Weird Universe


Bond Clothing Sign, NYC



The Wikipedia entry tells us:

Between 1948 and 1954, Bond Clothes operated a massive sign on the east side block of Broadway between 44th and 45th streets in New York's Times Square. The sign had nearly 2 miles of neon and included two 7-story-tall nude figures, a man and a woman, as bookends. Between the nude figures, there was a 27-foot-high (8.2 m) and 132-foot-wide (40 m) waterfall with 50,000 gallons of recirculated water. Beneath the waterfall was a 278-foot-long (85 m) zipper sign with scrolling messages. The Bond zipper was made up of more than 20,000 light bulbs. Above the waterfall was a digital clock with the wording "Every Hour 3,490 People Buy at Bond."[7] Some of the sign remained in place to advertise the Bond Stores location until the stores closure in 1977.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Sep 28, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Signage, Giant People in Ads, 1940's, 1950's

Mystery Illustration 10


This Scout is signalling for what now?

Visit link, then scroll down.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Sep 24, 2015 | Comments (10)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Signage, 1980's

Business name causes controversy

Right in the middle of charming little St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin (population 2000), Geoff Gorres and his business partners opened a gun store. Their choice of name: F-Bomb Ordnance.

Local residents aren't too happy about it, thinking it lowers the standards of the community to have the f-bomb "displayed prominently" on Main Street.

In response to the controversy, the owner says he may be willing to consider other options for signage, but he's definitely keeping the f-bomb name. More info: CBS (WCCO); The Sun.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Aug 07, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Odd Names, Signage, Slang, Swears

Kiss Me Necktie

[Click to re-size]

Did this ever work? And why did the tie turn the wearer into an African-American when activated, as shown at the bottom of the ad?
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Mar 31, 2014 | Comments (2)
Category: Fashion, Signage, 1940's, Women




Some fractured or idiosyncratic English which I photographed this week in Italy.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Dec 30, 2013 | Comments (12)
Category: Signage, Europe, Mistranslations

Prison Pennants


With USA incarceration rates at an all-time high, surely there's a market for these nowadays?

From the 1950 catalog.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Sep 09, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Johnson Smith Catalog, Prisons, Signage, 1950's

The Monster Family

Washington state's Saar Pioneer Cemetery contains an unusual grave. It's the resting place of John C. Monster (1851-1890) and his child "Baby Monster" (1888-1889). I haven't been able to find any additional details about the Monster family. (via the Oddment Emporium)

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Oct 14, 2012 | Comments (4)
Category: Odd Names, Signage, Obituaries

No Time for Ugliness

Imagine an idyllic era when the major problem cities faced was too much signage! And there are no foreclosure signs, even in the slums!

Yesterday's hell is today's paradise.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Sep 02, 2012 | Comments (3)
Category: PSA's, Signage, Urban Life, 1960's

The Town of Swastika, Canada

Swastika is a small town in Ontario, Canada. (wikipedia link). It was founded in 1908, and got its name from a nearby gold mine. Then the Nazis went and adopted the swastika as their symbol, which made things a little awkward for the Swastika townsfolk. But despite pressure from the Canadian government, the townsfolk resisted changing the name of their town. After all, they had the name first! And so the town has kept its unusual name, to the present day.

Several pictures of Swastika from Steve Colwill's flickr account. The Swastika Laboratories sounds a little sinister.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Aug 17, 2012 | Comments (6)
Category: Odd Names, Signage, Weird Names

Italian Stores



I took these 2 fotos in Italy. I particularly like the motto of the toy store "Skunk Tani": "smart head grow shop."
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jun 12, 2012 | Comments (9)
Category: Signage, Europe
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.