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    

Vintage 1940's Iroquois Beer 20" Lighted Embossed Metal Sign W/indian~worksVtg 1960's Soda Orange Crush Wall Clock Lighted Sign Advertising WorkLarge Vintage C.1980 John Deere Industrial Tractor 44" Embossed Lighted SignMobilgas Mobil Pegasus Spinner Clock Sign Neon Products Motion Glass Light Up Vintage Hamm's Beer Lighted Bar Sign Starry Skies Good Working ConditionLarge Vintage Schlitz Beer Advertising Lady W/globe Lamp Lighted Back Bar SignVintage Lighted 7 Up Clock Sign - Keeps Perfect Time! Coca Cola Pepsi Cola MetalVintage Schlitz Beer Sign 1976 Lighted Motion Spinning Globe LightVintage Pabst Blue Ribbon Moving Train Lighted Sign 1961 Works! Milwaukee WiZenith Advertising Radio, Tv, Lighted Clock Sign, Mock Neon Circa 1950's - Cool!Falstaff Beer Lighted Sign Glass Front 1950s Vintage St Louis Missouri BreweryVintage 1970's Chrysler Dodge Car Truck Rentals 2 Sided Embossed Lighted SignVintage Old Reading Beer Lighted Rog Sign Keg Reading, Pa Reverse Glass Vintage Busch Beer Guitar Lighted Bar Sign "rare"Regal Beer Lighted Advertising Clock Anheuser-busch St. Louis, Missouri Bud SignAngry Orchard Hard Cider Beer Sign - Led Light-up Display W/ Ceiling / Wall Mt.Gulf Oil Vintage Embossed Lighted 19" Gas Station SignBseid Cq6519 Lighted Anchor Marquee Sign 19-light 2 X 18-1/4 X 28in Metal NewOld Jewelry Double Sided Porcelain Light Up Sign RareVintage 1960s Lighted Orange Crush Pam Clock Bottle Cap Illuminated Works Sign Fox Head '400' Beer Lighted Backbar Beer Sign Waukesha Wisconsin ~ Cash RegisterVintage, Original 1950's Radio "on The Air" Light-up Studio Sign! Beautiful!Vintage Dx Lighted Clock Out Of Old Gas Station Not Porcelain SignVtg~ Schmidt Beer Advertising Clock~lighted Stained Glass Wall Sign~niceGenesee Lighted Beer Sign 12 X 24Bg6 Schlitz Beer Sign Vtg Bar Light Motion Fireworks Lighted 1967 Grand FinaleOld Olympia Lighted Beer SignVintage Tel-a-sign Borden's Fine Dairy Products Advertising Light Up Clock 19"1959 Anheuser Busch Bavarian Beer-lighted Sign Karmann GhiaVintage Strohs Lighted Porthole '' Welcome Aboard '' Beer Sign, WorksAmazing Budweiser Light Up Floating Spinning Aluminum Bottle Sign Magic UniqueSimpsons Moe's Tavern Duff Beer Lighted SignLight Up Miller High Life Beer Sign No Reserve!!Original Ford Motorcraft Dealership Lighted Sign 1960'sFalstaff Beer Light Lighted Sign Vintage Original #1144710 Nice Look No Reserve Pieces Of Mark Helbling- Old Milwaukee Light Up Sign/clockOriginal Antique National Cash Register Lighted Top Sign Model 400 + 500 ElDisney's Happy Haunts Haunted Mansion Light-up Sign Marquee Prop ReplicaVintage & Original Heileman's Beer Lighted Advertising Sign Harleyjohn Deere Pam American Motors Amc Amx Javelin 23"x23" Am Dealer Lighted Non Nos Sign Vintage West Side Shopping Center W/lighted Sign..already Built..ho Scale..low $Vintage Pabst Blue Ribbon Lighted " Rare" Sign 48 X 10 InchesBseid Cq6519 Lighted Anchor Marquee Sign 19-light 2 X 18-1/4 X 28in Metal NewRare Bud Light Bar Sign Light Up Tap Dispenser 3 Tappers Vintage Budweiser Anheuser-busch Clydesdale Clock Lighted Sign Reproduction Vintage Radio Station On Air Cast Light Up Sign Broadcast RecordingAntique Vintage Lighted Exit Sign Brass Theater LightVintage Shaefer Beer Lighted Sign 15" Diameter Works Fine! Late 50s/early 60sBudweiser Clydesdale Carousel Lighted Rotating Beer Globe Sign PartsYuengling Lager Lighted Beer Sign - Retired VersionLighted Flicker Light Primitive Fence Old Country Church Home Decor Sign NewCollectible Advertising Miller Lite, Light Up Illuminated Wall Beer SignLarge 3 Foot Lighted Arrow Metal Sign Carnival Fair Exit Mobil Led Vintage LookBud Light Light Up 12" X 2.5" Suction Cup Beer Sign Motion Active Mirror CoolerMiller High Life Lighted Beer SignVtg~ Schmidt Beer Advertising Clock~lighted Stained Glass Wall Sign~niceMiller Lite Vintage Lighted SignVintage 1960's Heineken Holland Beer 10" Lighted Sign~worksWalt Disney World Lighted SignBlatz Beer Lighted Welcome Sign