"Chessie" Mascot Matchbooks

Photo Credit: Cheryl via Flickr

Some cat naps will be remembered forever!

In 1933 an etching of a sleeping kitty by Viennese artist Guida Gruenwald caught the eye of the advertising executives at the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. By September of that year, the kitty (now known as Chessie) appeared for the first time in Fortune Magazine. The black and white advertisement let everyone know about C&O Railway’s new air conditioned sleep cars. Chessie’s slogan was “Sleep like a kitten and wake up fresh as a daisy in air conditioned comfort.”

C&O Railway’s new mascot was a hit! The American people fell in love with Chessie. Soon she was known as “America’s Sleepheart.” Merchandise of all kinds featuring the sleeping Chessie was sold. The first calendar featuring Chessie was sold in 1934 and 40,000 copies were distributed.

Chessie didn’t remain a solitary mascot. She was given a family that included two sleepy kittens and a mate named Peake. When the U.S. was brought into World War II, Chessie, Peake, and the kittens began supporting the soldiers. Peake became a furry little soldier himself. Chessie supported her soldier from the homefront and helped to sell war bonds.

Eventually C&O Railway was bought out by Amtrack. For a few years Chessie remained the mascot for the railway and even started being featured on the outside of train cars. However, in 1986 Chessie was retired as a mascot after a 53 year long run.  The C&O Historical Society continues to honor Chessie and even maintains an online shop for her memorabilia.

For more information about Chessie, please read my post Chessie the Legendary Railroad Cat.

Want to compete?

I got a score of 25,090 on this word search. Can you get a higher one? The faster you find all of the words, the higher your score will be.

Instructions for the Interactive Word Search

  1. Words from the word list on the right are hidden within the puzzle. The words may be spelled forward, backward, or on a diagonal.
  2. Click on the first letter of the word, drag the cursor across the word, and click on the last letter of the word.
  3. The puzzle is finished once you have found all of the words.



What do you think you will always remember about your cat?