Category: Ghost Ad

Fading Away – Renovo, Pennsylvania Ghost Ads

Fading Away – Renovo, Pennsylvania Ghost Ads

I’ve passed through Renovo a few times over the last couple years. Each time I’ve stopped to snap a photo of the Mail Pouch Tobacco ad on the corner of Huron and 11th. The fade progression is clear in the pictures.

Considering the weather and the blazing sun that batters these buildings year in year out, the paint hangs on for a long time. It seems like it must reach a critical turning point where the colors and sharpness start to go very quickly.

On my first pass through town in February 2009, I snapped the Mail Pouch ad on the corner of 11th & Huron:

In June of 2014, I drove through Renovo and stopped for a quick picture of the Mail Pouch ad. There was definitely some fade compared to 2009.

Passing through town in June 2017, I stopped for the ad once again. Fading away…

The corner of Erie & 5th has a Mail Pouch and a Coca-Cola ghost two-fer. The first time I saw both, they were already quite faded. The change in their condition is less obvious to me. The photos are from June 2014 and June 2017 respectively for these two.

Coca-Cola is hangin’ on by a thread.

This Mail Pouch on the upper part of the building at 5th and Erie already had significant fade in 2014. Below it to the left also hung a nifty plastic RC Cola sign. Another throwback.

By the time I stopped again in June 2017, not much has changed in the fading but the plastic RC Cola sign is now gone. I like to think it is happily hanging in a room where someone loves it versus laying broken in a dump.

The wishful part of me wants these nostalgic gems to last forever. But I know that won’t happen. I guess I’ll just have to keep riding around, taking photos and making memories.

Ghost Ad in Chenoa, Illinois: Selz Royal Blue Shoes

Ghost Ad in Chenoa, Illinois: Selz Royal Blue Shoes

Pontiac, Ill – Illinois State Police motorcycle patrol exhibit

While riding Historic Route 66 in Illinois, I tried to take a turn through the towns that seemed to pop up like an oasis after a stretch of nothin’ much. Often my ride would be like road, road, road, TOWN, road, road road…

These places that punctuate the route seemed to hold the most lovely treasures, if you’re the Americana-lovin’ sort. This Selz Royal Blue Shoes ad is in the town of Chenoa, Illinois.

Before the trip, I’d never heard of Selz Royal Blue Shoes. But like so many other things, once my eyes were opened to it and I began looking for information I had myself another rabbit hole to fall down. There are many lovely Selz ads across the midwest.

Passing Through Lincoln, Illinois

Passing Through Lincoln, Illinois

During my ride through Illinois in the fall of 2015, I followed Route 66 north from Springfield and passed through the town of Lincoln, Illinois. Prior to leaving home, I did almost no research about the areas I might ride through. I was just sort of floating on the wind and letting the ride unfold on it’s own in between a few punctation marks. And so, as I passed through Lincoln I wasn’t really looking to see anything in particular.

My knowledge of Route 66 is pretty limited in the grand scheme of things. I think that worked in my favor. When you don’t know what to expect, everything is a surprise and quite often, exciting.

When I pulled in to Lincoln, it felt like the type of America you see on tv. That may sound funny to you if you’re from an area that looks like Lincoln. But to people who exist in the bland, homogenized suburbs of a major city like New York, places like these look special.

In the middle of town there’s a square with green grass and a grand courthouse. Also a firehouse with a telephone booth on the roof. Brick buildings line the streets that spider away from the square. The whole place felt like it was covered in lovely nostalgia dust.

Figuring I may never pass that way again, I took a turn around the town, riding up and down the side streets around the town square. Along Pulaski Street, I spied a lovely ghost ad.

“Smoke Greenback Tobacco – Purest and Best(?)”

The ad is for Greenback Smoking Tobacco, a brand I’d never heard of before. A quick Google turned up this article: ‘Ghost’ turns up in Lincoln alley from The Lincoln Courier discussing the mural. The article from 2009 mentions the hope of findinf out about its history but my Google searches haven’t turned up anything more posted since then.

Greenback Smoking Tobacco Ghost Ad
Side of 414 Pulaski Street
Lincoln, Illinois
Google Streetview

Before continuing on, I snapped a shot in front of the big penny mural. A perfect way to say goodbye to Lincoln.

Napoleon Fruit Soup, A Ghost Ad and Morning on a Motorcycle

Napoleon Fruit Soup, A Ghost Ad and Morning on a Motorcycle

When I left my hotel in Napoleon, Ohio headed east towards home I didn’t really have much of a plan other than go towards where the sun was coming up. I picked up US 6 because it was familiar. Actually, I could follow it almost all the way home if I’d wanted to.

With a quick u-turn to get a better look at a ghost ad I spotted in an alley, I parked on the main drag in Napoleon. A Gold Medal Flour and 7-Up two-fer!

While there, some creeps watched me take pictures.

Before riding away, I pulled up a listing of Roadside America favorites on my GPS to see if there was anything interesting nearby. Huh, a giant can of soup

And so it was I found myself on the side of the road watching a huge can of tomato soup basking in a glorious sunrise. Life is nothing if not mysterious.

Since a tomato is technically a fruit, the big soup can seemed perfect for today:

This post is part of a 29 posts in 29 days blogging challenge hosted by Kathy at ToadMama.com. Today’s writing prompt: Fruit
Roadside Snaps: Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns and Signs

Roadside Snaps: Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns and Signs

The “favorites” list in my GPS is sprinkled with all sorts of places and things that I might stop at as I’m passing through an area. I often pull up the screen and just let it stay in view. When something in the list is a short distance away, I’ll navigate to it. One of the reoccurring themes in the waypoint list is Mail Pouch Tobacco signs and barns.

This wall ad was one of the points I’d saved in my GPS. Because I didn’t actually save a description of what the stop was, the title was something vague like : MP-12-1X, I knew it was Mail Pouch related, but didn’t know what I would find when I reached the point.

I’m glad I took the chance to see it, what a beauty. I don’t think I’ve seen one of their ads with the “Anit-Nervous Diyspeptic” [sic] line before.

Carnegie, Pa
40.409342, -80.083880
Fuzzygalore mailpouch tobacco photo

While making my way across the Ohio River through the town of East Liverpool, the lady in the box directed me to swing down a not-so nice alley that spit me out on to Dresden Avenue.

The street had that look of a town that was long past its prime. Towns near railroad lines, rivers or other transportation centers and have brick building-lined streets are often good places to spot fading wall ads.

There seems to be some key to the town having been well-used around the turn of the 20th century. When you pull in to one, you just “know” that there will be an old, faded advertisement on some building, somewhere.

The lady in the box must’ve known something I didn’t because she deposited me by this faded Mail Pouch ad:

East Liverpool, Ohio
40.621712, -80.579815

Fuzzygalore mailpouch tobacco photo liverpool ohio

And just a few hundred yards, past that Mail Pouch fade, was this Bloch Brothers Mail Pouch ad. A nice bonus.

East Liverpool, Ohio
40.620800, -80.579603

Fuzzygalore mail pouch tobacco photo liverpool ohio

When you set out to find something specific, sure it is it’s own reward but stumbling across something unexpected is a bright spot in your day. That was the case with this Mail Pouch barn. Unfortunately, I don’t recall which town this barn was in but I know I found it after visiting the Madonna of the Trail in Beallsville, Pa. I *think* it was also along US 40.

Fuzzygalore mailpouch tobacco photo

Just southwest of Bedford, Pa – home of the Big Coffee Pot that I love so much, I had this barn’s coordinated tucked in to my favorites list.

Manns Choice, Pa
40.01733, -78.58066

Fuzzygalore mailpouch tobacco photo bedford pa

Wouldn’t you know it? I found an open parking space in the town of Bedford directly across from this Bull Durham fade on the building at 116 W Pitt St. It’s just east of Dunkle’s Gulf.

Bedford, PA
40.018964, -78.504542

Fuzzygalore mailpouch tobacco photo bedford pa

Other Posts about Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns

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