Tag: ghost sign

Motorcycle Drive-by: Ghost Signs

Motorcycle Drive-by: Ghost Signs

When I am out exploring the world on my motorcycle, Ghost Signs are some of my favorite sights. Their nostalgic nod to a bygone era fills me with a sense of innocence and direct simplicity. They stir up feelings of missing a place and time that I never even knew.

Enjoy these blog posts about Ghost Signs


Hunting Ghosts: Uneeda Biscuit and Gold Medal Flour

On a July day in 2017, I spent the afternoon riding around Troy, New York looking for ghosts. What I discovered was that I needed a biscuit. And some… flour?

uneeda biscuit ghost sign and triumph bonneville in troy new york
Uneeda Biscuit …and a Bonnevlle in Troy, New York

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

In 2017, I did a fair bit of bumming around on the bike. I found myself in places like West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Each state is home to some terrific ghost signs.

mail pouch tobacco ghost sign point pleasant west virginia
Mail Pouch Tobacco ghost ad in Point Pleasant, West Virginia – Home of the Mothman!

Roadside Snaps: Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns and Signs

A handful of Mail Pouch Tobacco and Block Brothers snaps seen in 2015.

Mail Pouch Tobacco Ghost Sign from Carnegie Pennsylvania
Block Brothers ghost ad uncovered in Carnegie, Pennsylvania

Motorcycle Drive-by: In Case You Missed It Series

Sometimes blog posts get buried with time. This post is part of a throwback series to introduce or reintroduce you to things you might have missed.

Thanks for reading!

Photo: Coca-Cola Ghost Sign – Richmond, Virginia

Photo: Coca-Cola Ghost Sign – Richmond, Virginia

While traveling through the city of Richmond, Virginia I saw this beautiful multi-layered Coca-Cola ghost sign.

Coca-Cola ghost sign on E. Main Street in Richmond, Virginia

The city of Richmond, Virginia is one of America’s oldest cities. It is the home to an incredibly large variety of modern street art. There are dozens of beautiful murals peppered around the city, thanks to the Richmond Mural Project.

And as an old city that has been densely populated and rich in industrial history, it is also ripe with advertising ghost signs of yesteryear. You will find them graces the facades of, in some cases, centuries-old buildings.

You could spend ages exploring and documenting what the city of Richmond has to offer.

Alas, in the early autumn of 2018, I was just riding through town on my way south. I didn’t have very much time to spend looking around. But, I did manage to snap a few photos like this one – a lovely Coca-Cola ghost sign paired with a modern portrait mural. Good old serendipity struck again. Lucky me.

There is something particularly sweet about stumbling across things that you love versus seeking them out. It’s like uncovering a treasure.

Coca-Cola Advertisements

Coca-Cola began using the slogan “Delicious and Refreshing” as part of their first advertisement in 1886. You can see that slogan featured here on this ghost.

Also visible are the phrases “Relieves Fatigue”,”5¢”, “Sold Everywhere” and “Drink Coca-Cola.”

The slogans in Coca-Cola ads can sometimes help to zero in on the age of the piece. For example, the word “Drink” being placed above the logo came into use in the mid-1920’s. In addition the Spencerian script of the logo can also be a clue to assessing age.

Visit this Coca-Cola Ghost Sign

Coca-Cola Ghost Ad Location:
2100 E Main St, Richmond, VA 23223
(on the side of Whisk Bakery)
Google Maps

Ghost Sign: Pepsi-Cola – Richmond, Virginia

Ghost Sign: Pepsi-Cola – Richmond, Virginia

In the fall of October 2018, I rode through the city of Richmond, Virginia on a Sunday morning. City riding isn’t so great, generally. But being on a motorcycle gives you the opportunity to pull over, squeeze into tight spots for a few minutes and to park and snap pictures in a way that you couldn’t possibly do in a car. Being on a low, slim bike like the Bonneville makes that even easier.

I was in town spotting ghosts. An old city like Richmond, has plenty.

This Pepsi-Cola ad is just hanging on for dear life. Topped off with “Watkins Barber Shop” the bottle cap is but a whisper. A quick search around the web and you can find images of this wall that were much more vibrant. Hang in there, lovely. We still see you.

richmond fuzzygalore pepsi ghost sign

Without any knowledge of the company’s history, I have no idea if they ever engaged in widespread campaigns like Coca-Cola. In my travels, I haven’t had the opportunity to see many Pepsi ghost signs. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one other. It was in Galena, Kansas:

fuzzygalore galena ansas pepsi ghost sign

Now that my antenna is up, maybe I’ll start seeing them.

[edit] How could I possibly forget the gorgeous Pepsi ad on the old post office in Burke’s Garden?

A Gorgeous Coca-Cola Ghost Sign in York, Pennsylvania

A Gorgeous Coca-Cola Ghost Sign in York, Pennsylvania

I’m pretty sure I became aware of this ghost sign in York, Pennsylvania from reading Wendyvee’s great blog, Roadside Wonders. It’s been pinned on my Google Map for years.

When I pulled up to take pictures, a man across the street stood and watched me with a big smile on. I wonder if people who live with such things day in, day out, even notice them anymore. Or, do they become a source of neighborhood pride? Probably both.

Location:
York, Pennsylvania
https://goo.gl/maps/bjvdKhN9ViB2

Two Coca-Cola Ghost Signs Spotted

Two Coca-Cola Ghost Signs Spotted

Though I don’t drink soda or smoke, I do have an affinity for tobacco and soda wall advertising. Whenever I see a Coca-Cola ghost ad, it feels like a win for the day.

Previously I posted a few ghost ads that I saw in Middletown, New York. One that I left out of that post was this lovely 2-sided dame from Union Street.

Delicious and Refreshing
Relieves Fatigue
Drink Coca-Cola
5¢ Sold Everywhere 5¢

One side of the building is now covered in vines and ivy. Just based on the “Co,” I wish I knew the condition of the rest of the words hiding below that creeping jungle.

Coca-Cola Ghost Ad
Union Street
Middletown, NY
https://goo.gl/maps/BiRmq8kctNR2


This Coca-Cola ghost spotted in Phillipsburg, NJ a few weeks ago, also has a Bull Durham Tobacco layer for a nice one, two punch.

Drink Coca-Cola
Delicious and Refreshing

Morris St
Phillipsburg, NJ
https://goo.gl/maps/wVKHsjkzDos

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