The origin of this sign is unknown, but given its very substantial size and weight, it likely once hung as a directional sign in a major bus or railroad station, designating the "WHITES ONLY" area where African-Americans were required to sit or stand.
The subtly convex sign has had no restoration and remains in all-original condition. It bears areas of paint loss, scratching and superficial rusting (some areas larger in scope than others) typical for its age and use as noted in photos. Please view photos for further assessment of the sign's condition. The age and use-related signs of wear do not impact the physical integrity of the sign and are more than appropriate to the age and purpose of the piece.
An utterly phenomenal, extremely RARE, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy piece of Black American history!
Please take a moment to view the other "Jim Crow" Segregationist Era signs that I currently have the pleasure of offering.
These signs were found in March of 1971, inside the abandoned and decaying basement of the former Philadelphia Enameling Works factory at the corner of 13th and Vine Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The gentleman from whom these signs were purchased, bought these segregation signs along with hundreds of others signs of all types found in the basement of this former factory (see last photo) and has very kindly written a letter of provenance which has been photographed here and which will be included with these signs upon their sale.
These historic signs are enameled on both sides, and on the front sides are written, "COLORED MEN" and "COLORED WOMEN". The signs feature black lettering on a white background.
The signs are in all-original condition with some very minor discoloration and very unobtrusive edge discoloration pinpoints and some enameling loss here and there as seen in photos.
Extremely RARE, UNUSED, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy pieces of Black American history that are quite likely the only ones of their kind extant today! Condition is amazing!
Please take a moment to view additional segregation signs by simply by typing the word "segregation" into the SEARCH box on our homepage.
GOLD DUST Trolley Signs are a very rare find in today’s market as they were made of cardboard, a material much less likely to withstand the test of time as opposed to tin advertising signs which were much sturdier!
This Gold Dust trolley sign features the Gold Dust Twins dressed in ruffled, red skirts emblazoned with the words “GOLD DUST”, busily scrubbing the front porch and the kitchen in a vigorous attempt at “Spring Cleaning”. The colors featured in this trolley sign are just stunning—greens, pale peachy-colored orange, pale blue, and yellows with white apple blossoms and red tulips flowering in profusion!! To the left of the Gold Dust Twin scrubbing the front porch, sits a large box of Gold Dust Washing Powder. The advertisement proclaims in black-outlined, peachy-orange lettering: “For Spring House Cleaning”.
The condition of this trolley sign is truly quite fine. Colors are very strong and consistent throughout; please ignore the various glass reflections seen in some of the photos- they were unavoidable and do appear to make the colors appear a bit faded—which is inaccurate! The sign is free of rips or tears although it does have two, early, fold-creases – one running from top to bottom of the sign along the left side of the pail and between the “O” and “L” in “GOLD” and the other vertical crease on the very right edge of the sign, running through the stove in the kitchen to the “T” in “DUST”. The creases are very unobtrusive and do not detract from the wonderful, colorful imagery this sign conveys.
An unusual opportunity to acquire a very RARE piece of Black Americana!!
Constructed of cardboard with black printing, this circa 1930-40's sign reads: " Coleman's Hotel Colored. Special Attention to Tourists. Ashland Virginia".
The sign remains in all-original condition inclusive of minor discoloration as noted in photos and small chips to the upper right and lower left corners. Print source is noted: "Herald-Progress Print, Ashland, VA".
This is NOT a reproduction, but rather a fortunate preservation. It is quite amazing that this sign has survived the many years being constructed out of cardboard. It was clearly stored away in such a manner that preserved its original condition.
Travel for African Americans during the Jim Crow period was difficult and complicated, with limited options for eating, sleeping, even procuring gasoline for the car. As a result, black-owned hotels and motels placed signs such as this one prominently in their windows. There were even special travel-guides to help African Americans plan their trips, hopefully, without incident. Victor Green's "Green Guide" provided state by state lists of colored hotels, motels and other travel-related businesses that catered to African-Americans.
Quite possibly the ONLY sign remaining extant from this particular, racially segregated establishment. An historically significant piece!
This product was produced by the lime manufacturers, Hatmaker and Place, of Canaan, Connecticut, in the late 1800s. This small company was located within a large "lime belt" that stretched from Connecticut to Vermont. Back in the day, lime powder mixed with water was quite commonly used to "white wash" or paint numerous surfaces, and it was also used as a medicinal disinfectant! The manufacture of lime from marble was one of the earliest and most successful mineral industries in Connecticut, with historical records dating the establishment of the first CT lime manufactory to 1722.
Given its age and the fragility of paper, condition of this wonderful box is quite good. The lower portion of the back side of the box evidences light surface wear with some of the printing on the lower portion of the box worn away as a result. The front of the box has a 3.25 inch long tear which resulted in the loss of the lime powder from the box.
This early piece of Black Americana advertising is EXCEEDINGLY RARE and may well be a ONE-OF-A-Kind item! The Hatmaker and Place Company was one of a number of very small manufactories located within the "lime belt" that were ALL bought out and immediately closed down by a wealthy group of investors who then created and incorporated the mammoth monopoly, The New England Lime Company, early in 1902.
This fabulous piece of Black Americana is NOT to be missed by the serious collector!
Remaining in its original frame, this watercolor retains its vibrant color. A lovely piece of Black Americana executed with some naivete!
Please ignore any white streaks seen in photos; these are the result of light reflection off of the glass.
These signs have a very colorful, folk-art appeal and certainly are utterly unique! They very much fit into the American, Southern "Outsider Art" collecting genre, a genre which highlights the work of self-taught, rural area artists who create fabulous and highly expressive art using the media and materials that they have at hand and which reflects the world that they know and live in.
The signs are quite heavy as each is made from a solid wood board. The signs are nearly identical in size and measure approximately 25 1/2 inches wide x 14 5/8 high x 3/4ths of an inch thick. One of the signs has very, very slight warping, but the warpage is not readily evident as seen by pictures. Each sign has 2 holes from which to hang them, and the old rusted hanging wire which is seen in the photos has been replaced by new hanging wire.
A treasure of early signage designed in the Art Nouveau style, this sign measures 46 inches long by 7 inches wide. The sign weighs at least 25 pounds and sports cast detailing seldom found!
The sign features a delightful and mellow patina with an old painted surface retaining traces of old blue coloring beneath the exterior battleship gray tones. Scattered areas of unobtrusive surface rust add to the wonderful appeal of this vintage sign.
Visually appealing and artfully designed, this vintage piece of signage would make an interesting addition to one's Medical Memorabilia Collection!
American Beach was established in 1935 on Florida's east coast under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln Lewis, one of seven co-founders of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, and one of Florida's first black millionaires. His vision was to create a beach resort as a benefit for company executives and as an incentive for employees.
In the era of Jim Crow segregation laws, few public places in Florida or the rest of the South were open to African Americans. From the Depression until well into the 1960's, American Beach served as a holiday and vacation destination for thousands of African Americans, and was a magnet for black celebrities such as entertainers Cab Calloway and Ray Charles, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis and writer Zora Neale Hurston.
But in 1964, the area began to decline. Hurricane Dora destroyed much of the beach, and passage of the Civil Rights Act meant that blacks were, finally, no longer restricted to segregated beaches and the businesses that catered to them.
A fabulous and historically relevant piece of Black Americana!
Lettering is original and in very good condition except for some unobtrusive scuffing and loss. Please note that the lettering is bordered with black enhancement. There are 2 holes, one on each side which were originally used for mounting on the building exterior.
Will make a great addition to your collection.
This fabulous advertising piece is made of papier mache’, is painted black, and sports cream-colored lettering on both sides of the hat.
The firm of Julius Kessler Dist. Co., Inc., in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, originated in 1888 and created an American blended whiskey known for its silky smoothness!
The condition of this fab piece is very, very good given its 115++ years of age, with some areas of paint loss and wear (mostly to the top of the hat which is the surface that actually serves as the base for this piece). No structural weakness or damage to the papier mache- a very solid piece that displays beautifully!!
Measures 12”L x 9.5”W x 6”H. An eye-catching, visually appealing, early display advertisement!!
This awesome example dates to 1955, is painted and has a reflective finish on the large lettering. This sign is new-old-stock, was never used and was acquired directly from the family of the former proprietor of the now-defunct, Stanley, North Dakota, Rexall Pharmacy!!!
This beauty measures 36" long x 18" wide and was manufactured by the Continental Sign and Advertising Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It appears to be made of a galvanized metal, is pre-drilled for hanging and is in pristine condition!
Ready for your collection! A fabulous, visually striking, pharmacy advertising piece!
Dr. T.D.M. Wilson graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1875, and the following offered items from this estate auction provide an historical glimpse into his long medical career.
The first item is a fabulous 19th century brass DOCTOR T.D.M. Wilson sign measuring 14L x 9W inches, which likely adorned the entrance way to Dr. Wilson's office.
Also offered in this grouping is a rare group photo of Dr. Wilson (4th from the left) and other Phi Kappa Sigma members. The frame measures 16.5"L x 12.5"W. While the photo is a bit faded, the image is remarkable and includes a distinguished group of Phi Kappa Sigma members.
The third and fourth items in this grouping are a small, framed, 1909 AMA membership certificate with Dr. Wilson's name inscribed, and a very unusual IRS narcotic SPECIAL TAX STAMP from 1926. This Narcotic form is unique in that it names Dr. Wilson as the single physician allowed to dispense narcotics within the 23rd District of the State of Pennsylvania.
Finally, 2 handwritten letters postmarked in 1884 from Dr. Wilson to his loving wife are included, offering a small glimpse into his personal life.
Together, this is rich grouping of artifacts provides one a unique opportunity to further enhance one's collection of medical objects.
Marked "Copyright 1924", in the lower left hand corner, this extremely hard-to-find advertising piece measures 10.5 inches wide x 13.5 inches high. Colorful and visually interesting, the heavy cardboard diecut depicts an engaging Uncle Wabash serenely strumming his banjo on his front porch! Guess the message to the consumer was, "Eat one of Uncle Wabash's cupcakes to experience your own little slice of heaven and serenity!"
Condition of this charming piece of Black Historical ephemera is quite good given its 80+ years of age!! Old water staining to bottom of the diecut does little to detract from the piece. Crease line to one cupcake edge. Appropriate age foxing to back.
Framed in sturdy wood, this metal sign is hand-painted in stunning blues, whites, and oranges and reads: “JOHN E. MELVIN – PLUMBER – TEL. CONN”.
Measuring approximately 32.5 inches wide x 18 inches high, this vintage tin sign, a most unusual find, has wonderful visual graphic appeal and would add great decorative interest to any room!
The condition of the sign is quite good with lovely patina and appropriate surface wear for its 70-80+ years of age. Note a small unobtrusive piece of framing missing from the bottom right.
Researching the drug store's history was fascinating as the same family operated it for over 50 years! The SHANNON family founded and ran this all-inclusive, community-centered, soda fountain and drug store from 1912 until 1964. The years spanning from its 1912 opening through the 1950s appeared to be the drug store's heyday as it served as a popular community gathering place catering to local servicemen and their families for decades and through both World Wars. A wonderful article dated January 4, 2019, found in THE WILSON POST describes this drug store's fascinating history and is a must read!
This brightly colored, hand-painted, metal advertising sign measures 20 inches wide x 14 inches long, an ideal size for easy display in one's collection. Its condition suggests that it may never have been used. Upon close inspection, hand-applied, yellow brush strokes are noted, with the black lettering possibly applied as a stencil. Various small areas of paint loss and minor metal imperfections exist, all commensurate with age. A fabulous piece of Lebanon, Tennessee, advertising and local history!
This diminutive tin case is painted black with gold accenting and gold lettering present on the front of the case. The black paint shows reasonable wear given its 130+ years of age with the majority of wear evident along seam lines and at the base. The gold painting on the front of the case remains quite nice with very small areas of unobtrusive paint loss present (please see all photos). This tin case was clearly well cared for over the years.
The case contains three, pull-out, tin drawers with tiny, circular, loop pulls at the ends, that when slid out, reveal 15 separate compartments designed to hold the corked, glass, sample bottles. Fourteen bottles remain present, all of which are original to the case. The bottles advertise the spices and perfume waters that the Loverin and Browne Company manufactured for wholesale purchase by various independent groceries. The base of each bottle sits on a spring which would have facilitated secure storage during travel.
An interesting addition to one's advertisement collection! Very easy to display with great visual appeal!
Quite visually appealing, the sign is in very nice condition with a minor paint spot on the top center above the "L" and one on the top frame. There is light wear on the wood finish as well but it is not obtrusive.
Eli Lilly was a proud manufacturer of proprietary medicines for over a century and often provided signage to drug store owners to both assist in promoting these local pharmacies as well as to advertise their own products.