Archive for the ‘Signs’ Category

Wallsigns: Washington, Missouri

On 20 January 2014, I had business in the picturesque town of Washington, on the banks of the Missouri, turgid as it was. It was a beautiful morning and, with business completed, I decided to take a walking tour of the town with an eye cast out for wallsigns of interest. This is what I […]

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Robert “Ferd” Frank Photographer

Through the last 12 years as a self taught photographer, I have shot many subjects ranging from all-girl roller derby action to “warts and all” portraiture to life on the Meramec River near my home in Fenton, Missouri. One of my favorite things is photographing the deterioration in blighted communities, so you could say I […]

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London Ghost Signs

Let me introduce a colleague and friend from “across the pond.” Sam Roberts has not only done groundbreaking work in the documentation of wall signs throughout the UK, he has induced an intrepid band of wall sign enthusiasts, cameras at the ready, to help him in his quest to create a comprehensive survey of these […]

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Recent Finds

Here are some new wall sign discoveries in my travels in Missouri and Illinois during this Year of Our Lord 2013. Some are old ghosts and some newly exposed. Comments welcome. _hester _owell _lothier Red Bud, IL 2013 Intriguing sign on the side of a health food on Main Street Red Bud. As one may […]

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3-Dimensional Business Cards

The brick wall was – and still is – the ideal location for a business owner to tell the world his name and trade. Throughout the City of St. Louis, one may still see evidence of this most basic and succinct form of advertising. Undertaker – EmbalmerManchester Ave. So. St. Louis ca. 1980 Partly obscured […]

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A Tale Of Two Feed Mills

OK Hatchery / Hay Grain Flour and Feed Kirkwood, Missouri 2011 Stripping paint from this building at 111 W. Argonne Drive, near the Kirkwood train station, revealed vintage commercial signs: Coulter Feed Co. with the Purina Checkerboard pattern and a Bull Durham Tobacco sign on the side. The building dates to 1912 and was built […]

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The Sot-Weed Factor

Tobacco Road once came through St. Louis and vicinity. These five sign walls, featuring four smoking brands, were signposts along the way. See also Weisert Tobacco Co. for more local tobacco lore. Gibbons Grocery  / Mail Pouch Tobacco St. Elmo, IL 1987 “Treat Yourself To The Best.” While barns got the most attention, the Helme […]

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Smile and Cheer Up

Orange Smile Syrup Company opened at 2001 S. 9th Street in the Soulard neighborhood in the late 192os. The Company produced Buster Cola, Cheer Up Soda, and Smile Orange Drink. The company survived for nearly 35 years as a  soda manufacturer and also bottled those same drinks in this very building. Shortly after opening, William […]

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