In these galleries, it is our intent is to showcase some of the better, more interesting, wall signs photographed then and now. It is a long-overdue undertaking since, up until now, my sign photos have been stored in various places – boxes, drawers, slide holders, photo albums, mounted and framed, and more. The task of creating a website causes me to take inventory – nearly four decades worth – and to ponder anew the value and meaning of this quaint advertising genre and, perhaps most satisfying, place them all under one roof, so to speak.

I began photographing wall signs in 1974 in and around Bellingham, Washington and continue to this day. I have lived in St. Louis since 1978; therefore the preponderance of wall signs in my collection are found in the Midwest – Illinois, Missouri, Indiana. Since the publication of my first book, Ghost Signs: Brick Wall Signs in America, 1989, kindred people from around the country have sent pictures of wall signs found on their travels or in their towns. These very welcome submissions are also included in the gallery with attribution. Sign enthusiasts who chance upon this site are invited to submit wall sign photos for inclusion on this page. Presently, we are adding content by scanning prints, by working off CDs, and by transferring images from email attachments. The best way to submit a photo would be via email attachment to The editors, myself and daughter, Margaret, reserve the right to decline a submission. If sender has a copyright on the image copyright will be noted. We are not looking to sell these images. We simply want to create a pictorial archive of vintage wall signs and the products they tout.

East of the Mississippi


West of the Mississippi