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!
Also currently offered for separate sale at $895.00 and originating from this same collection is a pair of signs labeled "COLORED" and "WHITE". (See last photo) Please take a moment to view these signs by simply by typing the word "segregation" into the SEARCH box on our homepage.
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!
Given away by the Merrick Thread Company as a free advertising premium to encourage the purchase of its product, this mirror depicts a rather confident black boy hanging from a single strand of Merrick thread while dangling above the open jaws of a hungry alligator! At the base of the mirror the caption reads, "Fooled Dis Time Cully Dis Cotton Aint Gwine To Break".
A delightful Black Americana Advertising piece!
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.
The display is quite appealing with embossed and raised detailing featuring both the interior and exterior eye anatomy.
The sign dates to the 1950s and is in fine condition. It is complete with its original fold-out display stand, and it measures approximately 13 inches high x 8 inches wide.
Taken right out of her sewing room where it had hung for decades on the wall, the black and gold sign, which is painted on a heavy particle-type board, has a very lovely, warm, aged patina. It was very difficult to photograph as the black background paint readily picked up the slightest light source. The very first photograph most accurately depicts the color and appearance of this piece. Any white glare in any of the photographs should be completely disregarded, as both the color and tone of the sign are quite uniform.
Measuring 24" wide x 6" long, the sign has three eyelet-type holes in each of three corners (one corner is missing) to facilitate hanging. It comes with a heavy, ancient piece of wire that was used to hang the sign in the seller's home.
As noted in the close-up photos, the sign has its share of surface rubs, scratches, paint edge wear and three of the four corner edges missing-- all appropriate examples of wear for a well-used sign that is nearly 100 years old! Close examination of the sign suggests that the background was painted completely black first and then the gold edge-work and lettering were stenciled on top of the black background.
Just LOVE the look of this sign!
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!!
This pleasant trio of Sapolio Soap diecuts is in excellent condition and comes protected in an attractive, walnut-toned, oak decorative frame!
Quite visually appealing!
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!
This advertising gem was once used at the Island Pharmacy, City Island, New York, and was acquired directly from the family.
This display box measures 11"H x 9.25"W x 4.25"D, is in very good condition and sports the "WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH" cardboard label on its front. Both the display box and label exhibit age appropriate wear as noted: a few, small, top edge chips to the wood, some staining to the label as seen in photos, and the "N" in the word "BLANKS" is damaged.
This graphically appealing, vintage, advertising piece comes with a wide variety of very interesting and historic associated ephemera that serves to define the vast scope of service that Western Union provided: a 1962 CIPHER (Encoding and Decoding Card) for use with money order messages, a guideline card defining the delivery of Military Casualty telegrams, a 1949 guide card defining the Priority Order of Messages, a Standard Abbreviations Guide card, 2 cards notating New York City and Albany addresses of the main Western Union Offices in the state of New York, numerous contracts spanning multiple decades confirming the continued authorization of the pharmacy as a Western Union provider, as well as 15 colorful and unused, telegraph and cable THANKSGIVING blanks and over 40 Christmas HOLIDAY GREETINGS blanks. Also included is a 1950's, 17 page, company history given to Western Union services providers entitled, The Story of Western Union.
The City Island Pharmacy contracted with Western Union as an agent for the delivery and acceptance of telegrams and cable services from 1939 through 1972!
What a delightful advertising piece with wonderful provenance, filled with historic Western Union ephemera!
Featuring a delightful, cartoon-like caricature of a black man, this board is in very good condition with minor edge wear, slight age-discoloration and a crease to the rim at the left end of the hat.
An interesting, seldom-found piece of Black Memorabilia!
Please disregard reflections in photos that are due to the presence of protective plastic wrap.
The large brass sign measures 5" x 14", exhibits some tarnishing, and was most likely placed on the doctor's office building exterior.
The diminutive brass sign, measures 6.5" x 3.5" and was most likely attached to an interior door.
Both signs are in very nice condition and are easily displayed either on a shelf or on the wall!
The pair is offered at $100.00 or either one of the signs may be purchased individually at $60.00 each.
Recently acquired from a private collection, the framed diecut is without glass (which can be easily and inexpensively added).
The embossed-surface diecut is in near excellent condition, the only noted issue being a crease in the bigger girl's left leg (see close-up photo). An unusual find, with vivid, colorful imagery!
The smaller booklet with a graphic of a sweet faced girl with mixing bowl was published in 1925 by Church and Dwight Company of New York, and advertises Arm and Hammer Baking Soda.
The second, larger booklet called "Cake Secrets" was published by Igleheart Brothers of Evansville, Indiana in 1922, and advertises Swans Down Cake Flour.
Photos provide a good representation of each booklet. An interesting pair!
This neat sign measures 14 inches high by 11.5 inches wide, and the frame is approximately 16.5 x 12.5 inches.
The condition of the sign is good, noting clear, crisp lettering with light foxing, mild edge wear and a few tiny blemishes commensurate with age. The older (circa 1920s) frame sports an old, light green, crackled and worn painted surface and pairs well with the barber's sign.
Found in Georgia outside of Savannah, this sign likely was the creation of a small town barber or his associate since it was less expensive to hand-craft a sign like this rather than to formerly commission the creation of one. Prices for a haircut ranged from 50 cents to $1.00 from the mid 1940's to the mid 1950s.
Ready to hang.
Given away as a premium for opening a bank account, this still bank advertises the Mechanics Savings Bank of Hartford, Connecticut.
The bank is complete with the famous Liberty Bell crack down its front as well as this slogan etched around its top, "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All The Inhabitants Thereof. LEV XXV 10".
Manufactured by the Bankers S & C System Company, Cleveland, Ohio, this bank bears a patent date of February 18, 1919, as inscribed on its base.
Made of metal and wood. The whereabouts of the original key is unknown but it is likely that any flat metal key of the period and appropriate size would open it.
A fine decorative piece for either the still bank collector or Revolutionary War buff!
The pastoral image features a country maiden leading a cow from the woods while holding a can of Horlick's Malted Milk.
Imprinted on the cow's side is the following, "Ask for Horlick's at all Fountains and Hotels."
Around the circumference of the mirror, the product is further advertised:
"This maiden fair was dressed in silk,
She drinks the Horlick's Malted Milk."
" Tea of coffee it does replace,
In Health or Sickness,
Wins the Race."
Original mirrored backing is in very fine condition with just a few very minute , superficial scratches. Marked in microscopically written print ob bottom edge: The Whitemead & Hoag Company, Newark, New Jersey.
A beautiful little advertising piece!
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!