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    

Antique Narragansett Beer Revolving Light-up Advertising Sign, Liquid Light CoSchlitz Beer Lighted "halo" Bar Sign By Price Bros. 1940's Metal/glass Rare Vintage Quaker State Motor Oil Advertising Lighted Bubble Clock Gas Sign 1950s Gulf Gas Station Lighted Aluminum Sign New In Factory Box From 1989C1920s Original Deco Era Hanging Lucas Paint Store Lighted Sign Sherwin WilliamsVintage 1960s Coca Cola Light Up Clock Sign Fishtail Logo Coke Soda RareBudweiser Beer Sign Game Room Bud Bowtie Opti Neon Crown Led Light Up Bar Or.. Vintage Schmidt Beer Lighted Cash Register Bar Sign Breweriana Advertising!Vintage Blatz Lighted Beer Sign Bar Tavern Light Up Diorama Goose Bottle & MugVintage Solid Brass Movie Theater Lighted "silence Please" Sign Antique Cinema Rare Vintage Zenith Royalty Of Radio & Television Lighted Sign Lightning Bolt Rare Vintage Buckeye Beer Buck Deer Lighted Sign "best Beer In Town" 31" By 9" Hamms Refreshing As The Land Of Sky Blue Water Beer Lighted Multi-color Sign P41Vintage Miller Lite Beer Lighted Clock & Bar Pub Tavern Sign Wall Mounted WorksOriginal Vintage Mobil Gasoline Pegasus Lighted 'can' Sign--rare 12" Size--nice!Old Milwaukee Beer Sign Lighted Bar Clock 1962 Nautical Ships Light VintageVintage Busch Cold Beer Lighted Sign Reach For The MountainsVintage Heileman's Old Style Beer Welcome Lighted Bar SignOriginal 1960's-70's-vintage (plastic) "stroh's Beer" (lighted) Sign! ~works!Valvoline Lighted Sign Clock VintageVintage 1950's Borden's Elsie The Cow Ice Cream 25" Embossed Lighted Metal SignVintage Ballantine Ale Beer Lighted Sign - African American - Black AmericanaVintage "pabst Blue Ribbon" Lighted Beer Sign - Nice !Klein Bicycles Collectable Lit Lighted Vintage Dealer Sign Attitude Adroit Narragansett Beer Led Lighted Pub Sign, 15 X 13 X2", Bar,cave,garage,den,displaySchaefer Beer Lighted & Bubbling Sign - Works!Vintage C.1960 Canada Dry Wink Soda Pop 28" Embossed Lighted Metal Sign~worksVintage 1940's Lighted Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Sign - Man Cave, Bar, Etc - WorksVintage Lighted Miller Lite Beer SignSchlitz Beer Globe Light Up Sign / Milwaukee -z009Mint Texaco Lighted Sign Beware Sign Lighted Reaper Hanging Scary Halloween Party Decoration Prop 36"Vintage Hastings Plexiglass Light Up Sign Tough GuySmall "fresca" Light Up Soda SignVintage American Flyer Railroad Accsessories 2bulb Lamp And Lighted Street SignVintage Olympia Beer Lighted Waterfall Motion Sign W Clock Coca Cola Lighted Sign By Sitco Stroh's Snow Man Beer Sign Lighted Plastic Bar Man Cave Vintage 1955 Schlitz Beer Lighted Sign Clock Works AdvertisingHeineken Metal And Plastic Lighted Beer Sign Meister-brau Beer Sign Lighted Motion Bar Signs Back Bar Man Cave Sign BeerVintage 1960's Metal Case "lighted Exit Sign" WorkingVintage Miller Beer Light Up Sign New York Large Pepsi Cola / Teem Lemon Lime Hanging Light Up Sign Vintage Tel-a-signVery Rare Vintage Cumberland All Star Dairy Clock Lighted Sign 15 1/2 X 15 1/2 Vtg Heilmans Old Style Beer Lighted Waterfall Motion 1986 SignLarge (54") Vtg Union "merry Christmas" Sign Blow Mold Light Up Yard DecorVintage Schaefer Beer Brewery Light Up Sign Blue Gold Man Cave ...more Than OneVintage Pabst Blue Ribbon Light-up Beer Sign Cowboy Boot ***pbr Me Asap***Vintage Budweiser Beer King Of Beers Team Clydesdales Lighted Bar SignHuge Vintage 1970s 6' Double Sided 7up Lighted Sign St. Paul Billiards Chicago Honda Sign, Lighted,10ft X 28in Busch Beer Lighted Bar Sign 1999 VintageVintage Busch Beer Light Up Sign (horses)Rotating Coors Light Beer Sign/light. Revolving Pub Lighted Advertising Man CaveBig John's Pawn Shop Lighted Sign Handmade We Buy Sell Including Mother~in~ LawsVintage Old Style Beer Sign Light Up On Tap Sold As Is This Is For Parts WorksLarge Miller Good Call Leds Wall Mount Or Stand Alone Lighted Beer Sign Bar.Lighted Pumpkin Jar Canvas And Wood Sign Halloween DecorationVintage Stag Beer Non Lighted Bar Advertising Sign Buck Deer Belleville Il