Tag: ghost ad

Bull Durham Ghost Ads and a Pink Elephant

Bull Durham Ghost Ads and a Pink Elephant

Like a dumbbell, I brought my (3rd partially broken) point-n-shoot camera with its nifty 30x zoom with me… but failed to charge the battery. One day I’ll get this all right, but this? This was not that day. And so I was left to take pictures with my iPhone and my GoPro which on the whole isn’t really so bad. But, the zoom situation can be a little less than optimal. I hope you can manage to suffer through these photos.

“I come in peace.”

Tucked within the recesses of my GPS’ favorites was something called “BDS-32-54-04.” Though I wasn’t sure exactly what I would find when I pulled up, just by looking at the name I knew I’d saved a “Bull Durham Sign” from the Mail Pouch Barnstormers site. That’s their naming convention.

Wow, would you look at that? A tobacco ad that is loved, cared for and has been restored. Does that warm the ole ticker or what?

The kicker to my whole interest in tobacco advertising is that I find smoking and chew to be disgusting. I have memories of being trapped in the backseat of my parents car as a kid while they both puffed away in a blue-gray fog and it makes me want to gag. Apparently secondhand smoke wasn’t much of a concern back then.

This one wasn’t a GPS favorite or anything. I just happened to see it when I parked at the Bull Durham sign in Waverly, NY. I pulled around to the backside of the parking lot to get a better look. There is so much overlap, so much fade that I’m not able to discern what’s going on here. But the location came up on Barnstormers as having a Mail Pouch ad. I think I can see the word “pouch” on the upper left in yellow.

[edit] After googling soap ghost ads, I think that one of the layers may be for Ivory Soap. I found a soap add on Pinterest that tipped me off.

Towns like Waverly, NY that reach back a few hundred years and have a railroad line running through them seem to have the best shot at seeing ghost ads. Thinking back to other places I’ve been, Waverly had that look much like Renovo, PA and East Liverpool, OH did.


Pressing east…

I stopped to have a drink and a granola bar alongside a pink Elephant in Owego, NY. I mean, it really was as good a place to stop and take a breather as any, right? Maybe even better than most. It isn’t every day that you get to bask in the glory of such a fine beast.

The cockpit of my faithful companion. I don’t know if I took this picture on purpose or by accident, as I’m wont to do. Either way – the KTM is an excellent dance partner.

A lovely old sign in Owego provided me with some shade as I sipped and snacked.

Another Bull Durham sign perfectly perched above the olde tyme Harris Diner in Owego.

I didn’t really explore or dilly-dally around Owego as I was running out of time to get back to meet Kenny. So I snapped a quick photo of a You Are Here mural while sitting at a traffic light and made my way out of town. If I’m ever in the area again, something tells me I should have a closer look around. There are probably more roadsidey gems sprinkled through town.

Ghost Ad: Fletcher’s Castoria – Hancock, NY

Ghost Ad: Fletcher’s Castoria – Hancock, NY

This ghost ad can be seen on Wheeler Street in Hancock, NY.

Another ride, another roadside thing, another rabbit hole to fall down and research. Other than being able to confidently make out “Fletcher’s” I wasn’t quite sure what the ad was for. When an ad isn’t for something i’ve seen previously, often I have to go home and darken up a photo to look for clues. For example, the ad for Greenback Tobacco from Lincoln, Illinois was unreadable to me without altering the picture.

After some tweaking, I realized this ad says:

Children Cry for Cha. H. Fletcher’s Castoria

Apparently Fletcher’s Castoria was a well-advertised children’s laxative at the turn of the 20th century.

Bathroom Reading on Fletcher’s Castoria:

 

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.

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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