My friend Cynthia's latest post over at Flotsam of the Mind has a wonderful photo of an old sign in the town one over from ours. That got me thinking about how much I love signs, and particularly how much I love ghost signs.
According to Wikipedia a Ghost Sign is "old hand-painted advertising signage that has been preserved on a building for an extended period of time. The signage may be kept for its nostalgic appeal, or simply indifference by the owner." The Wikipedia article has more fascinating information that I didn't know -- I'd just appreciated these signs as being visually and historically interesting. Here are some other tidbits about them:
- They are found cross the world with the US, UK, France and Canada having many surviving examples.
- They are also called fading ads and brick ads.
- In many cases these are advertisements painted on brick that remained over time.
- They are occasionally discovered upon demolition of later-built adjoining structures
- Many from the 1890s to 1960s are still visible
- These signs were most commonly used in the decades before the Great Depression
- The sign painters were called wall dogs
- As signage advertising formats changed, less durable signs appeared in the later 20th century and ghost signs from this era are less common.
|This is now an Art School building at the Univ. of GA|
|For comparison: modern billboard sign in Montreal, Canada|
This sign from Montreal is not a ghost sign, but I liked it because it looks like it's painted and old. Do any of you love signs? Or is it just Cynthia and I?