Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fading Advertisements: Hosiery, a Signature, and Main as a Two-Way Street?


A recently uncovered fading advertisement on Main St. and others.



- A recently uncovered ghost sign seen on the side of a Main St. building.


Many thanks to @Mattinnati for tipping me off about this one. Recently revealed, this sign has some interesting features. Although apparently being converted into a few apartments, the front door still advertises the building as law offices. Mostly nondescript, the phrases "hosiery" and "same location" can still be made out. I'm not entirely sure what they're doing to the side of this building, but it seems likely that the advertisement will once again be covered up.


There's also something else interesting about it at the bottom: the signature of the Caldwell company. At the bottom of many fading advertisements, you'll often find the marking of the sign's painter or the company who put it together. In this case, "Caldwell" is referencing the former Sam Caldwell & Co.


Interestingly enough, while this is the first time I've ever come across Caldwell's name as a signature, it also still exists in one of the city's more prominent fading signs, on the side of the building that was once his business' headquarters:

- The Sam Caldwell and Co. fading advertisement as seen in the summer of 2015.


Many of the Caldwell company's signs were painted by Chuck Keiger, a World War Two veteran whose hand painted work adorned all sides of the city from billboards to show cards to the advertisements at the former Reds' home of Crosley Field. This previous summer, artist Craig Winslow came to town and dug up some excellent history about Keiger and the Caldwell company, while temporarily bringing the headquarters sign back to life

The main subject of this post, a nondescript sign recently revealed on Main St., may have very well been the work of Keiger, signed on behalf of his employer. Standing by the Hamilton County Courthouse, across the street from it also gives a unique view of several more:



You can see several fading advertisements looking southwards down Main. Aside from the two in the upper right and lower left foreground, you can find three more stacked on top of each other, the oldest being for the "general offices" of a "baking co."

Main St.'s traffic, both streetcar and automobile, flows northbound though. These signs wouldn't be seen by passing vehicles, but would've been highly visible to pedestrians. While there was a city study commissioned a few years back that would've potentially converted Main to two-way traffic north of 12th St., these signs exist in the Central Business District below 12th.

- Image via Shorpy.

The above historical image from Shorpy shows Main and 4th St. with most of the carts and cars lined up on Main facing North. I haven't found any direct historical reference to Main once being two-way, but if you know for sure, let it be known in the comments below. Even if traffic has always flowed North, the advertisements in this post would've still been well seen.

For more documentations of Fading Advertisements, check out the ongoing series or my book all about them.

1 comment:

  1. A bit more of the sign was revealed last week so that you could read "Hosiery Yarns and Knit Goods".

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