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Route 66 Sign

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    Posted 11 years ago

    (1 item)

    I have an opportunity to acquire this sign and would like to know anything someone with experience can tell me. I have tested it with a magnet and it appears to be aluminum, non-magnetic. I have included a photo of the MGM property tag and the number stamped at the edge on the face of the sign.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated. Approximate value of sign or similar sign would be of help also.

    Thank you, Aberdeen, WA.

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    1. mikielikesigns2 mikielikesigns2, 11 years ago
      was " the grapes of wrath" a MGM movie?
    2. stefdesign stefdesign, 11 years ago
      Grapes of Wrath was 20th Century Fox.
      Is the sign actual size? The fact that it says Culver City, Cal, instead of CA probably means it's pre zipcodes, so before mid-60s or so. But, it's also possible they used those same tags for years after zip codes, so that's not a certainty.

      Do the dots reflect light?
    3. stefdesign stefdesign, 11 years ago
      I didn't notice until just now the 1934 date on the back. It would certainly be awesome if you could link this to a particular movie. I suppose you could research MGM films of 1933-35 or so, but it's kind of a long shot.
    4. daves-designs, 11 years ago
      Yes, the marbels are reflective when a light is shined on them. The sign measures approximately 19" by 19", so I would consider that pretty much full size. On the back there are marks on the mountings that indicate it has been mounted as if used for an actual sign at some point in time.

      Thanks for your comments and questions, every little bit makes the sign that much more interesting. Does anyone have a guess as to it's value ? Thanks. Dave
    5. Hunter Hunter, 11 years ago
      Value would definitely increase if you could show it was used in a well-known film. According to wikipedia, here are MGM's films from 34-36:
      The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934, plus remake in 1956)
      The Thin Man (1934, plus sequels)
      The Merry Widow (1934)
      Viva Villa! (1934)
      The Cat and the Fiddle (1934, first movie featuring MGM's "Tanner the Lion")
      Anna Karenina (1935)
      A Night at the Opera (1935)
      David Copperfield (1935)
      Mutiny on the Bounty (1935, plus remake in 1962)
      Naughty Marietta (1935)
      Ah, Wilderness! (1935)
      A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
      Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935)
      Romeo and Juliet (1936)
      Rose-Marie (1936)
      San Francisco (1936)
      Camille (1936)
      The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
      Libeled Lady (1936)
    6. stefdesign stefdesign, 11 years ago
      Well, we know which movies can be eliminated... Route 66 went through the southern part of the US, ending at the West Coast in Santa Monica... so that pretty much eliminates The Barretts of Wimpole St, Anna Karenina, David Copperfield, Mutiny on the Bounty, Broadway Melody of 1936, Rose-Maria, A Tale of Two Cities, Romeo and Juliet.... I'll definitely have to check out the others!
    7. Hunter Hunter, 11 years ago
      Good call Stef - I'm rooting for The Thin Man, though I don't think it was set anywhere near 66...
    8. markinmd, 9 years ago
      I don't know if you ever figured out the answer to your question, but I believe it is, in fact, a movie prop, rather than an authentic US 66 sign. Although it closely resembles a California-style US highway sign from that era, there are two things that indicate that it might not be authentic. (1) the shape is not "regulation." On an authentic sign, the top corners and the bulge in the middle should be the same width. This one looks a little narrow at the top. (2) Authentic US highway signs had the name of the state where "Route" appears on the sign, with or without "US" over the number, or in place of the state name. A sign that says "Route 66" is likely a reproduction. (3) California had slightly different standards for their signs than the rest of the country, but the lettering for the word "Route" would have been bolder letters that resemble the style of the 6's, or with boxier-shaped letters. Skinny lettering like that wouldn't have been readable from more than a few feet away, unless painted over, as this one is. Don't take that as gospel, as I'm sure there may have been exceptions. I doubt that MGM would have a real sign - probably manufactured in their prop shop. My guess is that the studio used it to create a scene using a road that wasn't US 66. As someone else pointed out, if you can substantiate the movie that it was used in, that would probably establish a higher value. Happy Motoring!
    9. markinmd, 9 years ago
      BTW - this is what an authentic California US Highway sign looks like:

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