B.F. Goodrich Tires Advertising Sign, ca. 1950
It's been in our family for many years. Didn't realize what was on this side until later years, because the other side of this sign says "museum" on it. And it was used as a sign in front of a pioneer museum that my husband's grandfather had. So it was taken down, and I put it in my basement.
When was the museum torn down?
I would say in the late '70s, early '80s, possibly.
The fact that the face of the sign was facing a building is why it's in such good condition today. Do you know who actually painted "museum" on the back of the sign?
I'd have to just make a guess at it, that it was my husband's grandfather that did it. Because it was just kind of roughly done. You know, nothing fancy, just "museum."
If you look at the back, there's actually a stamp that says, "The B.F. Goodrich Rubber Company." That's because this sign would have been given to a retailer or a dealership. It would have been someone where they were selling Goodrich tires, and it would have been intended to be returned to the B.F. Goodrich Rubber Company. And when it comes to this type of collecting, like, one of the trade terms, we always call it "rusty gold." I mean, you have a little bit of rust here from the mounting holes, from where a screw would have been. The sign was produced by Ingram-Richardson in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. And they were known for doing this porcelain enamel on rolled iron. Now, the company started right around the turn of the century making license plates. After 1916, they stopped making license plates, but they went forward with street signs, automobilia signs. So this sign dates to about circa 1950, give or take five years. And the reason why we know that is because of what it's made of, the porcelain enamel over the rolled iron. Because as you get out of the 1950s, moving into the '60s, this process of making signs like this was very, very expensive. And it's what we would call a SSP, single-sided porcelain sign. And when it comes to sign collecting, condition, condition, condition, is everything. And I mean, can't you picture it? If you're a muscle head car guy, I mean, you have the '65 Vette in one garage, you have the '66 Pontiac GTO, and right above the two cars, I mean, you're going to be hanging this on your wall. This is a mantique. And to have this today at auction, conservatively, I'd say that you'd achieve between $1,500 and $2,500. It's in absolutely impeccable condition, and that's why this sign is going to command a premium in the market today.
Wow. That's good news.
Yeah! (laughs) Did you think it would be worth that much money?
(mouths): No. APPRASIER: (laughs softly): No. If you needed to insure the sign, I'd be comfortable putting an insurance value of about $3,000 on it.
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