Saturday, August 16, 2014

ride idea: visit the Jersey girl "more recognized than Albert Einstein"


Google search using keywords "more recognized than Albert Einstein" yields
somebody you might not expect: Elsie the Cow.

Elsie was created in the 1930s to symbolize the "perfect dairy product". For a time in 
the mid-1940s when she was voiced by actress Hope Emerson, she was better known 
than some human celebrities, and remains among the most recognizable product logos
in North America. The first Elsie, "You'll Do, Lobelia," was a registered Jersey heifer born
at Elm Hill Farm in Brookfield, MA.  She became a star at the 1939 Worlds Fair and
was driven all over the country in "the Cowdillac", which unfortunately was rear-ended
at a US 1 traffic light in 1941, causing Elsie's early demise. Her unmarked grave is in what was
once the Walker-Gordon Dairy Farm, now a housing development, just off Plainsboro Road.

There's a headstone to memorialize Elsie, near this easy-to-spot wooden gazebo. Its
rough location is marked on this map of a fairly easy bike ride, mostly on the towpath.

Subsequent Elsie's, of which there were apparently around 50 through the years, came
from dairy farms located near Albany, the third locus of Elsie the Cow news stories.


 

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