Anyone driven down Guardsman Lane lately? Curious to know about the new bright red signs adorning the edges of the road on your way to the museum?
Nothing like some Burma Shave Signs to celebrate the new Signs of the Times exhibit!
Burma-Shave was first introduced in 1925 as a liniment made from ingredients found on the Malay Peninsula and inBurma. However sales were slow and the company wanted a product with greater appeal hence “Burma-Shave brushless shaving cream” was born. Burma-Shave became the second-highest selling brushless shaving cream in theUnited Statesat its peak.
The Burma-Shave signs were an early example of popular highway advertising that lasted into the 1960’s. Generally a series of six sequential signs were placed at the edge of a road for passing motorists to read, the last sign in the series almost always had the name of the product. As motor vehicle travel expanded and speeds increased it became more and more difficult to attract the attention of drivers and the signs were eventually discontinued for safety’s sake. Interestingly, today several state highway departments use signs in the same style to dispense travel safety messages to motorists.
The signs were creative and used humorous puns and rhymes to sell their product. 1963 was the last year of the official advertising campaign. The final slogan, repeated from 1953 was,
“Our fortune / Is your / Shaven face / It’s our best / Advertising space /Burma-Shave”.