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    

Allis-chalmers Vintage 1950's Dealer Lighted 36" 2-sided Sign Rare Find!! L@@k.Rca Radiotrons Tubes Tested Free Vintage Antique Lighted Sign Nice Condition!Allis-chalmers 50's Vintage Reverse Painted 15" Glass Lighted 2-sided SignAntique Vintage 1920's Checker Taxi Cab Car Top Lighted Metal Sign Gas & OilVintage C.1960 7up 7 Up Soda Pop 15" Lighted Metal Pam Clock Sign~worksOriginal 1960's John Deere Embossed Lighted Dealership Sign 4 Leg 8 Pointer Classic Budweiser Clydesdale Carousel Lighted Rotating Beer Sign Vintage Lighted Kingsbury Beer Sign.Vintage Budweiser Clydesdale Horse Lighted Beer Sign Bud Man CaveHamm's Lighted, Non-motion Beer SignRed Top Beer Waterfall Color Changer Lighted Motion Beer Sign Cincinnati Ohio Oh*scarce* Vintage 1950's Electric Tel-a-sign Pepsi Cola Cap Lighted Clock/sign 1960s Schlitz Beer Wall Lamps! Lighted Beer Bar Sign Milwaukee Vintage! Works!Graphic~ Near Mint 1960s Vintage Trico Wiper Blades Old Gas Station Lighted SignVintage Working Hamm’s Beer Lighted Sign #5042Vintage Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Lighted Metal Bar Pub Hanging Sign1940s Calvert Reserve Whiskey Counter Top Light Up Reverse Glass Back Bar Sign Vintage Advertising Stroh's Fire-brewed Beer Kettle Moving Flames Lighted SignGrain Belt Premium Lighted Beer SignRare Vtg Pam Canada Dry Ale Lighted Ice Cream Parlor Display Bar Wall Clock SignVintage C.1960 Vernor's Ginger Ale Soda Pop Bottle Cap 12" Lighted Clock SignVintage Coca Cola Advertising Lighted Sign Lamp Light 2 Piece Coke "3 Day"1960s Dietrich Bar B Que Light Up Sign Restaurant Store Display BbqVintage 70's Lighted Budweiser Beer Sign Light Cold Beer To Go Electric Bud LitVintage 1960's Drink Coca Cola Trade-mark Advertising Lighted Clock/sign Rare!!!Vintage Beer Lighted Sign Clydesdale Horse Budweiser Old Denso~spark Plugs Rare! 1960's Original 17" Lighted Clock Dealer Sign Gas OilVintage Hamm's Hanging Lighted Beer Sign Bar Man CaveVintage Pure Brewed In Gods Country Old Style Lighted Beer Sign With MotionFord Motorcraft Lighted Flourescent Sign Dealership Garage Mancave LightVintage Lighted Sign Cleaner Motorcycle Gunk Harley Davidson NeonJohn Deere Themed Lighted Sign Farm, Oil, Jd, Gas SignVintage 1950's Remington Electric Razor Shaving Display 17" Lighted Metal SignVintage 1960s Hanover Electric 4 Panel Rotating Schoenling Beer Ad Lighted Sign Seattle Seahawks Bud Light Rare Neon Light Up Sign 2005 ChampsVintage Grain Belt Bar Or Store Lighted Sign Minneapolis BrewingCorona Beer Light 21" Lighted Bubbling Beer Sign Neat Works Great Corona1950's Lux-namel Elliot's Paint Light Up Reverse Painted Glass Advertising SignVintage 70's Lighted Budweiser Beer Sign Cold Beer To Go Electric Bud LitVintage "burgie" Burgemeister San Francisco Beer Lighted Back Bar SignVintage Genesee Lighted Beer Sign/circa.1960's/amazing Condition!!!Miller High Life Vintage Stepped Flashing Neon Lighted Sign Works Good Collectible Advertising New Miller Lite Beer Can Led Light Up Sign Vintage Original Cannondale Bicycles Dealer Light Up Sign Advertising Light RareVintage 60's Carling Black Label /tuborg Beer Lighted Bar Advertising Sign WorksGeorgia State Lottery Neon Sign Georgia Peach Lighted SignGabel Music Light Up Filament Lettering Bulb Type Sign Gabel Musikbox JukeboxOld Sign Sputnik Vintage Light Neon Light Old Sign Lighted Sign Space LightRare Vintage Jax Light Up Beer Sign With Working Clock.Very Large Rare Vintage Original Raleigh Bicycle Lighted Dealer Sign Cycle BikeVintage Rheingold Extra Dry Lager Beer Lighted SignVintage Carnation Milk Dairy Advertising Lighted Clock Sign Tel-a-signLarge Fireball Whiskey Lighted Double Sided Round Light Up Pub Wall SignVintage Advertising Pure Brewed Welcome Old Style Beer Lighted Beer SignVintage Lighted University Club Malt Liquor Beer Sign.Marlboro Indy Chevy Race Car 31" Lighted Advertising Sign Gas OilHo Scale Walthers Cornerstone Built Ups 933-2822 Route 66 Motel W/ Lighted SignOld Milwaukee Beer Lighted SignVintage Genesee Beer Lighted--hanging 2 Sided Sign Very Rare SignRare Vintage Pabst Blue Ribbon Pbr Beer Advertising Lighted Sign