Tag: ghost ad

The Ghosts of MIddletown

The Ghosts of MIddletown

Last weekend we had an itty-bitty taste of spring. Temperatures crept into the 60’s and so I decided to hop on the Bonnie and visit a few of the pins on my Google Maps app.

If I don’t look at the Streetview of a pinned item, sometimes I’m not sure what will be waiting for me when I turn up at the coordinates. At some point, I’d saved a cluster of stops in Middletown, New York. Based on my general familiarity with the area and their proximity to each other, I assumed they were ghost signs – and I was right.

This multi-layered ghost was hard to read in person. Sometimes tweaking a photo’s colors can help you read parts of the signs you can’t see with the naked eye. But other times the fade or overlapping is just too vague.

  • Synder Fancher & Company | Wholesale Grocers | Importers & Jobbers
  • Duluth Imperial Flour | Without a Rival
  • Altec | (distributors?)

When I go looking for ghosts, it isn’t uncommon for me to find myself in the parts of town that are economically challenged, their heyday long since passing them by. I’ll wind up in front of silent brick shells where factories once billowed steam, near old railroad stations and tracks, and often in areas that have fallen on hard times.

  • Gold Medal Flour | Eventually | Why Not Now | Bakes Best Bread

Riding towards home after snapping a few photos, it occurred to me that invariably when I am in these areas, I will encounter people walking on the street. And these people are more often than not, curious and friendly. They’ll flash a smile, give a hello and offer some chit-chat about my bike.

  • Snyder & Fancher | Wholesale Grocers
  • Duluth Imperial Flour

As I mulled over my interactions with people on the street I thought about my range of experiences on the different rungs of the economic ladder. Some stranger in an astronaut suit milling around snapping photos of a burned out factory doesn’t seem to raise suspicion in people. Just something to ponder…

 

2017 in Review: Photos of Great Ghost Ads Seen in My Travels

2017 in Review: Photos of Great Ghost Ads Seen in My Travels

My love for the ghost ads of yesteryear is strong. While out and about in 2017, I saw some excellent examples: 

Mail Pouch Tobacco – Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Mail Pouch Tobacco – Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Mail Pouch Tobacco – Layton, New Jersey

Mail Pouch Tobacco – Grafton, West Virginia

Mail Pouch Tobacco – Beacon, New York

Battle Ax Plug Tobacco – Pomeroy, Ohio

Cubanola – Radford, Virginia

Bloch Brothers Tobacco | Rohrbaugh & Co. Furniture & Undertaking – Buckhannon, West Virginia

Mail Pouch Tobacco  | Golden Rule Department Store – Belington, West Virginia

Bull Durham – Buena Vista, Virginia

Uneeda Biscuit – Poughkeepsie, New York

Sloan’s Linament for Rheumatism – Grafton, West Virginia

Uneeda Biscuit | Gold Medal Flour – Troy, New York

Coca-Cola – Orange, Virginia

Wine of Cardui & Cubanola – Radford, Virginia

Mail Pouch Tobacco | Coca Cola – Renovo, Pennsylvania

Mail Pouch Tobacco – Mill Hall, Pennsylvania


2017 in Review Round-Ups

The Old Burke’s Garden Virginia Post Office

The Old Burke’s Garden Virginia Post Office

Following the very wiggly VA 623, will drop you into the upland valley of Burke’s Garden, Virginia. When there, something about it feels like you’re in a place cut off from the rest of the world.

The local whitepages:

My travels brought me to Burke’s Garden because of a photo I’d seen online of an old post office with a Pepsi ghost ad on the side. I was surprised to see what nice shape the mural is in. By the looks of things, that Pepsi ad is pretty well cared for.

I gingerly stepped up onto the front stoop to take a look inside. My chances of either falling through the step or being stung by bees seemed to be about 50-50. It made me chuckle to myself to think that if I was really lucky, maybe I’d be able to pull off both.

The sign above the door reads: “Burkes Garden, Va – God’s Land”

 

Cubanola Cigar Ghost Ad – Radford, Virginia

Cubanola Cigar Ghost Ad – Radford, Virginia

The town of Radford, Virginia had a 1-2 punch of beautiful ghost ads. There was the Wine of Cardui, R. S. Carson Druggist and Cubanola Cigar combo. And then there was this.

Hello, gorgeous!

Cubanola 5¢ Cigars – All Havana Filler

I don’t know anything about tobacco and it’s history. I don’t smoke. But, I sure do have an affinity for its olde tyme advertising.

While looking up Cubanola, one of the pages I found was a history of cigars, and the packaging tins. Some of the tins were just wonderful. Give that a look-see.

Keen Kutter Kuttlery &  L.W. Clark Jeweler & Optician

Radford, Virginia Ghost Ad – Wine of Cardui

Radford, Virginia Ghost Ad – Wine of Cardui

In the town of Radford, Virginia there are two excellent walls with ghost ads on them. While appreciating the aesthetics of the ads themselves is one thing, falling down the rabbit hole of finding out what the olde tyme ads are for can be its own kind of fun.

When I googled Wine of Cardui for Women, the first result pulled up a site called The Quack Doctor. Well, now. If that isn’t an interesting name. Their Wine of Cardui page says:

Woman’s modesty and ignorance of danger often cause her to endure pains and suffer torture rather than consult a physician about important subjects.

Pains in the head, neck, back, hips, limbs and lower bowels at monthly intervals, indicate alarming derangements.

Oh, for cryin’ out loud. Modesty and ignorance of danger? Alarming derangements?


Image Source: Smithsonian Museum of American History

So, basically, Wine of Cardui was $1.00 PMS wine? It was also recommended to stave off the effects of “falling of the womb.” Falling of the womb? Gah! That sounds… messy. Can you even imagine? One minute you’re throwing a bag of frozen peas in your shopping cart, the next thing you know your womb falls out. Talk about embarrassing.

Maybe I should stick to looking up ghost ad tobacco products.

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