Monday, November 7, 2011

It's the Little Things...

The greatly expanded new home of the museum has created the opportunity for many more specialized displays of sign-related items. Construction has been proceeding full-speed ahead at our new home since it began back in mid-August,and by mid-December, we should have occupancy. There’s still plenty of work to do in refining the exhibits and displays, but the biggest task will begin in January, when we start to move the contents of our original home over to the new building. 

I’m often asked if we have enough signs to fill the new home. My usual response is, “More than enough." What we still are searching for, however, are the smaller items which will accompany the signs on display.

We’re also greatly expanding the number of storefronts whose windows become our themed display cases. The Camp Washington site will have 14 storefronts spread out along the Signs on Main Street area. The various themed areas—signpainting, goldleaf, lightbulb signs, etc. will also have featured displays with themes like smalts, opal glass letters, etc. 

You can help.

If you know me, you know I am particularly fond of salesman samples. These are the items you may have in your back closets, under your work benches or maybe on some forgotten back wall that once served as a sales room. They can be free-standing or wall-mounted, in a display case or loose in your bottom drawer. Whatever form they might take, we’re looking for such donations.

We recently acquired two such salesman’s samples. One was gift of the museum’s go-to expert on vintage point-of-purchase signs—Dave Greene of Cincinnati.  He usually exhibits at the bi-annual Antique Advertising Show at the Indianapolis Fairgrounds, so he’s wheeling and dealing with the other dealers even before the show opens to the public.
When he saw the woodgrained porcelain enamel sample (see photo), he snatched it up right away, saying, “This one’s for the museum.”  When I walked into the show that Saturday morning, he walked up and presented it to me.  “Thought you’d like this,” he said. Indeed, I do, and it’ll find a prominent place in our porcelain enamel area. 

He wasn’t finished. He next pulled out an original Zippo lighter box. “Here, I found this, too. It’ll look good in the museum as well.”  In the palm of his hand was a Neon Products engraved lighter with the copy, “30th anniversary.”  Very cool. 

The other new salesman sample acquisition was purchased from Wayne Woodrum of Wayne’s Neon Clocks, who often shares a booth with Dave. It's a pre-WWII salesman sample Glo-Dial clock in its original salesman “suitcase.”  The clock face is porcelain with a uranium glass border tube and two tubes encased in the bezel of the clock—one clear red, the other clear blue.  These internal tubes can be turned on and off with an independent switch. It’s a killer piece and will be a great addition to our exhibit of neon clocks.

We’re always looking for more salesman samples—whether they’re from sign product manufacturers or custom-made samples from sign companies.  Ad specialty items such as lighters, yardsticks, paperweights, match packs, pens, etc. are also wanted.
Remember, it's the little things. So before you toss it out, call Tod at the American Sign Museum @ 513-258-4020 or e-mail with a photo: . You, too, can be a part of your industry’s very own museum.

1 comment:

  1. love the signs..its pretty much simple..what a great job you have done..

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