Whether it’s a glowing Spuds Mackenzie or the Pabst Blue Ribbon logo outlined in neon, lighted beer signs are all an attempt to catch even the most inebriated customer’s eye from across a bar. The earliest styles featured ordinary light bulbs secured behind a glass front, which was reverse painted with a brewery name like Krueger or Schlitz. Eventually, companies tried more complicated approaches, like the round Blatz sign that featured a mechanical beer-bottle-shaped character riding his unicycle in endless circles around the rim.

But perhaps the king of lighted beer signs was Hamm’s Scene-O-Rama: Below a small shingled roof, the sign included a faux stained-glass window advertising Hamm’s on the left and, on the right, a view of a wooded riverside landscape complete with a teepee and campfire. Using a semi-transparent scrolling reel of plastic in front of a vertically lined background, the sign created the illusion of motion in the rippling waters and wisps of smoke.


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