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Vintage signs are really unique. Those vintage signs from 1890 to 1950 have a certain original look that's never been duplicated. They include the Route 66 road sign, Campbell's soup label, Cola or hotel signs for Shower Shave and a Bed for 5 cents. They're really unique and can almost be a conversation piece!
Vintage signs weren't vintage when they first came out. In those days, they certainly were modern. Cowboys passing through town would appreciate knowing a beer was 2 cents.
Many modern-day products have great collectible old signs that fetch outrageous prices at an auction. Once commonplace, these vintage signs are great memorabilia to be framed or elsewhere displayed in your home or living area. They cover a variety of products and services - from food and drink to lodging, motor oil, tobacco, automobiles and beer.
Because they've a slightly rough, handmade look about them, no two are precisely the same. They might be hand painted or stenciled, but they certainly were not made by any machine. They were labors of love, designed to reel in the customers in a low-key but effective way. This is long before the neon signs of today. A vanilla shake or banana split display could be posted behind the counter of many 5 and 10 cent department stores. Just imagining that things were once so inexpensive is another element of old signs'appeal. Most everything has risen in price many times - so it's nice to recall the nice days of the past! In reality, these costs were accurate for the occasions - people's paychecks were also much significantly less than now! - but it is nevertheless fun to fantasize! Retro Reels
Another place to find old vintage signs is on fruit packing crates. Apples, oranges and other fruit delights were often submitted delightfully decorated hand painted wooden packing crates. These designs were so attractive that they have become an art form form. The orange blossoms sitting next to the ripe and delicious looking orange, the baby birds sitting next to the apple on the fruit crate were lovely images which can be hard to find nowadays.
Other old paintings showing these old signs of days gone by are near the railroad. There, sides of buildings were painted in a fresco design with exactly the same kind of motif. Some of the newer-fangled mock-vintage signs incorporated electric wiring to modernize the appearance, which may look tasteful, but mostly was more of a disaster like a culture clash. The wavy electrical tubing often detracted from the sign and managed to get harder to make out what the advertiser was trying to say.
These old signs were noted for their simplicity which successfully did a great job of show and tell. One old sign for pancakes shows a pile of them on a dish, maple syrup on the side, and easy to read cursive script describing the item being advertised.