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Vintage Neon Signs


NenaE

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I was always fascinated by this sign. It scared me, reminded me of a James Bond torture device. Little did I know, as a young child, it was a microscope. Had an ominous, colorful, blinking display. It was located right before Hwy 288, on OST. The building is a nice 1960's design, for a mere car repair shop (pre-Micro-Club). Had a nice planter box on the front, brick facade, and two covered carports, one on each side, at one time. 


 


First photo source: Houston: an architectural guide (AIA) 


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I have been looking for a picture of this sign for a very long time, and almost can't believe I finally found one. About the only thing better would be a video (the sign lit up sequentially as the rocket blasted off). 

 

This was located on the Gulf Freeway, and was always a prominent landmark on trips to Galveston.

 

BillMcDavidOldsSignNightGulfFrwyHoustonT

Edited by mkultra25
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Mkultra, you never cease to amaze. The Bill McDavid Olds sign! Where on earth did you find that??

If you've got one of the old Sam Montgomery "Rocket City" Oldsmobile sign from the other end of 45, you will forever become the "King of the Haifers" in my eyes.

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Mkultra, you never cease to amaze. The Bill McDavid Olds sign! Where on earth did you find that??

If you've got one of the old Sam Montgomery "Rocket City" Oldsmobile sign from the other end of 45, you will forever become the "King of the Haifers" in my eyes.

 

I've occasionally googled "Bill McDavid Oldsmobile" over the years, in hopes of finding a picture. Never hit paydirt until now - I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw it. 

 

I did the same thing for Sam Montgomery shortly thereafter, hoping that lightning would strike twice, but alas, it was not to be. But hope springs eternal...

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I remember the rocket sign on the Gulf Freeway and the jingle for Tommie Vaughn Ford. It's fitting that the first signs in the U.S. were  for a car dealership in Los Angeles..."Packard". 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Does anyone remember a neon sign that was a big loaf of bread, perpetually being sliced? It advertized Fair-made Bread (which was later re-named Rainbow Bread). The huge, moving  bread loaf was atop a building, near the South Main Sears--possibly actually on top of Sears. This memory is from the mid-1950s or even earlier. It's a crisp, clear, very early childhood memory. But when I'm near the Main Street Sears I remember it, start wondering if it was on Sears or on a nearby building, and start wondering if anybody but me remembers it. Does anybody?

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Does anyone remember a neon sign that was a big loaf of bread, perpetually being sliced? It advertized Fair-made Bread (which was later re-named Rainbow Bread). The huge, moving  bread loaf was atop a building, near the South Main Sears--possibly actually on top of Sears. This memory is from the mid-1950s or even earlier. It's a crisp, clear, very early childhood memory. But when I'm near the Main Street Sears I remember it, start wondering if it was on Sears or on a nearby building, and start wondering if anybody but me remembers it. Does anybody?

 

Is this it?

 

fair-maid-006.jpg?w=450&h=308

 

According to this page, it was on top of the Fair Maid Bakery at Leeland and Cullen. 

 

https://bill37mccurdy.wordpress.com/tag/houston-buffs/page/8/

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We went to that Sears very often when we came to town and I don't remember the sign at all.  However, it would have been very unusual for us to be there after dark.

 

Beyond that I have been trying for days to remember Fair-Maid bread and can't.  Perhaps it wasn't distributed where I grew up (Lake Jackson) or maybe my mother just never bought it.

 

The breads I remember from the 40s and 50s were Schott's Holsum bread and Mrs. Baird's. 

 

Edited to keep from hi-jacking the thread.

Edited by brucesw
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The only sign that I can ever remember on top of the South Main Sears is the same one that's still there. I don't know if the neon still lights up, but it used to have the "Sears" name illuminated in red neon, with a smaller "Open 'til 9" neon flashing beneath it. No sliced bread sign that I ever recall on top of the store.

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On top of Bank of the Southwest, I not only remember the large revolving sign but also the infamous weather ball. There used to be jingle that was played o the radio that explained what the different colors indicated. The only part of the jingle I remember is the Last few words of it. "Blinking light, rain is due".

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And wasn't there a jack-o-lantern-like Gulf Oil sign on top of the Gulf Building (now the J.P. Morgan Chase building on Main Street, I think) long ago? Yes, there was;  it's coming back to me! My mother used to say that it messed up the beautiful sky-line of Houston.  At age six I didn't mind it.

 

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There have been several discussions of the Gulf lollipop with pictures posted in this forum. 

 

The weather ball was atop the Continental Oil/Conoco building on Main, also discussed before with pictures in this forum. 

 

Bank of the Southwest had it's name in big letters on two faces of the building, not on top.  There are probably pictures in this forum, also.

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Those neon signs really took on another life at night. Today's signs just aren't the same. The illusion of moving parts was very captivating. I always wondered as a kid, how they did that...for example, the ever popular (red and yellow) arrow,  with perfectly timed, consecutive blinking lights, simulating motion. 

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There have been several discussions of the Gulf lollipop with pictures posted in this forum.

The weather ball was atop the Continental Oil/Conoco building on Main, also discussed before with pictures in this forum.

Bank of the Southwest had it's name in big letters on two faces of the building, not on top. There are probably pictures in this forum, also.

Your correct, the weather ball was on the Conoco building, I think my mind is beginning to slip.

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The Gulf sign at night was posted several years back by ChannelTwoNews here on the HAIF.

 

I remember going to the top of the Gulf Building in 1958 and launching balsa, rubber band powered gliders. My brother-in-law worked as a DJ at a Classical Music FM station that was on a top floor....he took me to fly the gliders....I was 12.

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bluetop.jpg

 

This sign was a cool neon one on Telephone Road, after Winkler.  A similar one was at the Courts located on I-45 South (Gulf Frwy) right before Almeda Mall. The later one was a moving sign of some sort. It had a man walking and/ or swinging a suitcase (a vague recollection). Both are now gone.

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