Orange Blossom Special
Florida's Distinguished Winter Train

Arthur M. Waldrop, Theodore Shrady

Condition : Like New

Orange Blossom Special
Florida's Distinguished
Winter Train

Arthur M. Waldrop,
Theodore Shrady

Price: $19.00

Super Power Steam Locomotives
Super Power Steam Locomotives
Richard J. Cook

The Story of the Orange Blossom Special

Back in the days when Florida railroading was at its peak, the most popular trains were those that were the fastest and most fashionable, and some which captured the public fancy became almost as famous as the celebrities they often carried. But no train on the Jacksonville run has been more celebrated in song and story over the years than the "Orange Blossom Special".

In fact, the most popular song ever written about a train on the Florida run is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping piece that music critics regard as "the most original fiddle tune of this century" and a perennial favorite among the bluegrass and country set. That song, the "Orange Blossom Special", and the train that inspired it, have a story to tell.

The Train

When the Seaboard Air Line (SAL) launched its new luxury train, the "Orange Blossom Special", on November 21, 1925, it did so amidst a great deal of fanfare. Inaugural ceremonies held at Winter Haven, Florida, featured six bathing beauties who christened the train with bottles of orange blossom perfume. The train's logo or "drumhead" was composed of a portrait of a popular Ziegfeld Follies beauty of the day, Miss Ina Claire, peering through an orange blossom tree in full bloom.

The train featured such amenities as an Observation Library Car and valet and maid services. It even carried its own barber and manicurist, and from the outset became a favorite of the traveling public. And the SAL worked hard to keep it that way. In January of 1934 the "Orange Blossom Special" became the first Florida train to be air-conditioned, and during the 1938-39 winter tourist season the first passenger diesel locomotives in the Southeast made their debut hauling the "Special" to Florida.

During that same winter Seaboard staged an open house at the Jacksonville Terminal for the new diesel powered version of the train, and among those who stopped by for a look were two Florida fiddle players whose visit was to make country music history.

ISBN: 0-9650359-4-8
Condition: Like New
Price: $19.00d