Sunday, July 26, 2020

Shades of history: Ghost signs can be found all around Racine

From The Journal

Eric Johnson

This advertising wall sign commissioned by Milwaukee-based Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. along Washington Avenue is one of the many ghost signs that can be found around Racine. The sign includes the image of Schlitz's trademark globe logo. 

RACINE — Fading and flaking into obscurity, vintage painted wall advertisements known as “ghost signs” are a rapidly-disappearing slice of Americana in the City of Racine.
Out of the scores of wall ads that once prolifically dotted Racine’s urban landscape, only a scant handful of examples survive today, their remaining years numbered against the inexorable onslaught wrought by time, weather and progress.
In the late 1800s and the early decades of the 1900s, the era before radio, television, ginormous electronic LED billboards and the internet, painted wall signs were a major avenue for national and local advertisers alike to get the word out about their products and services. The hand-painted wall ads promoted a variety of products and services ranging from soft drinks, chewing gum, beer, flour and newspapers to banks, real estate brokers, launderers, smoking and chewing tobacco, and dubious “snake oil” medical elixirs like “Dr. Giffin’s Diphtheria Cure,” the latter still extolling its virtues more than a century later downtown along Third Street between Main and Wisconsin.
And see: 
40 Ghost Signs around the City of Racine

This is a cool story and picture post.

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