Vintage Soda Pop Signs (non Coca-Cola)

Coca-Cola may have invented modern advertising as we know it, but that doesn’t mean other soda companies didn’t do their best to keep up and carve out their own slice of the market. Signs were one of the most common ways for such companies to advertise, especially in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. Many of these non-Coca-Cola signs have become quite collectible today.

Soda signs were made out of a variety of materials. Porcelain enamel signs were covered with layers of powdered glass; each layer had its own color, and they were fused, one layer at a time, onto an iron base. Early soda-sign manufacturers included McMath-Axilrod of Dallas and L.D. Nelke Signs of New York.

While many porcelain enamel signs were square or rectangular, others were produced as ovals or circles, some as large as four feet wide. Some porcelain enamel signs had graphics on only one side, while others had images on both. Other porcelain enamel signs weren’t even flat—convex oval shapes in the center of a sign gave the illusion of depth for a more attractive and eye-catching image.

Porcelain enamel soda signs were posted both inside or outside of stores. Strategic locations included the sides of soda coolers and soda fountains, as well as cigar boxes, door pushes, root beer barrels, and even soda companies’ truck doors.

Soda signs were also made out of cardboard, tin mounted on cardboard, paper, wood, and glass mounted on wood. Moxie, for example, made signs in virtually all of these media, including stand-up cardboard displays that were several feet tall.

Of course, many of these signs featured a catchy slogan to help the product sell. Many consumers ordered cases of soda to their homes, a buying practice soda companies attempted to encourage: “Shall I send a case of Moxie to your home?” asked one stand-up sign. Seilheimer’s Ginger Ale cleverly proclaimed to be “So-Da-Licious,” and Dr. Pepper reminded potential customers that its drink was “Good for life.”

In fact, many signs in these early days of soda advertising pitched their product as medicinally useful. Moxie was a “nerve food” while Pepsi-Cola was “healthful and invigorating...

Later, soda was advertised more modestly as soft drinks, so many signs sported simple slogans that are quite similar to those we know today. Moxie’s pitch was straightforward: “Drink Moxie.” 7-Up signs frequently did without any motto at all, relying instead on its distinctive logo and brand recognition. Pepsi signs often featured an image of the Pepsi-Cola logo on a bottle cap.

Other soda brands whose signs have proven collectible include Orange Crush, Grapette Soda, M&S Beverages, Orange Squeeze, Lash’s Root Beer, Vernors, Squirt, Mountain Dew, Bowey’s Root Beer, Borden, Canada Dry, Carnation, A&W, Dad’s Root Beer, Howel’s Root Beer, Royal Crown, Hires, Salada, Boylan’s, and Barq’s.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

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]

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]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Vintage 1967 Yahoo! Mountain Dew Soda Pop 28" Embossed Metal SignRare Vintage 1936 Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop 2 Sided 18" Metal Flange SignLarge Vintage 1951 Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Bottle 55" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1936 Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop 2 Sided 18" Metal Flange Sign Nehi WowRare Vintage 1950's Drink Double Cola Soda Pop Bottle 28" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1920's Hires Root Beer Soda Pop In Bottles 19" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage 1950's Kist Orange Soda Pop Bottle 54" Embossed Metal SignRare 1923 Hires Root Beer Embossed Tin Tacker Sign Motor Gas Oil Car Barn A&wVintage Pepsi Cola Double Dot Rare Metal Bottle Cap Sign Store GarageScarce 1930's Orange Crush Embossed Metal Sign Crushy Coke Pop Soda Pepsi Large Vintage 1950's Dr Pepper Soda Pop Gas Station 47" Embossed Metal SignScarce 1950's A&w Root Beer Mug Embossed Metal Sign A W Dads Hires Coke Pop Ih Vintage 1950's Kist Orange Soda Pop Bottle Gas Station 30" Embossed Metal SignDr Pepper Bottling Co. Porcelain Truck Sign Drink Soda Pop Vintage 1965 Teem Pepsi Soda Pop Gas Station 17" Lighted Clock Sign~worksLarge Vintage 1950's Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Corn Sno Balls 52" Metal SignMake Mine Spiffy A Swell Cola Boy Character Soda Advertising Door Push SignLarge Vintage 1950's Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap 57" Embossed Metal SignDr. Pepper Sign, Coke,pepsi,tin,porcelain.Rare Mountain Dew Button Sign Thin Tin Metal Embossed Mt.dew Soda Shop VintageVintage 1950's Dairylea Milk Dairy Farm Grocery Store 15" Lighted Clock SignScarce Tru Aid Soda Pop Advertising ThermometerRare 1926 Hires Root Beer Embossed Tin Tacker Sign Motor Gas Oil Car Barn A&wOld Antique Hornimans Tea Advertising Sign Plaster Figural Counter Display 1930sKen-l Ration Porcelain Door Push Sign Dog Food Feed General Store Soda PopVintage 1960's 7up 7 Up Soda Pop 12" Metal Thermometer Sign~nice W/original BoxRare 1950's 7up Fresh Up Embossed Metal General Store Sign Coke Pepsi Crush PopVintage 1960's Orange Crush Soda Pop Bottle 30" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage 1960's Orange Crush Soda Pop Bottle Cap Gas Station 38" Metal SignRare 1957 Squirt Soda Pop Embossed Metal General Store Sign Coke Cola Crush IhVintage 1950's Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap 28" Embossed Metal SignVintage Dr. Pepper Bottle Cap 38" Large Button Metal Sign Original Rare FindDrink Goblin Orangeade Porcelain Sign Ice Cold 5 Cent Orange Soda Pop Crush ColaBunny Bread Porcelain Door Push Sign General Store Soda Pop Coke Harley BugsVintage Metal Flange " Drink Coca-cola Sign Collectibles Soda Signs Advertising Vintage Old Orange Crush Soda Garage Gas Station Store SignVintage Original Tin Soda Sign Nichol Kola Bottle Design 1936 Rare Vintage Antique Lemmy Lemonade Tin Non Porcelain Soda Cola SignRare 1930's Frigidaire General Motors Milk Porcelain Sign Cow Farm Tractor BarnVintage 1950's Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Gas Station 26" Metal SignVintage 1940's Pepsi Cola Double Dot Cops Soda Pop 22" Embossed Metal Sign1930s 7 Up Metal Sign 8 Bubble Fresh Up 40 1/2" As Is Shown 1950's Nesbitts Soda Door Push Sign"rare" Free Standing Early Dr. Pepper Thin Cardboard Sign Bulldog On CrateVintage Mason's Root Beer Thermometer Soda Advertising Excellent Rootbeer SignDr Pepper Pull Tab Can Porcelain Door Push Pull Sign General Store Lemmy Lemonade Porcelain Door Push Sign General Store Soda Pop 5 Cent Dr Pepper Porcelain Metal Sign Soda Drink General Store Pepsi Coke 7up VintageLarge Vintage 1950's 7up 7 Up Soda Pop 19" Embossed Metal Picnic Cooler SignCirca 1960 Orange Crush Metal Sign Soda Pop Drink General Store Lunch Dinner Hills Bros Coffee 21" Porcelain Thermometer Sign Vintage Early 1900'sRoyal Crown Flange. Coke Pepsi Porcelain Tin Sign1950's Canada Dry Embossed Metal General Store Sign Ginger Ale Coke Pop Cola Vintage C.1960 7up 7 Up Soda Pop Gas Station 16" Lighted Clock Sign~worksVintage**rare** 7up First Against Thirst Diner Soda Fountain Menu SignVintage 1940's Drug Store Marque Neon SignRare 1927 Hires Root Beer Embossed Tin Tacker Sign Motor Gas Oil Car Barn A&wKing Cole Tea & Coffee Porcelain Door Push Sign General Store30" Ssp Cheerwine Cola N.c Porcelain Sign Soda Pop Drink Cherry Wine Large Vintage C1950 Canada Dry Spur Cola Soda Pop Bottle 55" Embossed Metal Sign