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]

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 1940's Ih International Harvester Truck 2 Sided 42" Porcelain Metal SignLarge Vintage C.1950 Used Cow For Sale Cattle Dairy Farm 34" Metal SignRare Vintage C.1930 Ford Fordson Tractor Farm 19" Embossed Metal Gas Oil SignVintage C1930 We Feed Moorman's Minerals Cow Cattle Farm 14" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage C.1940 Case Farm Machinery Tractor W/eagle 72" Embossed Metal SignVintage 1950's Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cone Restaurant 24" Embossed Metal SignVintage C.1960 Kraft Cow Calf Feed Milk-bank Boost Farm 17" Embossed Metal SignVintage C.1940 Stock~growers Cattle Hogs Sheep Farm 12" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage 1950s Borden Elsie The Cow Dairy Milk Farm 55" Embossed Metal SignLarge Vintage Purity Feeds Cow Chicken Pig Corn Farm 48" Metal SignVintage 1940's John Deere Syracuse Plows Farm Tractor 27" Embossed Metal SignVintage C.1920 Sharples Cream Separators Dairy Farm 14" Embossed Metal SignVintage**ultra Rare**egeco Neverfail Dairy Cow Poultry Feeds Farm Barn Sign."international Harvester Tractor Sales & Service" Lighted Hanging Sign Man Cave Rare Vintage 1950's Pied Piper Feeds Cow Pig Chicken Corn Farm 24" Metal SignInternational Harvester Genuine Ihc Parts Mccormick Deering Metal Sign OriginalVintage Old Rare Massey Ferguson System Dealer Sign Tractor GraphicsNear Mint * 1950s Vintage Badger Farm Seeds Old Graphic Embossed Tin SignVintage 1920's United States Cream Separators Dairy Farm 19" Embossed Metal SignWayne Feeds Rare Pig Feeder W/awesome Graphics, 1930s,15" By 16"/feed Sign,metalOriginal Vintage Purina Poultry Feed Tin SignRare Vintage C1950 Ariens Rotary Tillage Farm Tractor 2 Sided 30" Porcelain SignInternational Harvester Mccormick Primrose Cream Separator Metal Sign OriginalOriginal Mobiloil Gargoyle Lollipop Porcelain Gas Oil Sign Farm FreshSharples Tubular Cream Separators Advertising Tin Sign Dairy Farm Milk OriginalOriginal Vintage John Deere License Plate Topper SignTractor Sign Original Enamel / Porcelain Sign Vintage Tractor Large Vintage 1950's Pioneer Seed Ear Corn Farm 36" Embossed Metal SignVintage**ultra Rare** Wolverine Shoes Farm Factory Store Display Cardboard SignBadger Farm Implement Original Steel Sign - No ReserveVintage "lipscomb's Feeds" Springfield, Mo Sign Metal- Agriculture Advertising1960s Vintage Big M Seed Corn Old Logo Embossed Tin Farm SignRare Original 50's Pillsbury Best Feed Metal Sign Vtg Antique Farm Cow HogNice * 1960s Vintage Horizon Seeds ~ Miller Seed Co. Old Tin Farm SignEarly Feed-rite Farm Feeds 6" Thermometer Sign With Humidity Guage--nice!!Prairie Farmer No Trespassing Metal Advertising Sign Farm Fence Post Barn SignWheel Horse Tractor Equipment Aluminum Sign Collectible Advertising Vint StyleNear Mint * 1950s Vintage Gro-coated Seed Corn Old Tin Farm SignVintage De Laval Cream Separators Advertising Tin Cow Sign C. 1920'sClover Dairy Products Light Up Sign With ClockVintage Ranch And Farm Metal SignVintage International Harvester Spare Bulb Fuse Case 996 410 R91 Ihc SignVintage Retro Farm Bureau Co-op Chick Hen Humor Fun Metal Tin Sign Ad Wall DecorVintage Billy Goat Vacuums Blowers Tool Farm Equipment 36" Embossed Metal SignAntique Porcelain Howe Scales Feed Or Hardware Store Advertising Sign 1920s-40sGeneral Mills Larro Feeds Farm Tested 10.5" Porcelain Advertising Round Sign Vintage 1950's Buttermilk Milk Dairy Farm 21" Metal Sign W/children~neatHoneggers' Big H Feeds Embossed Sign Nos (2 Signs)Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Porcelain Sign John Deere Tractor Collect Dealler 3d Carved Real Glass Beer Bar Neon Light SignVintage 1969 Zippo Lighter Dairylea Milk Dairy Ice Cream Advertising Sign Mint Original 1960's Pioneer Seed Corn Sign - Old Original Farm & Tractor Sign1940's Vintage De Laval Milker Metal Barn Advertising Sign Cow Dairy MilkVintage De Laval Milker Double Sided Advertising SignVintage Old Early No Hunting No Trespassing Yellow Metal Sign NosVery Nice * 1950s Vintage Na-churs Fertilizer Old Embossed Tin Farm SignVintage "no Hunting Or Trespassing" Sign Good Old Piece-l@@k1977 Vintage Sokota Seed Corn Old Tin Farm SignSmokey The Bear Prevent Forest Fires 1960s Us Forest Service Metal Fence Sign1960s Military Base Warning Sign, "high Level Radio",12x9, Metal,no Trespassing