Vintage Signs of America

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Covering signs from the 1920s to 1970s, this collection features sputnik-shaped signs, mechanical signs, and signs with representations of pizza chefs, diving women, animals, doughnuts and more. There is discussion of the vulnerability of these signs due to deterioration, sign law changes, and the transition from neon to LED lighting and electronic displays. In recent years, countless wonderful signs have been hauled to the scrapyard. A much smaller percentage have been saved, restored, and/or relocated through community action and online fundraising. Some have found new life at museums or have safely vanished into private collections. This book offers suggestions as to what you can do to save these signs. Vintage signs are unique works of art and craftsmanship. They are personal connections to the past and community landmarks. They have also become tourist attractions. However, the signs which appear in this book could disappear at any time. So, see them and shoot them while you can.


Debra Jane Seltzer has been documenting signs, buildings, and statues for more than 15 years. She has logged more than 400,000 miles, gathering photos from 48 states. Her  website,, features over 60,000 photos. Since 2007, Debra Jane has been writing about vintage signs for the Society for Commercial Archeology Journal. She lives in Ventura, California.