Yes indeed John.... and I must admit the SP advertising campaigns were really an impressive thing. The depression era B&W image of the men with suitcases and the SP billboard in the distance has become one of those iconic images of the time. I think Johnny Cash and perhaps even Tom Petty used that image on albums or videos.... Anyway in researching the SP had these TWO campaigns combined in many color images during 1952-53-54... (primarily) the "ITS FUN" and "Next Time Try the Train" were in many of these type ads of those years …. This cartoon character is totally unique in any advertisement from SP........ the character seems like a character I have seen before…... but I checked all the great Looney Tunes, Warner Brothers, Disney, Hanna Barbara etc etc cartoon characters I can find and I can not find that face, not even close, anywhere.
Many of the old magazines that sit in boxes.. people have been cutting up for years as the dozens of various advertisements or articles all cut out, are worth far more than the magazine itself. eBay has thousands of ad's from the SP right now running... but mixed in I find interesting "Mailers" or even "Children's Menus", and so many "brochures" and they all seem to have enough value that they are left uncut and sold complete. I am guessing this little character is hidden in one of those interesting brochures printed by the SP back in around 1953....
For example; there is a brochure of hand drawn characters in one of the passenger train tourist foldouts/booklets called "Wonderful Way West" it is one of these small booklets of several pages or even the photographic paper covered albums of scenes along the SP where pages would not be cut out... and large enough that every page would not be shown in an auction... My guess is this type of printing is where this little treasure is hidden and why I have not found it yet.
I could go broke buying all these collectable items trying to find this....so this is where I hope one of the guys in here might be an SP fan... and perhaps in a small collection of ephemera they might take a look and discover this character and his train... If I just have the year and the name of the booklet I am sure I can eventually find one right on eBay.
So thanks for the help gentlemen and keep your eyes open at train shows for me. This seems it would be an interesting search for anyone who is a railroad fan or model railroad fan or G&D fan etc. Who does not love a good mystery.
John has sent us off on an egg hunt.