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    

Large Vintage 1965 Mountain Dew Soda Pop 60" Metal SignVintage 1940's Rc Royal Crown Cola Soda Pop Bottle 2 Sided 24" Metal SignVtg 1960's Soda Orange Crush Wall Clock Lighted Sign Advertising WorkVintage 1946 Stout Sign Company 7 Up Likes You Metal Flange Advertising SignRare Vintage C.1940 Dr Pepper Soda Pop 2 Sided 36" Metal SignVintage Take Home Today Frostie Root Beer Advertising Door Push Plate SignVintage Original Coca Cola Button Not Porcelain No Reserve!! Vintage Original Royal Crown Cola Sign Not Porcelain No Reserve!!Rare Large Vintage C.1950 Pal Ade Soda Pop Bottle 48" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage 1950's Coca Cola Button Soda Pop 48" Porcelain Metal Sign~niceSmall Old Squirt Soda Thank You Come Again Advertising Door Push Plate SignVintage 1940's Nugrape Grape Soda Pop Bottle 36" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1940's Moxie Soda Pop 26" Metal Thermometer SignOld Porcelain 7 Up Door PushVintage Original Porcelain Coca Cola Button No Reserve!! Antique Kingston Arms Cambridge England Pub Advertising Sign Dancing Tea DinnerVintage Orange Crush Soda Naturally Better Porcelain Door Push Store SignVintage 1940s Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale Soda Pop Bottle 26" Metal Thermometer SignVintage 1965 Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap 31" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage 1960's Kickapoo Joy Juice Soda Pop 68" Embossed Metal Sign~niceVintage 1940's Nesbitt's Orange 5c Soda Pop Bottle 55" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1940 Pepsi Cola Double Dot 5c Soda Pop Police 21" Embossed Metal Sign1940s Porcelain Old Dutch Root Beer SignVintage 4" X 14" Lime Cola Tin Sign 5 Cent Cooling Satisfying Soda AdvertisingVintage 1950's Bubble Up Soda Pop Bottle Cap 21" SignVintage C.1940 Pepsi Cola Double Dot 5c Soda Pop 30" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1950's Bubble Up Lemon-lime Soda Pop Bottle Cap 20" Metal SignVintage/original Orange Crush Soda Metal Thermometer Sign~-with Crushy~must See!Original 1940s B-1 Soda Embossed Tin Sign, Great ConditionVintage Original 1950's 7up Seven Up Stout Sign Co Metal Flange SignVintage Orange Crush Reverse Glass Mirror Sign Soda Beverage Advertising AntiqueVintage Original Sun Drop Cola Flange Sign Not Porcelain No Reserve!!1960 Era Vintage Barq's Root Beer Tin Metal Thermometer Sign Antique Advertisin Rare & Htf! Original 1946 Nesbitt Orange Diecut Embossed Bottle Tin SignVintage/original 7-up Thermometer Soda Sign Bubble Glass~it Works~very Nice~wow!Vintage C.1940 Howel's Root Beer Soda Pop Bottle 2 Sided 14" Metal SignVintage 1940's Guaranteed Pure Milk Dairy Farm 19" Porcelain Metal Sign~niceVintage 1968 Pepsi Cola Soda Pop 40" Embossed Metal SignOriginal Vintage 1930's Pepsi-cola Diecut Bottle Tin SignOld Original Tin Coca Cola "cigar Shape" Thermometer-niceLarge Vintage 1950's Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap 40" Embossed Metal SignDr. Pepper Tombstone Thermometer Full Bottlecap 16.5x6.5" Works Excellent Cond.Vintage 1930's Pepsi Cola Double Dot 5c Soda Pop 17" Embossed Metal SignNice Vintage 19"x9" Pepsi Cola Heavy Duty Porcelain Enamel Metal Sign Coco-colaVintage 1950's Dr Pepper Metal Sign Thermometer!!!!Old Evinrude Outboard Boat Motors Sales Service Parts Porcelain Advertising SignVintage/original Mason's Root Beer Thermometer Sign Round Bubble Glass~must See Vintage 1940's 7up 7 Up Soda Pop Bottle 2 Sided 20" Metal Flange Sign1950s Frostie Root Beer Soda SignVintage Orange Crush Advertising Sign 1930s 1940s 1950s Soda PopbeverageVintage 7up Soda Round Thermometer Sign Display 1950'sVintage 1950's Squirt Soda Pop Bottle 28" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage C.1941 Cleo Cola Vess Soda Pop 32" Embossed Metal SignRare Original 1930s Kayo Soda Embossed Metal SignVintage Original 1930's Pepsi-cola Double Dot Metal SignHuge 1950s Sun Drop Soda Embossed Metal Bottle Sign 59" X 16"Vintage/original Nesbitt's Orange Soda Metal Thermometer Sign~-must See!Pepsi Porcelain Wall Thermometer "have A Pepsi" Temp Gauges Diner Man Cave SignVintage 1950's Pepsi Cola Soda Pop Bottle Cap 31" Metal SignVintage 1950 Double Cola Soda Pop Bottle 28" Embossed Metal Sign