Enamel Advertising Signs

Series: Shire Album S. (3)

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Enamel signs emerged as the jewel in the crown of British advertising in the late Victorian era, commanding public attention for over half a century before technological, economic and social change combined to render them redundant. From the 1950s onwards they disappeared from the original locations on shop walls, to be replaced by hoardings. Of the millions of enamel signs produced between 1880 and 1950 onlya few thousand survived, often commandeered for secondary uses as 'free'materials to build huts and fencing on allotment gardens. By the early 1960s a few trend-setting collectors started to rescue them as ornamental items. With the birth of the restored steam railway, some signs found their way back to original locations, lending 'authentic' atomsphere to station platforms, and many of the industrial museums have followed suit to great effect.