One of the segments of the United States economy most affected by the industrial revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was agriculture. During that period, farms that had been relatively small-scale enterprises were transformed by new machinery and fertilizers into food factories. Naturally, entrepreneurs selling products designed to increase a farmer’s production were anxious to get their brands in front of these new rural customers. Thus the proliferation of farm signage and advertising from this period.

Vintage farm and agriculture signs ran the gamut from tasteful or humorous notices on lithographed paper to bold proclamations on embossed tin and porcelain enamel. In addition to planting and harvesting machinery, food-processing equipment, and feed, signs were produced to warn vehicles of cattle and tractor crossing, to discourage trespassing, and to proclaim one’s membership in the local grower’s co-op.

Some advertisers, like feed supplier American Stock Food, used patriotic symbols like Uncle Sam to sell their goods, while Monarch Poultry Feeds used a wooden cutout of a rooster. Crosman Bro’s of Rochester, New York, dramatized the positive impact of its seeds by depicting a farmer carrying a carrot the size of a sow; Oliver Chilled Plow Works depicted its signature product sitting like some sort of monumental sculpture in the middle of a South Bend, Indiana, field. Cypher’s Incubator promised “A Great Hatch” by showing its machine fairly overflowing with yellow chicks; the Empire Cream Separator Company suggested wholesomeness by simply portraying a smiling mother and child.

Some of the most distinctive farm-sign brands include tractor-and-equipment manufacturer John Deere, whose signs are generally green and yellow; corn-seed supplied DEKALB, whose iconic logo is composed of an ear of corn with wings; De Laval, which made automated milkers and cream separators for dairies; McCormick, which was named after the inventor of the mechanical reaper and whose company became International Harvester, the maker of the Farmall.


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    

Vintage 1950's All-star Dairy Foods Milk Cow Farm 15" Lighted Metal Clock SignVintage 1956 Jamesway Power Choring Farm Gas Oil 17" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1950's Purina Feed Pig Cow Chicken Farm 2 Sided 20" Metal Flange Sign1940s Plant Pioneer Seed Corn Farm Sign With Sack Stout Sign CoLarge Vintage Purina Dealer Cow Pig Chicken Feed Farm 40" Embossed Metal SignNice ~~ 1940s-1950s Era Vintage Wayne Feeds Old Horse & Rider Graphic Tin SignMaster Mix Embossed Non Porcelain Metal Sign Farm Sign Cow Pig Horse Feed Seed! Plant Hagies Hybrids Corn Seed Feed Advertising License Plate Topper Farm SignRare 1940s Vintage Texaco Havoline Motor Oil Old Comical Graphic Tractor Sign12 Vintage Shell,esso,castrol Oil Can.enamal Sign Petrol Pump Globe,tractor CarLarge Original Vintage Tractor Crossing Farm Feed Seed Gas Oil 33" Metal SignVintage 1950's Mcculloch Chain Saws Farm Tool Gas Oil 25" Lighted Metal SignVintage 1950's Us Forest Service Closed To Hog Grazing Farm Feed Seed Metal SignOld All-jersey Dairy Cow Quality 2% Milk Advertising License Plate Topper SignVintage C.1950 Funk's "g" Seed Corn Farm 2 Sided 18" Metal SignVintage 1950's Silver Leaf Fortified Feeds Sign Cologne Milling Co MinnesotaVintage C.1950 Dekalb De Kalb Seed Corn Ear Farm 2 Sided 18" Metal Sign W/mountCorn Belt Products Co Omaha Nebraska Metal Sign Farm Barn Grain Cow Pig TractorVintage Gravely Lawm Mower Farm Equipment Plow Gas Oil 24" Metal SignVintage International Harvester Tractor Blue Ribbon Dealer Sign #1 Of 2Porcelain Colorado Fence Enamel Sign - 18 X 24 InchLitho Metal Milking Shorthorns Dairy Cow Sign 2-side Fabulous Colors Old Orig Vintage 1950's Purina Poultry Chows Chicken Feed Farm 14" Metal SignRare 1920's Antique Feed Sign - American Society Of Equity Farmers Metal SignVintage Badger Farm Metal Sign Farm Equipment Cow Pig Horse AdvertisingVintage International Harvester Tractor Blue Ribbon Sales Sign #2 Of 2Vintage 1940's Washington Farmer Reward Feed Seed Farm 14" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1930's Moorman's Minerals Pig Hog Feed Farm 14" Embossed Metal Sign~niceVintage 1950's Gro-coated Hybrids Seed Corn Farm 18" Metal Sign~nice ConditionMoorman's Metal Feed Sign. 2 Signs. Feed, Seed, Farm, Agriculture.Vintage 1950's Funk's "g" Seed Corn Farm 2 Sided 18" Metal SignNice * 1956 Vintage Critic Feeds Old Beardstown Il Tin SignMaytag Metal Sign Hit And Miss Motor Washing Machine Farm Barn Engine Vintage Rare International Harvester Cadet Lawn Garden Farm 2sided Metal Sign IhVintage Deutz Dealer Farm Tractor Allis Chalmers Gas Oil 37" Lighted Metal SignOld Card Sign - Vintage Farm Advert Massey Harris Tractor Machinery Nto EnamelVintage John Deere Farm Tractor 42" Embossed Metal Sign W/box~very NiceUnused Near Mint 1940 Vintage B1 Soda Old Graphic Girls & Horses & Sports SignVintage 1960's Chief Fence Company Gas Oil Farm 12" Metal Sign W/indian~niceCase Steam Tractors Sign Caterpillar John Deere Farm Garage Ford Gas Chevy HoltOld Enamel Sign - Vintage Farm Advert Ici Nitro Chalk Crop Fertiliser CattleJohn Deere Advertising Rack Sign Farm Feed Seed Tractor Part Store Display ShelfVery Nice ~ 1953 Vintage Armour Fertilizer Old Die-cut Embossed Tin SignVintage Old Meat Locker Tin Pig "best Lard" Trade Sign Farm Country Store MarketCargill Dealer Seeds Steel Farm Sign Corn Feeds Antique Advertising - No ReserveRare Near Mint 1941 Vintage Fdr's New Deal Aaa Farm Program Cooperator Old SignTrust Velvet Ice Cream Porcelain Door Push Palm Press Advertising Dairy Sign Vintage Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers Member Embossed Metal SignPure Diesel Porcelain Sign Garage Road Chevrolet Ford John Deere Harley Seed CanKansas Route 66 Porcelain Us Highway Sign Motorcycle Bicycle Tractor Garage FordVintage 1950s Cleat Prohibited Tractor Farm Gas Oil 15" Embossed Metal Road SignJohn Deere Dealer Sign Mccormic International Harvester Caterpillar Tractor HoltPark & Pollard Lay Or Bust Milk Maid Feeds Porcelain Advertising Farm 7" Sign Vintage Nos Kansas Farm Bureau Member Sign - Embossed Metal Sunflower Vintage Metal Wayne Feed Seed Farm Sign Cow Pig Ranch W/ Sun & Horse GraphicsRare Nos Near Mint 1940 Vintage B1 Soda Old Graphic Girls & Horses Sports SignVintage Bp Blended Protein Farm Feed Seed 12in Round Thermometer Sign Swine Cow 2 Vtg Old Delaval Better Farm Tin Farm Sign 1950's-60's Pair Barn FindTexaco Porcelain Metal Sign Gas Station Farm Gas Oil Motor Garage Station Vintage 1950's Pioneer Seed Corn Farm 30" Sign