Ghost Sign: A ghost sign is an old hand-painted advertising sign that has been preserved on a building for an extended period of time.
The signs were originally painted with oil-based house paint.
The painters of the signs were called “wall dogs.”
The above are some of the few (maybe all) of the ghost signs remaining in my immediate area. They are quickly disappearing due to building “beautifications,” and urban renewal in general. You will notice in the first photo, that the building has been given a new facade. In this case, I am not sure if they have stopped at this point (just below the ghost sign) to preserve the sign, or if they will continue, in which case the ghost sign will no longer be.
Each time I find one of these, I actually feel quite sad. To me, a ghost sign was a symbol of “staying power.” For example, when Gold Medal Flour had the above sign painted, it was not because they thought that they may be out of business in a month or two. They planned to stay and found a way to do so. While I cannot speak for other areas, I do know that in this area, many, many times a business will be here and then gone, even before a formal “modern” sign is put up.
But for now, we have these, and I think that they are just beautiful.
Have a wonderful week!