Friday, July 25, 2014

Sepia Sat. #238 contribution. . . Road signs.

Sepia Saturday contribution.

Sign of the times.
I am old enough to remember Burma Shave signs. And you can still see 'Mail Pouch' tobacco. along with others, on ends, sides or roofs of barns. Put not as much as you use to.

As Wikipedia explains; "Burma-Shave was an American brand of brushless shaving cream, famous for its advertising gimmick of posting humorous rhyming poems on small sequential highway roadside signs."

And as travelers we all looked forward to the next set of signs as we traveled.
Traveling was much slower then, and the signs were posted at reasonable intervals to be read completely.
The roads were usually just two lanes, well before the interstate system.
A true bit of Americana.

You can still find many of the old sayings on line and they are fun to read.

Whether Burma Shave signs and barn signs are just part of the American landscape I can not truly say.
I would imagine it is the most common over here.

Barn signs have been going on as long as Americans have had a love affair with cars and road trips.

The most common advertisements on barns seemed to be tobacco, soda and tourist sights like Meramec Caverns and Rock City.

They are still very popular and in use. You will see signs for Meramec Caverns hundreds of miles from Missouri.
Several successful artist got an early start as barn sign painters.


  1. Burma Shave -- now that's a blast from the past. Those were fun to read "back in the day."

  2. I'm always on the look out for a good Mail Pouch sign!

  3. I Googled Burma-Shave to find out more as I had never heard of it!

  4. There were FOUR (count 'em...four!) Burma Shave sign ads on our way to our summer home in the mountains of New Hampshire. 60 years later, I still remember: "Dinah doesn't -- treat him right -- but if he'd shave -- Dyna-mite!!!"

  5. Oh my gosh, I wrote a comment, hit publish and blogger oops! something went wrong! Burma-Shave had some excellent marketing that's for sure!

  6. Interesting. I don't believe Burma shave was sold here, and you're right, we didn't/don't see sets of signs like that along the roadside in Aus, and not much in the way of barn signs either, if any.

  7. Never heard of Burma shave and feel like I've kinda missed out on those rhyming signs. Loved the one about Dinah, Deb!

  8. Those Burma Shave signs were fun. I can't remember how far apart they were spaced, but you really had to watch for 'em!

  9. Thanks all for stopping by. That was back when we had service stations, not gas stations. Hotels were family owned and every little town had a good restaurant.
    We still have lots of barn signs in Missouri, but Burma-shave is rare.

  10. I love Burma Shave signs and our car trips were spent watching for them along the road. I'm so glad you thought
    of these for the theme. Brought back a lot of memories.

  11. I remember watching for Burma-Shave signs when going on summer vacations in the Midwest. The only time I saw Mail Pouch signs was when headed southeast.

  12. Do we remember road trips more in those 'slower' times than we do now when we have so many more distractions.