Measuring 26.5" long x 13.75" wide, this fabulous, one-of-a-kind segregation sign is felt to be circa 1930s.
The sign with its flat black background, features a decorative free-hand, skill-fully executed, corner-looped edge design in old white paint advertising: SLEEPING ROOM FOR RENT.
Beneath the words 'FOR RENT', the words "WHITE ONLY" have been covered over with a layer of similar-colored background paint. Both words are still visible beneath this layer of paint with the word "WHITE" being most readily visualized.
I believe that this "paint-over" can be easily, professionally removed, and I toyed with the idea of having this done, but then felt that I should offer the sign as it is in its current state, as it is reflective of a small yet positive progression in history, in the viewpoint of at least this proprietor in our society in this time period. What prompted this change of viewpoint, which obviously occurred decades before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is forever lost to history. The place of origin of this sign is unknown.
The sign is hand-painted on Masonite, a smooth-faced, compressed wood hardboard that was invented in the 1920s and was in popular use during the Depression-ridden 1930s due to its relatively inexpensive price tag. The sign has nine holes to facilitate hanging: three on each end and three down the center of the sign. The sign retains an original surface patina with age-related crackling to the lettering. In addition to the words "White Only" being painted over, a decorative flourish centered between the words "Sleeping Room" and "For Rent" has also been painted over, reason unknown. Mild surface paint loss, scuff-marks, and edge wear are present, commensurate with a 90+year old sign.
An exquisite example of Segregation Era signage that tells a story of prejudice evolving to an acceptance of equality.