moderated Southern's Arrow Logo?
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Here is an interesting series of emails about the Southern’s “Arrow” monogram (I have never seen the word “logo” in company documentation.)
Can anyone provide any additional information?
PS There are many letterheads in the SRHA archives. Many are on letterheads never used. They were kept, turned over and the reverse side used after the letterhead was obsolete. Some of the letterheads from car builders and customers are literally works of art that take up 1/3 of the page.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Bill Schafer <bill4501@...>
Subject: Re: Southern's Arrow Logo?
Date: October 15, 2018 at 12:22:04 PM EDT
I have Official Guides from 1889 and from 1893. Sometime between those two dates, railroad monograms and logos seem to have proliferated. The entries in the 1889 Guide are pretty plain for most railroads including the R&D (also including the PRR entry, which does NOT feature the keystone logo) but by 1893, nearly every major railroad had some kind of identifying monogram, trademark, or logo. I don’t have access to my timetables that go back that far, but I’m pretty sure they would show the same thing.
The arrow-through-the-letters logo, originating with the R&D, was definitely the inspiration for the similar SOU trademark. I have not seen any correspondence that discusses this, but the empirical evidence is pretty convincing. Maybe some letterhead or other document in the SRHA Archives can show where the arrow logo was used before 1893.
Early SOU public timetables featured the SR-with-arrow monogram on the cover but subsequent timetables dropped any kind of logo, even (until the 1920s) on the maps. For example, the timetables from 1894 to 1907 have the logo on the cover; the 1909 and subsequent ones, don't. A Southern trademark - the “SR-in-a-circle” - does not reappear to the cover of system public timetables until 1954.
The Official Guide, however, is different. From at least 1893 on, just about all major railroads had an identifying mark in the outer upper corners of each page of their entry so a station agent, flipping through the pages, could find the railroad he was looking for quickly. From 1894 until at least 1910, the Southern entry used the arrow logo on the outer corners of each page. From 1915 on, they used the SR-in-the-circle monogram. This monogram was designed, invented, and adopted in 1915. The story of how it came to be designed - as a doodle on a napkin - is described in the November-December 1990 issue of SRHA’s The Green Light (predecessor to TIES magazine).
Hope this helps.