Tag Archives: Metal Sign

Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before: Railway Stop Sign, ca. 1910

I came across this old, heavy-duty stop sign recently while on a trip upstate. It had been so blacked with decades of dirt that there was no color at all showing through but after a gentle cleaning and oiling, it really came up well with a strong yellow enamel coming through. It even still has its original cast iron point at the base.

After speaking with the owner, it was explained to me that the sign had been used locally (in Delaware county) by one of the railroads. A man would stand at the railway crossing and signal traffic using this 6’6″ item.

The fact that this sign survived the punishing day-to-day treatment it received, yet remains sturdy and complete is a testament to the quality of the craftsmanship of the day.

Original Double-Sided Diner Sign, ca. 1930’s

There’s nothing quite like an original diner. I’m always amazed to see that yet another one has shuttered its doors especially when you consider their history, decor and generally acceptable food (it’s kinda not really about the food). It’s a slice of Americana that will never be replicated.

This double-sided sign came from the Miss Bellows Falls diner in Vermont. Originally it lit up – high above the roof line of the restaurant – guiding customers to the parking in the rear. Imagine the cars that must have traveled through the car park at the ol’ Miss Bellows Falls diner…

When I purchased this sign, I was well chuffed to find the original, hand-drawn sign writer sketches rolled up and housed on the inside of the sign. An amazing addition to the sign but it’s the character of the paintwork, complete with superb rust spots, paint chips and other flaws that really make it a thing of beauty.