In the first half of the 20th century, door pushes and pulls were an inexpensive way for advertisers to get their messages in front of potential customers. Like the advertising thermometer and advertising clock, whose usefulness gave them longevity in stores and shops beyond that of a mere sign, door pushes made out of tin or porcelain enamel saved wear and tear on a store owner’s door, which made them assets to small businesses such as country stores and diners.

Many door pushes were vertically rectangular, designed to fit on an unlatched, spring-loaded screen door. Because the door push was conceived as a kind of target for customers, they often had messages on them like “Push,” “Come In,” or “Come Again.” Other door pushes were designed to be placed near handles, or had handles built into the sign itself, so these door pushes would read “Pull,” for obvious reasons.

Another style of door push is the strip sign, whose ample width and narrow height made it perfect for mounting on, say, a screen door’s crash bar so that people would not push their hands through the door’s screen. Other so-called full-span door pushes were structural enough on their own to serve as a crash bar, saving store owners the expense of building ones themselves.

Since many door pushes were in country stores where groceries were sold, some of the most popular advertisers were manufacturers of soda pop, baking goods, and household products such as soap. A door push might invite customers to “Come In” while touting Crystal White as “The Billion Bubble Soap.” Another door push for Brandreth’s Pills invites exiting customers to ask themselves “What Have I Forgotten?” And countless door pushes worked bold commands into their advertising copy (“Ask For Betsy Ross Bread,” “Chew Red Man,” and, of course, “Drink Coca-Cola”).


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

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]

Ad Access

Ad Access

Duke University's library has pulled together an impressive collection of over 7,000 ads printed in U.S. and Canadi… [read review or visit site]

American Package Museum

American Package Museum

Ian House's gallery of early 20th Century American package designs. Browse the exhibits in slide show mode or view … [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]

Found in Moms Basement

Found in Moms Basement

Paula Zargaj-Reynolds’ blog, an extensive collection of 20th century vintage advertising, is a visual feast. Scro… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Golden Bridge Root Beer Remember Door Push Sign Embossed San FranciscoVintage Squirt Soda Tin Advertising Door Push Plate SignVintage Chapman's Ice Cream Handled Advertising Soda Fountain Door Pull SignVintage Auto-lite Spark Plugs Door Push Painted Metal Sign (not Porcelain)Vintage Diamond Tires Cobalt Blue Porcelain Advertising Door Push Plat SignVintage 1950's Wonder Bread Grocery Store 28" Embossed Metal Door Push Bar SignDouble Dot Pepsi-cola Soda Pepsi Onthe Lips Of Millions Advertising Door Push Vintage Vicks Va-tro-nol & Vaporub Porcelain Country Store Door Push Sign RareVintage Antique Brownie Soda Milk Bottle Tin Non Porcelain Door Push Elf SignVintage Antique "thanks Call Again!" Sign Door Push MetalNice Old Chesterfield Cigarettes Door Push 1950sPepsi Cola Take Home Six Metal Sign Door Push Pull General Store Soda Pop Drink Original Antique Coca-cola Soda Advertising Sign Door Push 31" LongCentralia Baking Co. Bakery Jumbo Bread Metal Advertising Door Push Sign Hazle Club Orange Soda Cola Porcelain Advertising Vertical Door Push Sign Nice Old L&m Cigarettes Door Push 1960sVintage 1950s Metal 7up Door Push Sign Antique Old Cola Soda Pop Store Trust Velvet Ice Cream Porcelain Door Push Palm Press Advertising Dairy Sign Vintage Shell Gas 4" Round Porcelain Door Push SignOld Call Again 5 Cent Cigar Door Push 1960sVintage Porcelain Sinclair Door Push Gas Sign Oil Lubster CanReach For Dreikorn's Good Bread Porcelain Door Push Palm Press Advertising SignKirk's Flake Soap Come In Porcelain Metal Sign Door Push Pull Country StoreOriginal Vintage 7up Soda Store Door Push Bar Hippie Peter Max Advertising SignElephant Kerosene Esso Porcelain Metal Sign Oil Gas Station Door Push Pull Kern's Bread Metal Sign General Store Door Push Store Ad Rack Display 1950sVintage Advertising Steel Sign Pepsi Soda Door Push Bottle Cap Logo Original OldCanada Dry Metal Sign Door Push Pull General Store Ginger Ale Soda Pop Drink Rare French Original Salada Tea Porcelain Advertising Entry Door Push BarVintage Davco Fertilizer Door Push Victor Victrola Antique Windup Crank Talking Machine Phonograph Door Pull Knob