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 Original Lighted Coca Cola Sign Counter Or Wall Price Bros.1940s Milkglass Taxi Cab Light Up Auto Sign60's Vintage Hamm's Motion "scene-o-rama" Lighted & Scrolling Beer Sign 1960s Ford Motorcraft Spark Plug Light Up Animated SignMetal Ac Spark Plugs Coralox Insulator Lighted Sign With Clock.Vintage 1960**ultra Rare**ford Motor Service Station Lighted Gas Oil SignVintage Gulf Oil Lighted Round 21" Gas Pump Sign, Nr1980's Lighted Spuds Mackenzie Bud Light Lamp Dog Bar Sign Anheuser-buschCoca Cola Coke Lighted Light Up Advertising Clock Sign Bottle CapRare Rainier Lighted Animated Day/night Lighted Vintage Beer SignLarge 3 Foot Lighted Arrow Metal Sign Carnival Fair Exit Mobil Led Vintage LookVintage 1960s Miller High Life Beer Ice Bucket Switch Cord Lighted Sign Nice NrVintage Coca Cola Fishtail Sign LightedSet Of 2 Vintage Schaefer Beer Lighted Bubbling Beer Mug Stein Bar Sign - Ps5891Rare Wiedemann Lighted Color Bars Motion Beer SignStegmaier Gold Medal Beer 1950's Lighted Backbar Beer Sign Clock Wilkes-barre PaMarquee Lighted Arrow Rustic Sign Light Industrial Metal Led Theater Man CaveCoke Sign Clock--lightedVintage 1950's Budweiser Beer Back Bar Lighted Sign DisplayVintage John Deere Lighted Sign Chevron 24" Gas Pump Island Lighted Die Cut Embossed Sign VintageIndian Motorcycle Light Up Sign From So. Cal. Harley Davidson 1970's Dealer Vintage Miller Beer Lighted Motion SignRare Vintage Schmidt's Of Philadelphia Beer/ale Lighted Sign Vintage**rare**papec Farm Feed Machinery Dealer Lighted Farm SignVintage Burgermeister Lighted Beer SignAc Oil Filter Lighted Sign Clock 1950'sSuper Awesome Vintage Pabst Blue Ribbon Pbr Lighted Beer Sign Works!Vintage Sonic Drive In Lighted Menu Board Order Call Speaker Button Sign DecorYenko Chevrolet Lighted SignLarge 3 Foot Lighted Arrow Metal Sign Carnival Fair Exit Mobil Led Vintage LookRetro Vintage Lighted Telephone Booth Sign , Original Bell SystemsVintage Lighted Stroh's Beer Sign Welcome Aboard Vintage Budweiser Beer Spuds Mackenzie Bud Light Lighted Sign Party Animal DogErin Brew Light Up Beer Sign / Ten-o-two/ Standard Brewing Co. Cleveland -0151Large 3 Foot Lighted Arrow Metal Sign Carnival Fair Exit Mobil Led Vintage LookHeileman's Old Style Beer Lighted Welcome SignVintage Olympia Beer Sign, Lighted Lucky HorseshoeLighted Vintage Cushman Motor Scooter Sales Service Dealer Advertising Sign Nr!Samuel Adams Beer Boston Lager 30th Anniversary Led Lighted Tankard SignLarge 3 Foot Lighted Arrow Metal Sign Carnival Fair Exit Mobil Led Vintage LookGm Dealership Lighted SignVintage, Light Up, Stroh's Beer Bar Sign. Red YellowVintage Light Up Budweiser Beer Bar Clock SignVintage Hamm's Beer Sky Blue Neon Lighted Sign - Sharp & WorkingMiller High Life Light Up Sign 1960'sBudweiser Light Up Sign With The #9 Light Up Bud Light SignVintage 1960's Stroh's Beer Lighted Indoor SignLarge 3 Foot Lighted Arrow Metal Sign Carnival Fair Exit Mobil Led Vintage LookVintage Miller High Life On Tap Beer Ice Bucket Lighted SignRolling Rock Lighted Beer SignVintage Grain Belt Beer Lighted Wall Bar Sign Vintage 1980's Coors Beer Lighted Bar Sign-works!!Vintage Stroh's Lighted Beer Mug SignPabst Beer Sign Lighted Vintage1963 Bar Wall Sconce Light Blue Ribbon Vintage1970 Budweiser Beer Lighted Famous Clydesdale Horses Team Beer Sign LightPabst Lighted Outdoor Old Style Beer Sign Rat Rod24" Long Carling Black Label Lighted Sign Beer Sign Ex Cond Budweiser Rotating Lighted Clock & Mallard Duck Beer Sign