Some History of Vintage Porcelain & Tin Advertising Signs, Also Trade signs
Old Vintage signs made out of tin, zinc & later on porcelain have been around & advertising products for centuries.. Many of these signs have been used to sell products & have been used as art just like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Among these old signs are illustrations of Cobblers, Bakers, Blacksmiths and even Brothels just to name a few selling their products to the public and masses of people. From these professions came an early form of sign usually in the shape of the trade and they were called trade signs..Others were opticians who used giants eyeglasses, A simple hand formed zinc Horse head that advertised a stable, or a large Cow head for a Meat shop. Antique Signs, Collectible Signs, Old Signs Vintage Porcelain & Tin Advertising Signs
Painted wooden signs were introduced in the 18th century in a variety of shapes, they were displayed to show the product they were selling, like a Tavern or Boarding Rooms for instance…
Population exploded in the early 1900’s and an increase of new products & advertising were introduced..
Also education was becoming mandatory and people could read these sign so they took over the trade signs. also metal became much more prevalent and it also lasted much longer than wood, Signs now were made in shapes like circles, rectangular, square & some were even die cut or embossed. These signs appeared outside of establishments like Hardware stores to advertise the products and brands sold in that store.
The earliest signs may have actually been made of “wood, but these did not last long and porcelain over steel took off in the early 1900’s. These signs lasted forever and are still used today, however they are expensive to make and many companies will use tin painted signs”, Porcelain sign have become some of the most collectible among the collectors of advertising because of the beauty of the colors & long lasting properties of porcelain, just like the one pictured on the right from the turn of the century (or late 1800’s) from the Moehn Brewing Company from Iowa….
There was a minor stop in usage of steel or tin signs during the event of WWII .The industry then went to Masonite which was a lot like wood and they did not last or hold up well.
It is ironic at this time when steel was so precious that if you donated 10% of your sales from your company to the war effort, you would receive one of these Defense Plant signs as a reward to mount to the outside of your building
Later on in the early 1950’s technologies were exploding and plastics were introduced into the sign industry, they were durable, you could reverse light these pan type signs, however they could not touch porcelain for durability.
Today all these types of signs have become very collectible and is like art of our generation, it is used for decorating Bars, Restaurants and for some of the hardcore collectors, it decorates our home