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    

Original 1940's Nugrape Soda Flange Sign Rare Version Clean ColaVintage 1927 Hires Root Beer Soda Pop Bottle 28" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1950's Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap Gas Station Metal SignVintage 1940s Pepsi Cola 5c Bottle Double Dot Soda Pop Door Push Metal Sign~niceVintage 1923 Hires Root Beer Soda Pop In Bottles 28" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1951 Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop 26" Metal Thermometer Sign~worksRare Vintage C1903 Coca Cola Chewing Gum Soda Pop Embossed Glass Jar Bottle SignRare Whistle Tin Embossed Soda Sign Not Orange Crush Vintage 1960's Hires Root Beer Soda Pop Menu Board 28" Embossed Metal SignMason's Root Beer King Size Bottles Metal Advertising Door Push Soda Sign Vintage Orange Crush Thermometer Soda Sign - Near MintVintage "2 Way" Soda Advertising ClockVintage 1953 7up 7 Up "fresh Up" Soda Pop Gas Station 27" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1950's Dr Pepper Soda Pop Gas Station 17" Metal Thermometer Sign~worksOld Fresh Up With 7up Seven Up Advertising Door Push Soda SignOld Get Cool For A Nickel Drink Orange Crush Tin Advertising Soda Sign1940's Texas Punch Soda Door Push Sign Cowboy Reading Bottling Works Pa ColaLarge Vintage 1950's Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Embossed Metal Picnic Cooler SignLarge Vintage 1940's Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Bottle 36" Metal SignSwallow's Old Fashioned Root Beer Soda Metal Advertising Door Push Scioto Sign Rare Vtg Westclox Dog-n-suds Root Beer-ice Cream-soda Chrome Diner Sign Clock!!Vintage 1900s Pepper's Sons Liquor Whiskey Self Framed Tin Sign Ashland Pa BeerRare Vtg Westclox Dog-n-suds Root Beer-ice Cream-soda Chrome Diner Sign Clock!!Vintage Squirt Soda Sign Thermometer 1970s Store Display Metal Embossed 13-1/2"Unusual Rare Color ~ 1940s Vintage Barq's Root Beer Old Country Store Tin SignVintage Old Squirt Soda Sign General Store Gas Station Coke PepsiVintage Old Dr. Pepper Soda Sign Gas Station Garage General Store Coke PepsiRare Early Original Mission Orange Beverages Thermometer Tin Embossed SignVintage 1950's Ih Mccormick Dairy Farm Milk Cow 23" Embossed Metal SignVintage Old Mountain Dew Soda Metal Advertising Sign General Store Gas Station Vintage Antique Barqs Root Beer Tin Non Porcelain Bottle Thermometer Sign UsedOld Drink Bireley's Orange Soda Advertising Store Bottle Display Holder SignVintage 1960's Frostie Root Beer Soda Pop 12" Advertising Thermometer Sign Ni!cOld Drink Green Spot Orangeade Non Carbonated Soda Tall Advertising Door PushRusty Old Orange Crush Cola 29" X 12" Soda Crushy Tin Sign * No ReserveOld Enjoy Pepsi-cola While You Shop Grocery Cart 2 Bottle Ad Holder Soda SignVintage 7up 7 Up "fresh Up" Soda Pop Gas Station Embossed Metal SignVintage Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap Embossed Metal Sign By StoutRare Size Tru Ade Advertising Sign Non Coca Cola. Drink Jack Frost Orange Drink Vertical 10" Porcelain Soda Advertising Sign Eight Ball Soda 6" Diameter Porcelain Palm Press Door Push Sign �� No ReserveOriginal Rare 1950's Mason's Root Beer Soda Pop Advertising Tin Thermometer Nr!!7up Diecut Porcelain Flange Sign. Double Sided. 18"x16" And 2" Flange.no ReserveVintage C.1930 Pepsi Cola Double Dot Soda Pop Metal Sign~door Push/dispenser?Vintage Soda 1945 Large 28" Hires Root Beer Thermometer Bottle Advertising SignVintage Whistle Orange Soda Advertising Door Push SignVintage 1950's 7up 7 Up Soda Pop 32" Porcelain Metal Door Push Bar SignRare Smile Orange Soda Sign Not Orange Crush Coca ColaVintage 60's Squirt Soda Pop Thermometer Great GraphicsVintage 1964 Coca Cola Fishtail Soda Pop Gas Station 26" Metal SignRare Vintage Hires Rj Root Beer ~ Store Door Push ~ Sign PlateOld Drink Double Cola Wire 6 Pack Bottle Holder Soda Advertising Carrier 1930's Tin Lithograph Birchola Advertising Flange Litho Sign Scranton, Pa SodaRare Vintage 1963 Coca Cola 12oz. Metal Can Diamond W/bottle Logo Soda Pop SignBrownie Chocolate Soda Drink Porcelain Palm Press Door Push Advertising Sign Rare Sun Crest Soda Beverage Advertising Sign Menu Chalkboard- Stout Company!!!Vintage 1940's Hire's Root Beer Sign Soda Pop Vintage 7up 7 Up Cola 15" X 6" Soda Pop Thermometer Porcelain Sign * No ReservePepsi-cola Take Home A Carton Today 2-sided Pepsi Soda Advertising Rack Sign Vintage A&w Root Beer Porcelain Gas Or Store Advertising Sign