Old Advertising

April 19, 2008 at 14:53 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Old Advertising

There are quite a lot of these mementos of bygone businesses, high on gable ends and the rust-red brick walls of Victorian buildings. Sometimes, as here at the corner of Rawlinson Street and Buccleuch Street, there has been a succession of such once-proud announcements, one over the top of another.

Nobody seems to think to remove them, as they might in more fastidious towns. I like that – it gives us a real living link with the past. Sooner or later these buildings will be swept away, and then something will have been lost forever.

Back in the 1980s, when Waterloo Tube station in London was being thoroughly worked over, a real 1920s Ovaltine advertisement was exposed over one of the escalators. It made me smile every time I saw it, and hoped against hope that it would be preserved. It wasn’t, of course. It was covered over with 1980s tack.



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  1. I have to agree with you on all counts. I love faded adverts! We used to have a building in St Pete that had a giant Coca-Cola ad on the side from at least the 19-teens,if not earlier. It was there forever; then ‘progress’ came along in the early 1990s and just like that, the ad (and the building) was gone. It’s a parking lot now! I regret never have gotten a pic of the ad. It was magnificent.

    Would have loved to seen that Ovaltine ad in the Tube station! I love Ovaltine. 🙂

  2. I love these old signs – there are hardly any left round here at all – there is a guy in New York who is photographing all the ones he can find – there is a link to his site on my “another place to go” site

  3. I like these signs as well, and I really like the idea of at least photographing them for future reference. I’m not sure if anyone has done that down here. It does give me an idea, however…

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