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    

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer - Sign - Advertising - Tapacan - Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Narragansett Ale Beer Neon Lighted Beer Sign Back Bar Lamp Cranston Rhode IslandRheinbrau Beer Sign Toc Original Only 1 Year 1934 Sault Ste. Marie Michigan RareVintage 1960's Hamm's Beer Sign Scene-o-rama Camp Fire Water Fall Canoe WorkingOriginal 1940's Strohs Tin Over Cardboard Beer Sign Detroit Mi PinupVintage Hamms Beer Lighted Lake Scene Motion Clock Bar Sign Works Sky Blue WaterVintage Cleveland Beer Lighted Sign Painters Decorators Union AdvertisingBurger Beer Vintage Lighted Motion Beer SignVintage " Hamms " Hamms Beer Neon Light Sign - 11 1/2" By 20 1/2"Pabst Blue Ribbon Tin Over Cardboard Old Beer Advertising SignMccormick Pre-prohibition Round Tin Litho Charger Beer Sign Boston, Mass Pre-pro1960 Hamm's Vintage Beer Cabin-style Sign Super Rare - Sealed In Orig PackagingVintage Falstaff Beer Sign Light Americana Panorama Sceneorama Coast To CoastVtg Htf Burger Beer Lighted Globe Style Beer Bottle & Glass Bar Man Cave Sign1930s (?) Griesedieck Bros Light Lager Embossed Tin Beer Sign From St. Louis !!!Very Nice Cook's Goldblume Kraeusened Beer Ale Bottles Toc Tin SignHamm's Beer Light Lighted Motion Sign #214 Skating Dancing Bear Vintage 1960'sVintage White Tail Deer Buck Wildlife Budweiser Beer Sign Light Neo Neon HuntingRare 1950s Vintage Falstaff Beer Choicest Product Of Brewers Art Old Tavern SignLeinenkugel's Pool Table Light Beer Sign Zynda "crystal Pale Beer" Sign Detroit Toc Original 1933-1948 Hard To Find!Large Old Milwaukee Neon Beer Bar Mancave Advertising SignFalstaff Beer Lighted Motion Beer Sign Toasting Mugs St. Louis Missouri Back BarSchmidt's On Draught Tin Over Cardboard Old Beer Advertising SignOriginal Reisch's Springfield, Il. Old Tin Beer Tin Beer Advertising SignVintage 1965 Hamms Beer Lighted Motion Rippler Water Waterfall SignSchmidt's Beer Sign Toc Original 1930s America's Finest Est. 1873 Htf Detroit Vintage Hamm's Lighted Beer Sign With Motion -**rare**Excellent Rare C1920s Antique Cooks Beer Goldblume Tin-litho Advertising SignVintage Hamms Cold Beer Plastic SignGoebel Beer Sign Detroit Reverse On Glass W/ Foil Original 1930s Hard To Find!Pfeiffer Lawrin Kentucky Derby Tin Over Cardboard Old Beer Advertising Sign1963 National Beer Natty Boh Easel Back Yea Colts Cardboard Sign Exc!Olympia Beer Ball Tap Handle Advertising SignGrain Belt Beer Pool Table Hanging LightGnome Graphics ~ Near Mint 1960s Vintage Vernor's Ginger Ale Old Tin SignHarvard Beer Ale Pam Clock Telechron Advertising Lighted Glass Face Rog Lowell++Vintage Grain Belt Beer Sign Domed Golden Premium Bottle Minneapolis Brewing Co Progress Lager Beer Tin Flange Sign Original? Early? Novelty Adv. Co. CoshoctonExcellent 1940 Cooks Beer Goldblume Embossed Tin Advertising SignHamms Beer Signs Scene O RamaBarbarossa Beer Cincinnati Vintage 1940's Light Up Sign Rare!Vintage 1940's Vernor's Ginger Ale Soda Pop Restaurant Menu Board 25" Metal SignVintage Falstaff Beer Sign St.louis Mo Flat Top CanVintage Potosi Beer Thermometer Sign Glass Cover Tin Bakelite Wisconsin BrewingNos Near Mint ~ Prohibition Vintage Bull Dog Ginger Beer Old Atlas Bottling Sign1950's Marshfield Premium Beer Round Button Sign Marshfield Wisconsin Wis WiShenandoah Pa Columbia Beer Brewing Sign Deer Buck Porter Pottsville Not NeonVintage Peerless Beer Sign La Crosse, Wi.Graphic 1950s Vintage Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Old Gay 1890s Piano Player Tin SignStroh's Bohemian Celluloid Tin Litho Beer Sign Detroit Michigan Bastian BrosSchlitz Moving Light Globe Beer Lamp/sign 1976Lone Star Beer - 1958 Spanish Girl Sign - San Antonio TexasCirca 1920, Prohibition-era Kurth Brewing Sign, Columbus, WisconsinEulberg Crown Select Beer Sign, Eulberg Brewing, Portage, Wi- Rare!Old 40"s Schlitz Beer Lighted Back Bar Sign Bottle Vintage Old Style Illuminated Stained Glass Motion Display Beer Sign! Working!!1950's Falstaff Beer Reverse Painted Plastic Sign / St.louis Beer Rare Hamms Beer Motion Heat Lamp Plastic Hamms Sign Hamms Beer Sign Goodman 3dVintage Spuds Mackenzie Bud Light Bar Light Advertising Display Dog Beer Sign 87