There were once almost as many different types of beer signs as there were varieties and brands of beer. These signs came in all shapes and sizes, while the materials used to make them ranged from wood and porcelain to steel, neon, and celluloid.

From the turn of the 20th century until the 1920s, literally hundreds of beer companies competed for a thirsty public’s attention in a battle waged through ads. Porcelain signs were the weapons of choice. These advertisements could be square or round, flat or curved, designed for indoor spaces or to weather the elements. Many of these porcelain signs—especially those from around 1905—featured extremely intricate, attractive graphics, which were printed using lithographic techniques.

Two of the largest manufacturers and distributors of porcelain signs were the Baltimore Enamel and Novelty Company and the Burdick Sign Company of Chicago. An almost endless parade of beer companies commissioned signs. Some of them are only memories today: Golden State Beer, Fredericksburg Lager, and Ruhstaller Gilt Edge Beer. More familiar, lasting brands such as Miller also produced porcelain signs. Today, brand name, condition, rarity, and aesthetic appeal all influence the value of these signs.

Tin signs can be difficult to find in pristine condition since they were very prone to rust, and, even more than porcelain signs, many were contributed to scrap-metal drives during World War II. The Pabst Brewing Company, for example, made tin door push and pull signs. Cardboard signs—made for beer companies like Stag and Red Top—were also common in the mid-20th century.

While very common today, neon signs were only produced in small numbers in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. Many more were mass-produced in the 1980s by companies like Everbrite and Fallon Luminous Products for Coors, Miller, and other brewers.

For collectors, one of the most prized beer signs doesn’t fit into any of these categories. In the 1950 and ’60s, Hamm’s Brewery produced its Scenorama signs (also spelled as Scene-o-Rama, Scenerama, and Scenarama). Manufactured by Lakeside Plastics of Minnesota, these motorized signs sometimes stretched five feet across, though some models were closer to three feet in width. In addition to a working clock, Scenorama signs included picturesque depictions of lakes and streams, which appeared to be flowing in the “moving” Scenoramas. Lakeside also produced non-moving varieties for Hamm’s.

The Hamm’s beer signs followed a number of themes. There were the Sunrise/Sunset signs, which featured a scenic view of a lake that appears to change from day to night and back a...

Schlitz’s signs have also achieved some measure of prominence, thanks to the company’s distinctive “Belted Globe” logo. Schlitz produced numerous electric revolving globes designed for tavern walls; other, more two-dimensional signs simply featured a globe or half-globe in their design. Naturally, the dominant color of these signs was often blue.

Other brands that produced now-collectible beer signs include Budweiser, Glueks, Rolling Rock, Acme, Central, Colt .45, Knickerbocker, Consumer’s, Guinness, and Blatz.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Red Fox Chapter

Red Fox Chapter

The guys at the Connecticut Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America have created a full-on tribute to t… [read review or visit site]

Advertising Antiques

Advertising Antiques

This classy looking British site features hundreds of high resolution photos of antique porcelain pre-war (enamel) … [read review or visit site]

Historical Marker Database

Historical Marker Database

If you're the type who pulls over when you see a 'historic marker ahead' sign, you'll love this site. Orchestrated … [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

Bottle Cap Index

Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

Plopsite.de

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Ralph and Carol Falvo's excellent collection of automobiles, petroliana, jukeboxes, soda, and general store items. … [read review or visit site]

Bock Beer Labels

Bock Beer Labels

A quick tour of pre-Prohibition bock beer label designs with nice, high resolution scans. Do the whole slide show o… [read review or visit site]

Trappist Beers and Monks

Trappist Beers and Monks

An interesting site dedicated to Trappist beers and the history of the development of beer brewed by Trappist Bened… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Flock's Beer Sign Thermometer 12"x12" Est.1854 Beer-ale Miller Lite Bud Light Ice Beer Bar Mlb Nfl Car Lamp Home Club Neon Sign 10"x10"72" Original Drink Budweiser Porcelain Beer Double Sided Advertisement SignVintage 1960s Hamms Beer Sign-o-ramaRare Large Vintage C1940 Vernor's Ginger Ale 5c Soda Pop 48" Embossed Metal SignEigenbrot Pre-prohibition Tuchfarber Tin Corner Beer Sign Baltimore Maryland GbsVintage Beer Advertising Bar Sign Toby Ale Cleveland Ohio Poc Flat Top Can EraSupreme Tin-over-cardboard Button Beer Sign South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Toc PaMiller High Life Reverse Painted Glass Shelf Beer Sign Milwaukee, Wisconsin Rog+Vintage Flock's Beer Sign Thermometer 12"x12" Est.1854 Beer-ale Nascar ,budweiser,#8 Dale Jr Pool Table LightVintage Bud Light Spuds Mackenzie Party Animal Bar Light W Dog TagExtremely Rare U.s. Navy Hydrofoil (phm) Budweiser Beer SignLarge Vintage 1950's Miller Tires Gas Station Oil 60" Metal Sign~niceVintage 1960's Falstaff Toasting Mugs Lighted Motion SignAcme 1930-1940 Original Beer Sign San Francisco Cowboy Maynard DixonGluek Brewing Co. Pilsner Pale Sign. Vintage AdvertisingUse Buckeye Malt Union Made Malt Beer Tin Sign 1930's Vgc Very Thin Champagne Velvet Beer SignVintage Holland Premium (lighted) Beer SignAntique Vintage 1940's 1950's Miller High Life Beer Glass Light Bar Display SignHamms Beer Sign Non Motion24"x24" Harley Davidson Usa Eagle Hd Neon Sign Motorcycle Bike Beer Bar LightVintage Lithia Beer Tin Embossed Sign1960's Hamm's Motion Lighted Beer Sign Sunrise Sunset No. 5047 Needs RestorationVintage C.1950 Cott Ginger Ale Soda Pop Bottle 39" Embossed Metal SignVintage Hamm's Beer Lighted Sign Hamms Two Side Theo HammVintage Spuds Mackenzie Bud Light Bar Display - Non-lighted Version 1987 PubHamms Beer SignVintage Hamm's Beer Barrel Rotating Flip Motion Beer Light Sign 8 ScenesEastside Round Porcelain Enamel Beer Sign Los Angeles California Tin Litho CalifVtg Lakeside Plastics Hamms Beer Cube Rotating Motion Sign Clock Water SkiingVintage Guinness Advertising Light Box Sign Rare 1940'sAlpen Brau Metal Sign, 1940's Vintage Original, Antique Beer AdvertisementRare Wiedemann Beer Motion Sign Vintage Bar Man CaveMiller Beer Bouncing Ball Sign Wall Sconce Vtg - Motion Lighted Advertsing SignDrewrys Beer Big D Display SignVintage 1950s Coors Waterfall Light Up SignCollectible Advertising Miller Lite Brewing Co. Beer Barrel Pub Sign 21 1/4"24"x22" Harley Davidson Motor Neon Sign Motorcycle Beer Light Free Fast ShippingVintage Original Hamm's Beer Lighted Sign With Pendulum ClockHampden Mild Ale Celluloid Toc Beer Sign Willimansett Mass Tin Over Cardboard MaPegasus Flying Horse Red Mobil Gas Oil Gasoline Station Neon Sign Beer Bar LightFalstaff Beer Lighted Clock Sign Pinwheel Vintage Vintage Schlitz Beer Sign Lighted Bar Signs 40's Metal Glass Bottle BaseMiller High Life Lighted SignColorful Fox Head "400" Advertising Cardboard Die Cut Beer Sign Waukesha Wi NiceVintage Lucky Lager Beer Sign Pistol Gun Holster"busch Beer" Bud Beer Bar Pub Club Neon Sign Light Wall Decor Poster Display LedOl Griesedieck Bros. Beer Sold Here Tin Advertising Door Push SignSd358 Budweiser Bud Light Lizard Beer Bar Advertising Arai Neon Light Sign 02Yuengling Beer Neon Clock Light Sign 19.5 X 5 Nib Lights Up Bar Man Cave UniqueVintage Blatz Beer Sign Rare African American Couple 1970'sVintage Stroh's Beer Nautical Rotating Hanging Lantern Sign Welcome Aboard Man1960's Hamm's Beer Die-cut Cardboard Sign - St. Paul, Mn - Hamm's Bear1950s Coors Lighted (sign) Carton Rack TopperBudweiser Bud Lite Boston Red Sox Baseball Beer Bar Cola Neon Light Sign 13"x7Vintage Iroquois Beer Buffalo Ny Beer Sign. Nice!!!!1970's Hamm's Beer Welcome Back Hamm's Bear & Friends Wall SignOpen Home Floor Room Wall Night Lamp Sex Beer Neon Light Sign 8"x 10"