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]

Pittsburgh Signs Project

Pittsburgh Signs Project

This group artistic effort to catalog the signs of Pittsburgh captures many vintage signs (porcelain, neon, wood, t… [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    

Vintage Original Dr Pepper "frosty Man Frosty" Thermometer Metal Soda Sign 50sVintage 1966 Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap 28" Embossed Metal Sign1940 Diecut Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Tin Sign With Bottle Marked AmLarge Vintage 1950's Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Bottle 54" Embossed Metal SignVintage Frostie Root Beer Bubble Advertising Clock Original Soda Sign - Nice!Vintage 1948 Drink Dr Pepper Soda Pop 20" Porcelain Metal SignVintage 1950's Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap 31" Embossed Metal SignNear Mint Embossed Squirt Soda Pop Tin Metal Sign With Boy And Bottle Large Vintage 1950s Borden Elsie The Cow Dairy Milk Farm 55" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage 1940's Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Bottle 59" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage 1964 Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Bottle 54" Embossed Metal SignVintage C.1960 Big Red Soda Pop Bottle 27" Embossed Metal SignVintage C.1960 Kraft Cow Calf Feed Milk-bank Boost Farm 17" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage 1947 Squirt Soda Pop 56" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage 1956 Drink Moxie Soda Pop Bottle 44" Metal SignAntique Frigidaire Porcelain Advertising Sign W/ Cow We Cool Our Milk 19.5" LongVintage 1943 Orange Crush Soda Pop Bottle 16" Masonite Thermometer Sign W/crushyHills Bros. Tea & Coffee Porcelain Sign Look At Pictures Beauty AdvertisementLarge Vintage 1960 Hires Root Beer Soda Pop Bottle 56" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1930's Drink Dr Pepper 5c Soda Pop Bottle 24" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1950's Hires Root Beer Bottles Soda Pop 42" Embossed Metal SignVintage Original Dr Pepper Bottle Cap Sign 10 2 4 Pop Cola Antique Advertising Vintage 1940 Orange Crush Soda Pop Bottle 15" Metal Thermometer Sign W/crushyVintage C.1940 Nesbitt's Orange 5c Soda Pop Bottle 2 Sided 18" Metal Flange SignHuge Vintage Hires Root Beer 'marching Bottles' Embossed Tin Litho Sign--13x39!!Large Vintage 1960's Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle 47" Embossed Metal Sign~niceVintage Metal Sign,old Barn Find,soda Sign,canada Dry Sign,non Porcelain SignVintage Original Dr Pepper Embossed Sign Good For Life With Rare 10 2 4 Bottle Dr. Pepper Advertising Thermometer For Man Cave Metal Sign Vintage 1950's Mason's Root Beer Soda Pop Bottle 30" Embossed Metal SignVintage -- Carnation Fresh Milk -- Porcelain SignVintage 1950's Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap 28" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1940's Royal Crown Cola "bottle" Thermometer Rc Old Coca Soda Sign Dew Vintage C.1966 Kickapoo Joy Juice Soda Pop 16" Metal Thermometer Sign~niceVintage C.1930 Whistle Orange Soda Pop Bottle 2 Sided 12" Metal Flange SignVintage Nehi Cola Metal Sign With Gas Price Chalkboard *no Reserve*Vintage 1950's Nesbitt's Orange Soda Pop Bottle Cap 19" Embossed Metal SignC. 1940 Drink "coca-cola" Metal Embossed Sign .. No Reserve!!!Vintage 1940's Hires Root Beer Soda Pop 14" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1948 Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Bottle 36" Embossed Metal SignDouble Cola Soda Pop Pam Type Thermometer Bubble Glass Sign Orig Old Coca Minty Vintage 50's Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Drink Sign Super Collectable! 54" X 18"Neat Old And Original Gran'pa Graf's Root Beer Sign, Soda Pop SignVintage 1950's Orange Crush Gumball Candy Vending Machine-soda Bottle Cola Sign Vintage 1930's Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale Soda Pop 28" Embossed Metal SignOrange Crush Soda Embossed Chalk Board Non Porcelain SignLarge Double Cola Advertising Sign With Matching Thermometer-embossed-soda-drinkRare Original Pepsi Double Dot Die Cut Metal Bottle 28" Tin Sign Not Porcelain1957 Embossed 7up Soda Pop Tin Metal Sign Antique Vintage AdvertisingVintage C.1950 Golden Girl Sun Drop Cola Soda Pop 18" Door Push Bar Metal SignVintage Dr. Pepper Tin Sign 1950's - 1960's - Tin Litho SignVintage 1963 7 Up 7up Your Thirst Away Soda Pop 30" Embossed Metal Sign Vintage Dads Old Fashioned Rootbeer Tin SignOriginal 1940-50's Dad's Root Beer Embossed Sign Metal Sign 30.75" X 11.75" Nr!1950's Pepsi Soda Pop Distance Mileage Sign Glass In Wooden Frame Wichita Kansa Vintage Hires Root Beer Tin Advertising Chalkboard Specials Sign! 28x19Vintage Pepsi Matching Door Push Pull SignsOriginal 1950s Dr Pepper Soda Tin Sign Thermometer - Super Nice !Large Vintage C.1940 Delaware Punch Soda Pop 54" Embossed Metal SignVintage Original Dad's Root Beer Embossed Tin Non Porcelain Sign