Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Announcing: "Fading Ads of Cincinnati"

- Lined up to make a photograph of the fading "Schuster Electric Co." advertisement on the side of a downtown building.

I am incredibly excited to announce that I've signed an agreement with The History Press to photograph and write a book about "Ghost Signs" in the greater Cincinnati area. Defined as "fading advertisements" and "disappearing art," "ghost signs" harken back to a region's economic and cultural past. Combining modern photography with historical research, I hope to create a book that brings to light these artifacts that are hiding in plain sight.

Since starting Queen City Discovery (QC/D) in 2007, one of my main subjects has been the history surrounding Cincinnati. From articles about the city's abandoned subway system to the "Thomas Edison Ghost Ship" down river - I've tried to combine a love for history and photography. This book offers me a chance to delve into something new while still creating artwork and pursuing the Queen City's rich history.

Thankfully, I have a great resource to start things off with. Since 2011, Bill Rinehart has published "The Writing on the Walls," a blog dedicated to documenting ghost signs not just in the local area, but other places he's traveled. Bill has been kind enough to let me use his work as a reference and I can't recommend his fantastic work enough.

In the coming months I'll be out shooting and exploring as much as I can. I'm hoping to document fading advertisements not just in downtown Cincinnati, but the outlying areas as well.

The areas I'll be focusing on are:
- Downtown Cincinnati
- Cincinnati's neighborhoods
- Northern Kentucky (Covington, Newport, Dayton, Bellevue, etc.)
- Suburban Cincinnati
- Rural Outlying Areas (Mail Pouch Tobacco signs, barn signs, etc.)
- The history of signage and advertising in the Tri-State Area.

If you have any tips or suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate any feedback and will credit appropriately! Please contact me at if there's something you'd like to share.

Thanks for your support, and as always: thanks for reading Queen City Discovery!

1 comment:

  1. Exciting assignment, congratulations and good luck.
    Mike Lawson NKU '77