Hill and Hill Model

Hill and Hill sign by General Sign CoWhen I dipped into the General Sign Company box loaned by Terry Hopkins, the bright colors of the Hill and Hill Kentucky bourbon caught my eye. Since the sign company roamed all over the region, I don’t know where this particular building lived.

Painter brought along a model

Hill and Hill sign by General Sign CoIt was only when the picture was enlarged on the computer monitor that I saw that the sign painter had brought along a model.

Check out the bourbon bottle on the ground under the sign. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

I wonder if it made is back home safely?

Old Charter Billboard

General Sign Old Charter 11These pictures of the Old Charter billboard atop the Paramount Liquor Company building came out of the box of General Sign Company sign photos loaned to me by Terry Hopkins.

Terry said the huge billboards were made up of individually hand-painted panels that were assembled on frames when they got on site. You can see the seams of the panels in the closeup photos.

Old Charter photo gallery

Turn Right to Downtown

General Sign for Cape DowntownThis General Sign Company invitation to “Stop ‘n Shop – Turn Right Foot of Bridge to Downtown Cape Giardeau takes us back to the day when Main Street was THE shopping area for the region. The photo is part of the collection Terry Hopkins loaned me from his dad’s job at General Sign Company.

The sign must have been located in East Cape since that’s the only place a “Turn Right” would make sense.

See the smokestacks?

General Sign for Cape DowntownWhen the picture is blown up, you can see two smokestacks off to the right, one of them puffing black smoke.

The cement plant would have been way off to the left, so these stacks must belong to the shoe factory and the power plant north of it. I’m not sure what the white building off to the far right would be. Click on the photos to make them larger.

Here’s what they would have found

Cape Downtown Aerial Photo from the 1960sIf our shopper had turned right, this is what they would have encountered. Follow this link to see other downtown stories. Here is a collection of links to stories about Main Street businesses and buildings.

Frisch’s Big Boy

Frisch's Big Boy - General Sign CoTerry Hopkins‘ dad’s General Sign Company box of photos had these shots of Frisch’s Big Boy’s 3-D rotating sign. (Check out the Garber’s sign in the background.) I guess I never looked closely enough at a Big Boy to notice that he had a slingshot in his back pocket.

When I was a kid, I wondered how those rotating signs kept the electrical cord from getting tangled up. It’s obvious from this that the motor that provided the spin was BENEATH the rotating point.

BUT, how about signs that had lights in the rotating part? Did they get their power from contacts that slipped as they rotated? I’m sure someone is going to come up with an answer that is going to make me feel really foolish. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

Did Cape have a Frisch’s?

Frisch's Big Boy - General Sign CoThe building has General Sign Company on it, but the Big Boy is going for a ride in a truck that says Operle Poster Advertising, Paducah, KY, on its side.

I wonder if the Big Boy was headed for Kentucky? I don’t recall any Frisch’s stores in our area.