June 1946. The cover of the Boston booklet featured artwork of the Massachusetts State House.Boston

Back CoverThe back cover of each 'Key to New England' travel booklet featured a blue 'The New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad Co.' script monogram. The text centered below the script monogram reads 'Serving New York and the Great Industrial and Recreational States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut'.

The cover of the Rhode Island booklet featured artwork of a beach scene. The pages of the booklets were illustrated with artwork scenes of various vacation spots, tourist attractions, and recreational activities.Rhode Island

Inside CoverThe inside cover of each booklet featured the 'Key to New England' logo. The text below the key reads 'This booklet is one of the 7 keys to delightful summer vacations in New England . . . published by the Travel Bureau of the New Haven Railroad'.

The cover of the Cape Cod booklet featured a scene of an artist painting a picture of a rustic windmill. The centerspread of each booklet was a map of the region covered by the booklet.Cape Cod

ConnecticutThe cover of the Connecticut booklet featured an artwork representation of a scene along Long Island Sound. About 100,000 copies of each booklet were produced and they were distributed by the railroad through the early 1950s.

The cover of the Martha's Vineyard booklet featured artwork of a sailing regatta. The title subject of each 'Key to New England' booklet corresponded to a 27 by 42 inch travel poster designed by an artist named Nason.Martha's Vineyard

BerkshiresThe Berkshires and Litchfield Hills booklet featured artwork of golfers and equestrians, mirroring the rural aspect of the Berkshire Hills region of Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The cover of the Nantucket booklet featured artwork of a lighthouse. The same cover artwork used on the seven 'Key to New England' booklets was also used on a series of cardstock advertising 'stand-ups' which were used on tables and windows in ticket offices and travel agencies.Nantucket

EnvelopeAny or all of the 'Key to New England' summer vacation travel booklets could be obtained by writing to the New Haven Railroad. This is the envelope which a booklet would be mailed in. The caption around the key reads 'Your Key To A More Enjoyable Vacation'.

The front cover of this New Haven matchbook features artwork of a freight train pulled by Alco/GE FA locomotives but the back cover features the 'Key to New England'. This matchbook dates from the 1948-1950 timeframe.Matchbook


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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