From a small component of everyday life, marketing has gone from colorful Victorian trade cards of the 1870s to the Super Bowl commercials of today to a ubiquitous existence.

Probably the most readily recognizable advertising medium of the late 19th and early 20th centuries is the porcelain sign. Starting in the 1880s, firms found the advantages of porcelain as a substance that was both durable and weather resistant. Although these signs were made in Germany, the manufacturing technique soon spread to America, where their bold colors, as well as eye-catching images, were put to good use advertising cigars, motor oil, railways, and soda pop, notably Coca-Cola. For the base metal they contained, however, many of these signs were destroyed together with the onset of the Second World War. Their resulting rarity makes them appealing to collectors.

A similar fate befell tin signs, which were frequently produced as an affordable alternative to porcelain ones. Unlike their porcelain companies, yet, tin signs were prone to degradation and rust, so a lot of that have survived the years have been in poor condition.

On another end of the size scale were celluloid pinbacks, inexpensive buttons which were meant to be worn and shown. Some businesses distributed pinbacks to encourage the purchase of specific brands of cigarettes or paper subscriptions, while others were handed out as campaign pieces.

Alongside advertising that was meant to be seen were ads that have been meant to be utilized. Coca-Cola, for one, recognized that practical bits of marketing would last considerably longer than posters and signs, which were normally discarded. Common kinds of “utilitarian” advertising comprised mirrors, calendars, thermometers, and clocks, all which bore a business’s brand name and image for some reason or another. Some small store owners, for example, kept their vintage Coca-Cola thermometers displayed in their stores, for the simple reason they remained useful. Things that have been hardly or never used, of course, command the most attention.

Other promotion collectibles contain make crate labels, salesman samples, tobacco cans, beer trays, and door push and pull signs.

Nice collection of antique metal and porcelain advertising signs mostly automobile related

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