TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Wabash Cannonball (Was: Old Chicago Numbering)

Re: Wabash Cannonball (Was: Old Chicago Numbering)

Paul Coxwell (
Sat, 05 Nov 2005 14:24:08 +0000

> For younger readers and not particularly Telecom related ... The
> nickname for the switching machine at the Chicago-Wabash CO
> undoubtably comes as a reference to a very popular tune dating from
> the Mid-1930s - "The Wabash Cannonball". Written by A.P. Carter, the
> chorus line probably brought to mind the sound of the CO machine on a
> busy afternoon:

> Listen to the Jingle
> The rumble and the roar
> As she glides along the woodlands
> Through the hills and by the shore
> Hear the mighty rush of the engine
> Hear those lonesome hoboes squawl
> While traveling through the jungle
> On the Wabash Cannonball!

> The song relates a steam locomotive trip on the Ireland, Jerusalem,
> Australian and Southern Michigan Railroad. Legend has it that the I,
> J, A and SM was built by Cal S. Bunyan, a younger brother of Paul.

> So there you have it!

I grew up knowing this old song even as an English kid many thousands
of miles removed from its origins. I have the Carter Family's
recording of it in my record collection somewhere.


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