Saturday, July 10, 2010

Signs of St. Louis (Neon)

Here's a small gallery of some of my favorite vintage neon signs that are still standing in or around the St. Louis area (mostly south STL.) Some are obviously on their last legs and sans the actual neon tubing and bulbs, while some have been converted into something else altogether; like, the Airway is no longer a drive-in, while Federhofer's Bakery pulled the ultimate in blasphemy by adding an awful digital Jumbotron directly below their gorgeous sign-- ick! Fans of unique STL cuisine are of course already familiar with Ted Drewes (the concretes!!) and Lemmons (the pizza!!) I'll have more great local photos in the months to come.














(all photos by me!)

10 comments:

heather... said...

I went to a parochial elementary school behind the Airway Drive-In. Our school bus drivers were a couple called the Armstrongs (we only had 2 buses) and they were the caretakes for the drive-in.

As I recall they had quite a little urban farm going, too... chickens, veg & fruit gardens and a little yellow house. May have been white, and I think it was two story.

Hairy Green Eyeball said...

I love this kind of local color, especially these funky neons that evoke an era. Your photos are excellent. Maybe you could get enough together for a book...?

Karswell said...

>they were the caretakes for the drive-in.

That's interesting Heather... my dream job would be to either run my own drive-in, or even be a caretaker for one.

>Maybe you could get enough together for a book...?

I've had a few people suggest this and I'm definitely looking into it. Thanks for the comments!

Lysdexicuss said...

What about "Mr. Typewriter's" warehouse ? I may make a Pilgrimage one day just to stand in awe of thousands & thousands of typewriters... (*sigh*)

Mykal Banta said...

Great, great stuff! All these signs herald the magnificent atomic age 1950's - Ill bet the guy in the Steak n Shake sign would walk if seen at night, right? Lord, this kind of graphic design soothes the soul!

Karswell said...

That is definitely what it's all about Mykal-- good sign design... it doesn't rhyme for nothing! haha

prof. grewbeard said...

we've got a shoe hospital here in Houston with a big neon-lit shoe that's been around forever, as well as a giant neon ROACH over an exterminator's that you could see from a major highway as late as the 90s- it was like, "Welcome to Houston- The Roaches Really ARE This Big!"...

Mark said...

Back during the 1990s I used to make fairly regular trips to Saint Louis, visiting comic shops, used book stores, and the art supply stores Artmart and Dick Blick. Also shopped at Bader's and bought an airbrush there before they sold out to Dick Blick.

Attended one of the regular little comic book conventions that were going on in St. Louis at the time.

Wonder if we might have bumped into one another at some point in the past.

Karswell said...

>Wonder if we might have bumped into one another at some point in the past.

It's possible, though the last half of the 90's I lived in Los Angeles... when you say comic book conventions are you talking about the old Koepling House comic shows?

Mark said...

I don't recall exactly what they were called. Seems like they were put on by something called the "St. Louis Comic Book Club," and were done on a somewhat regular basis--maybe once a month. Maybe it was more a "show" than a "convention."

Only went to one of them, and it was primarily dealers' booths and not much else. But it good sized, and I would have gone to more of them if I lived closer to St. Louis.