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Vintage Metal Signs Bring a Touch of Nostalgia

Feb 4, 2008
In this modern era of mass marketing, we are bombarded by electronic messages. After awhile, advertising and promotions all start to sound, feel and look the same. There was a time when the perfect combination of artistry, imagination and originality could be found in vintage metal and tin signs. Many of todays most recognizable brand names got their start as metal signs.

Products too numerous to mention have been promoted with a style and wit that today seems all too nostalgic. Vintage tin and metal signs were produced by the hundreds of thousands from the mid eighteen hundreds through the advent of television in the late nineteen forties. Most were painted or screen printed using enamel paint and many were given a porcelain overcoat to increase their durability. The irony of all this is that many vintage metal signs outlived the very companies and products they were meant to promote.

This is not say that metal signs have completely disappeared from the landscape. Highways signs, street signs and metal signs of kinds are still with us, though most serve a more utilitarian purpose. The golden age of vintage metal signs has been maintained through reproductions and the zeal of collectors to preserve a piece of advertising and artistic history.

Aging metal and tin signs that have begun to rust should never be refinished. Vintage metal signs that are in good condition are highly prized by collectors. A little rust may devalue the sign just a bit, but the nostalgic value is priceless. When buying any type of antique or collectible signs, the well informed collector must be able to know the difference between vintage metal signs and reproductions. The rule is always buyer beware.

Reproductions of famous metal signs can be found almost everywhere. Even though they are not true antiques, quality reproductions of metal and tin signs are a great way to accent the decorating theme of your home or business.

Many companies would provide merchants with durable metal and tin signs in order to promote their products. Among the most popular collectible signs are those that have anything to do with Coca Cola. Coke was able to create their brand by extensive promotion. From big cities to rural farming communities, merchants who offered Coke products for sale may have had several metal signs advertising that fact.

Manufacturers of tractors and other farm equipment produced metal signs that were often fixtures at general stores, Grange halls and feed stores all over the country. Companies such as John Deere, International Harvester and Ford produced many styles of metal signs. These farm equipment signs are favorites among collectors of items that reflect classic Americana.

The great outdoors and the sporting life are amply represented by a number of famous brand names. Metal signs from Winchester, Remington and other gun producers helped to create these now famous brand names. Much of the illustrative artwork used for this genre was produced by some of the best known artists and illustrators of the day. The combination of beauty nature illustrations and catchy slogans make metal depicting the growing market in sporting goods.

No discussion of vintage metal and tin signs is complete without looking at the automobile industry. The famous slogan used by the Packard Company, ask the man who owns one, was made popular in prints ads and was emblazoned on a variety of metal signs. Other early car manufacturers such as Studebaker, Desoto, Dodge and Ford produced metal signs that are clearly classics.

Whether advertising or just for decoration, metal and tin signs have a long history and provide us with a glimpse of the past.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a staff writer for the quality
online store FineWebStores.com.
Shop for href="http://www.finewebstores.com/Metal-Signs_c_44.html">metal and tin signs at
for your home or office. Please visit FineWebStores.com today.
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