Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Burma Shave Nostalgia

Remeber those Burma Shave signs? I do. They originated in 1925 and went out of vogue in 1963. Now they're an American icon, with some in the Smithsonian Institute.

The familiar white on red signs, grouped by four, fives and sixes, were as much a part of a family trip as irritating your kid brother in the back seat of the family Studebaker.

At the height of their popularity there were 7,000 signs along America's highways. First you'd read one sign, then another, anticpating the punch line on number five and the familiar Burma-Shave on the sixth.

Those Burma-Shave signs allowed my brother to reach puberty. He used to drive me nuts on trips; poking and punching when my parents weren't looking. Then tattled when I punched back. Of course, I never did anything to him. All I wanted to do was read the Burma-Shave signs.

I used to love reading them along the highway. It was a great way to advertise shaving cream and lotion...and keep me from deep-sixing my brother. Now that I think about it, that's probably why I like advertising so much...and copywriting...and now my brother.

Here's another series of Burma-Shave signs on I-90. I think it was I-90. My long term memory is full of horse pucky fumes.

His cheek

Was rough

His chick vamoosed

And now she won't

Come home to roost


For more Burma-Shave slogans, go to www.fiftiesweb.com/burma.htm


itsmecissy said...

While travelling across country the summer I was 9, we saw Burma Shave signs all over the place and I LOVED them. Too bad they aren't around anymore, what a beautiful memory.

Pam said...

Ah, yes, memories. I loved those Burma Shave signs too. Thanks, "itsme" for appreciating their nostalgic value.