SR logo heritage : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

At what point did the round "Southern Serves the South" logo make its first appearance? When was it modified with a horizontal element at the bottom that added "Look Ahead-Look South". Finally, when did the "Southern Gives a Green Light to Innovations" show up? Thanks.

-- Matt Bumgarner (, December 25, 1998


Matt--I can answer part of this question. The round herald with the bar under it is a stylized wheel on a rail. It was introduced around 1968. I'll dig up more on the rest of your question and get back.

-- Larry Puckett (, December 28, 1998.

The round logo and "The Southern Serves The South" motto are attributed to L.E. Jefferies,vice president and general counsel of the railroad,in 1915. The "Look Ahead Look South" sprang from an advertising campaign mounted in the mid 40's. The railroads ad man Bernie Young directed the campaign but was not directly credited with the slogan. "The Southern Gives A Green Light To Innovations" came from another promotional campaign with a date of the late 60's.No specific date given for when it was added to the cars.However,this would have been the type of photo op to make the pages of "Ties" and/or the annual report.Both of which should be in the "document" section of larger university libraries. Source:"The Southern Railway-Road of the Innovators" by Burke Davis,The University of North Carolina Press;1985.

-- Jim McGhee (, December 31, 1998.

The history of Southern heralds on freight cars can be broken down into several time periods. Prior to 1960, cars were painted with "Southern" in big roman letters with the "Southern Serves the South" circular herald on the other side of the car. Between 1960 and 1969, cars were painted with big, modern type and either "Southern Serves the South" or "Super Cusion Service" in big block letters. In 1969, the "Green Light" scheme appeared. This scheme only lasted until 1982. Between 1982 and the NS merger, cars only had "Southern" printed on them, without any of the characteristic mottos or heralds.

-- Joe Daniels (, May 20, 1999.

More research on the "wheel on rail" logo shows that it first appeared in 1964. The March 64 TIES cover shows the traditional round herald, and the next issue of TIES, May 64 (it was published every other month) has the first appearance of the "Look Ahead-Look South" addition.

-- Matt Bumgarner (, August 22, 1999.

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