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What Is With America's Fascination With Bumper Stickers?

Aug 17, 2007
Although bumper stickers are a worldwide phenomenon, it seems that Americans are more fascinated with the use of them than others. When driving down the highways and streets of the United States there is no telling what you might find emblazoned on one of these. So, when did all this begin? Well first of all you had to have cars with bumpers which didn't happen until 1927 with the introduction of the Model A by Henry Ford. The first so-called bumper stickers were not stickers at all and were attached to the bumpers by wires. These first started showing up right before the onset of WWII and were rather large. The first person to actually make stickers that could be attached to a bumper is thought to be Forest Gill, a silk screen printer from Kansas who began making the bumper sticker in the 1930s.

Bumper stickers are used for a wide variety of reasons, most of which are simply to let others know what the driver's view is on a certain issue, make a statement, or just to be funny. The most widespread use of the advertising medium is for political campaigns and this dates back to the 1940's with politicians handing them out to their constituents to have them advertise their support for all to see. During elections times you will see a huge increase in these kinds of political stickers, though some staunch supporters never remove them, even when their candidate loses.

Another use of bumper stickers in a support role is that of displaying stickers embossed with the logo of their favorite sports team or the name of the team that their child plays for. Along these same lines are the those that express pride in a child's accomplishments as an honor student or like the ones that parents of military children that state something like, "My son is a U.S. Marine".

Sometimes it's fun just reading some of the stickers I see on cars I happen to be behind, they are very telling of someone's personality. If you are behind someone with surf shop stickers on the back of their car, they are most likely involved in surfing. If you see someone with religious statements on theirs, they are usually people who are very serious and outspoken about their faith. And there is no denying that anyone that has one of the political stickers that simply states "W" is a die hard Republican.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about bumper stickers and get Bumper Stickers online at http://www.bumperstickersplus.com
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