In this final installment in the “Signs of Their Times” series drawing from the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) Photograph Collection, I offer a few of my miscellaneous favorites. To begin, I can’t imagine any librarian, or book-lover for that matter, could resist this 1940 appeal from the “The Mogollon School Kids” to the members of their New Mexico community for “old books” for the schoolhouse library:
Also in Mogollon, on the left below, photographer Russell Lee captures this longer version of the archetypal “No credit. Don’t ask.” signs still found in cafes and taverns today. A year later in Nampa, Idaho, on the right, Lee pictures this hand-lettered notice written on a business’ glass door that fills a double function as it both informs customers of the 5:30 closing and cheers on the local ball team playing that evening at Rodeo Park:
Is there a more sensible place for a sign-maker to advertise than the community bulletin board at the local post office?:
Finally, I admire this Jeanerette, Louisiana, sign to the right for the spare succinctness of its single-word message — “WHISKEY.” And, the pairing with the recognizable graphic of a whiskey bottle, earns it my sign efficiency award.
- Make a U-turn to see previous “signposts” in the “Signs of Their Times” series:
- Find your favorite photos of signs in the FSA-OWI Collection. Or, navigate your way via the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) Collection Subject Index to explore topical interests for photos from that time.
- Enjoy a contemporary photo survey that includes signs. Over 700 color photographs by Carol M. Highsmith are available online of signs from neon to billboard, historic and iconic to weather-beaten and decrepit.
- The Library of Congress resources for teachers includes a thematic listing of Collection Connections for the study of Advertising.