While there are many types of attractive antique and vintage signs, porcelain signs foremost among them, lighted signs are in a class all their own. Some common varieties include lighted clock signs (perhaps the most widespread type of “practical” advertising), lighted beer signs (great for dark bars), and lighted gas-station signs (the illumination gave them better visibility from the road).

Within the family of lighted signs are neon signs, which were invented in 1910 by a French chemist named Georges Claude. By 1912, the first neon sign was advertising the services of a barber shop in Paris and by 1923 the first neon signs arrived in the United States—they were for a Packard dealership in Los Angeles.

Even during the glory decades of neon signs—the 1920s through the ’60s—the signs were produced in relatively small numbers, making them quite rare today. In addition to car dealerships and barbershops, neon signs were produced for diners, gas stations, and hotels. They were also embraced by major brands from Budweiser to Coca-Cola.

In fact, beverages are one of the most common products marketed with lighted signs. Beer companies in particular have claimed neon and other lighted signs as their own. Some of the most prized lighted beer signs are those made in the 1950s and ’60s, by Hamm’s Brewery. Its motorized, Scenorama signs (also spelled as Scene-o-Rama, Scenerama, and Scenarama) were manufactured by Lakeside Plastics of Minnesota and ranged in size from three to five feet across. In addition to a working clock, Scenorama signs included picturesque depictions of lakes and streams, which appeared to be flowing.

Schlitz’s signs have also achieved some measure of prominence, thanks to the company’s distinctive “Belted Globe” logo. Schlitz produced numerous lighted revolving globes designed for tavern walls; other, more two-dimensional signs simply featured a globe or half-globe in their design.

Lighted signs that doubled as clocks were another good way to attract eyeballs and, hence, spread brand awareness. Illuminated gas-and-service-station clocks advertised everything from brands of tires to spark plugs and oil. Lighted clocks for companies that made wristwatches and other timepieces are also popular with collectors.


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    

Rare C 1960 Grain Belt Beer Mechanical Lighted Sign With Working Hour GlassRare 1930-40's Gretz Beer Lighted Glass Sign / Not Neon / Porcelain No ReserveHamm's Beer "reverse On Glass" Rog Lighted Sign {price Brothers} *** Sweet ***Vintage Old Style Beer Heileman's Lighted Motion Bubbling Beer Mug Display Sign Used Buell American Motorcycles Oval Lighted Sign Vintage Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Bubble Motion Lighted Wall Sconce Sign Works, Nr Vintage Miller High Life Lighted Motion Beer Sign (hard To Find Ball Sign)!!{2} Two ~roof Panels~ For Hamm's Beer "scene O Rama" Motion Lighted Sign ~parts~Vintage "grain Belt Beer" Lighted Sign - Bubbling Glass - Movement SignVintage Burgermeister Beer Motion Day Night Lighted Sign. Oakland Bay Bridge.Vintage Rainier Lighted Motion Sign,rare,the Ohio Advertising Display Co, 1940s 1987 Chiquita Banana Store Display Light Up Sign Produce & FoodVintage Lighted Advertising Drug Or Pharmacy Store Sign For PrescriptionsVintage Johnson Sea-horse Outboard Motors Authorized Dealer Lighted SignVintage Hamm's Beer Advertising Lighted Barrel Sign Light On Tap WorksK-line # K-013106 Ford Rotating Sign Tower O/027 Gauge Train Accessory LightedVintage 1960's Ford Motorcraft Racing Car Gas Oil 24" Lighted Clock SignRare Vintage Lighted Olympia Beer Advertising Sign Horseshoe Good Luck WorkingVintage Lighted Advertising Drug Or Pharmacy Store Sign For ToiletriesVintage Hires Root Beer Clock Lighted Sign Soda Pop Parts OnlyVintage Lighted Advertising Drug Or Pharmacy Store Sign For VitaminsVinatge Grain Belt Beer Motion Light-up Sign With Moving Bubble, Mpls Mn, Works!Vintage Schlitz Beer Cash Register Motion Advertising Lighted Sign Mug BubblesVintage Light Up Beer Sign Schlitz College Dorm Fraternity Man CaveShiner Vintage 1960's Rare Box Lighted Sign Spoetzl Brewing Shiner Texas TrayVintage Lighted Beer Sign "old Style Beer" Nice ! No ReserveZeon Hudepohl Red Round Mount Lighted Light Up Beer Sign Vintage Anheuser-busch Clydesdales Light Up Beer Sign ExcellentVintage Mickeys Beer Lighted SignVintage 1978 Lighted Beer Clock & Sign "old Style Beer" Heileman's Brewing Co. (Vintage Hudepohl Beer Lighted Sign Motion Action Bubble Man Cave Collectible .99Vintage Lighted Beer Sign - Carling "black Label" BeerVintage Black Label Beer Light Up Advertising SignVintage Hanging Bush Beer Spirit Of '76 Hanging Drum Lighted Clock & Sign "rare"vintage Kaier's Light Lager Beer - Ale Lighted Beer Sign Mahanoy City Pa.Vintage Lighted Double Sided Red Glass Exit Sign Light FixtureVintage Schlitz Brewing Beer Light Lighted Bar Sign Man Cave Game Room Vintage Collectible Budweiser Sign...light Up...works....collectible Beer SignMcintosh R778 Lighted SignLucky Lager Motorized Light Up SignNew Belgium Brewing Fat Tire Neon Lighted Beer Sign - Rare!Vintage Hamm's Bear Beer Lighted Sign - Olympia Brewing CoVintage Lighted Beer Sign "braumeister" Milwaukee's Choice - Special Pilsener Miller Reed Dairy Shippensburg Pa Lighted Reverse Glass Scenery Milk Dairy SignNos Texaco Star Red & White Oil Gas Lighted Canopy Sign 22” DiameterLighted Sunoco SignVintage Lighted Miller Beer SignVintage Nike Sb Skateboarding Hanging Light Up Sign Store Shoe DisplayVintage Schlitz Beer Lighted Bar Sign 1977 Functional Advertising LightVtg Windbreaker Jacket Lighted SignVintage Busweiser Beer Clydesdale Horse Team Clock Light Up Sign Anheuser BuschVintage 1980's Budweiser "king Of Beers" Electric Neon Type Lighted Beer SignSchooner Beer - Classy Light Up Sign - Great ConditionRare Vintage Budweiser "for All You Do This Buds For You" Lighted Beer SignMib Miller Engineering Model Rr Morton Salt Lighted Animated Billboard SignMib Miller Engineering Model Rr Patriot Flag Co Lighted Animated Billboard SignVintage Lighted Advertising Drug Or Pharmacy Store Sign For Baby NeedsVintage Carling Black Label Beer Electric Lighted SignVintage Lighted Beer Sign "stroh's Beer" Vintage 1976 Stroh's Beer Lighted Sign, Ship's Wheel & Bell, Strohs Bicentennial