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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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A Sign: 1941

A Sign: 1941

October 1941. Chillicothe, Ohio. "Jewelers sign." 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.



Some of these signs were pretty cleverly designed. The garage sign below is one of my favorites. It sold for $34,500 at auction last year.

Cool sign, cool photo

I think John Vachon took by far the most interesting photographs of anyone from the FSA.

Little light bulbs

It must have been a major job keeping signs illuminated in the pre-neon days. Now even neon is passe -- being replaced by LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).

[Neon -- replaced ages ago by fluorescent backlight signage -- is actually quite chic these days. - Dave]

Yes, I never liked fluorescent back-lit signs, they are bland, boring. Neon was more colorful and can be animated. LEDs are more colorful and animateable yet- and can create infinite designs and even pictures.

The stuff that dreams are made of

Just the thing Spade or Marlowe would see from his office window.


Null points for spelling - both you and the sign maker - Jeweller surely?

[In American English, "jeweler" has but one L. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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