Men at Work Signs

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The photos on this page were moved here from my Signs section to accompany an article which I'm writing for the Society for Commercial Archeology's Journal magazine. This page and the upcoming article will provide information about vintage signs with depictions of working men. I have just begun working on this page. I'll be updating the descriptions with more info as I make calls and do the research for the article.

C.W. Services
Long Beach, CA
Pool's Welding
Milan, IL
The C.W. Services sign previously advertised for Bill Williams Welding which opened in 1945. The sign may have been built then. C.W. Services bought the business in 2001. The sign has not been lit since at least that time. There are no plans to restore it. The sign is about ten feet tall and is perched on top of a billboard installed on the roof. [map]

Pool's Welding was established in 1975. This sign might be from then. [map]

Capital Industries
Seattle, WA
2008: 2015:
Capital Industries was established in 1953. This sign may be from then. It appears that the welder's torch was animated at one time. The back of the sign reads "Metal Fabricators." Around 2015, the sign was removed from the pole and restored. It is now installed flush on the company's building. [map]

Sheet Metal Service Co. [gone]
Oklahoma City, OK
2006: 2011:
The neon Sheet Metal Service Co. sign was built in 1949 and featured an animated hammering man. Sometime after 2006, it was replaced with this plastic box sign. The neon sign is now at the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, OK. The man on the sign has been reworked so that he now lifts a beer mug to his lips.

Chito's Shoe Repair
San Diego, CA
Palace Shoe Service
Rockford, IL
The Chito's Shoe Repair sign was created in 1949 for Wink's Shoe Repair. It featured an animated hammering elf. In the 1950s, Wink's had 30 locations. This sign was moved here in 1960. In 1962, the neon continued shining when the store became Dituri's Shoe Repair, then later Shoe Palace, and finally Chito's Shoe Repair. Chito's relocated nearby recently but the historic resource was required to remain in place. In 2014, the store moved to a new location and were not allowed to bring the sign with them. The sign hung in place until 2015. Despite being landmarked, the sign disappeared for about a year. The sign was restored and reinstalled in 2016. For more, see this website. [map]

Palace Shoe Service was established in 1926. The name came from the nearby Palace Theatre which was demolished in 1984. This sign was built in 1950 and is about eight feet wide. It was moved from the store's previous location to the current one. The cobbler on the sign represents the owner at that time, John Antunicci. When the sign was lit, the cobbler's arm moved in three-part animation. Two red neon sparks lit up when the hammer hit the shoe. The current owner has received estimates of $15,000-$20,000 to restore the sign which is way than he can afford. [map]

Steak Company
Sioux City, IA
Mid-State Meat Co.
Bend, OR
When the Braunger Steak Company moved to its current location around 1982, the sign from the previous tenant was adapted. It originally had oranges, bananas, and other produce. The butcher was modeled after the store's owner, Paul Braunger. The sign is still lit with the butcher's knife chopping in three-part animation. The neon colors are white, red, pink, yellow, and blue. In 2012, the readerboard beneath the sign with manually changeable letters was replaced with a digital display. For more, see this website. [map]

The Mid-State Meat Co. opened here in 1935. This sign appears to be from the 1950s. The company is gone now but this sign remains. For more, see this website. [map]

Dellert's Paint Company
Springfield, IL
The Dellert's Paint Company was established in 1943 and this sign was installed by 1944. It was designed by the owner, Paul Dellert. The sign is about 16 feet wide. The painter's arm moves in two-part animation. The neon has always been maintained. For more, see this website. [map]

Scarborough Lumber & Building Supply
Boulder Creek, CA
2008: 2014:
The Scarborough Lumber & Building Supply sign is believed to have been built in the 1940s for Santa Cruz Lumber. In 1985, the store became Scarborough Lumber and the name on the sign was changed at that time. It was an easy fix to change the names since the names were so similar. The original tubing holes were used. In 2008, the sign was repainted and the neon was restored. However, it was only lit for a few years. The owner became frustrated with the transformers which kept blowing out. When the sign operated, the neon was static. The bulbs on the chainsaw were lit sequentially to create the appearance of movement. The sign is about 15 feet wide. For more, see this website. [map]

Hamilton Lumber
Stanwood, WA
Sawmill Saloon
Virginia, MN
Lumberjack Tavern [gone]
Orick, CA
The Hamilton Lumber sign appears to be from the 1950s or 1960s.

The Sawmill Saloon opened in 1970. [map]

The Lumberjack Tavern housed the Hawg Wild Bar & Grill when this photo was taken in 2008. The neon martini was folded down. in 2016, the sign was removed and put in storage. The building is no longer used as a bar.

Equipment Rental
Chambersburg, PA
Mobile Homes
Erie, PA
Twin Oaks, PA
Franklin Equipment Rental features this larger than life painted sign near the store's entrance. [map]

Strong Mobile Homes was established in the early 1940s. This sign is believed to be from the late 1950s. The sign was moved to this location around 1981. The vacuum form plastic panels on the top of the sign were replaced at that time. The original panels depicted an older model mobile home and had neon. The metal, strong man panels are original. James Blose, a local junior high school teacher, was the model for the strong man. This photo is from 2010. In 2017, the strong man was repainted. [map]

This AmQuip sign is visible from I-95. AmQuip is a crane rental company. Does anyone know how long this sign has been here? [map]

Giles & Ransome
Bensalem, PA
Giles & Ransome sells and services construction equipment. This sign was made in the late 1940s for the company's headquarters in Philadelphia. In 1960, the sign was moved to Bear, DE but was vandalized and removed. It was restored in 1999 by Len Davidson and is now at the company's suburban Philadelphia facility, visible from the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The porcelain enamel sign panels are 9 feet by 13 feet. There are 90 neon tubes and 16 transformers. The complex animation features a driver shifting gears. The Caterpillar tractor's treads also move. For more, see this website. [map]

More Men at Work Signs:
Caruso's Restaurant (Tucson, AZ)
Bun-N-Burger (Alhambra, CA)
Midway Building Materials (Glendale, CA)
Piedmont Lumber: 1, 2 (Lakeport, CA) [gone]
Canter's Delicatessen (Los Angeles, CA)
janitor (Los Angeles, CA)
Supply Sergeant (Los Angeles, CA)
French Cleaners (Oakland, CA)
Original Kasper's Hot Dogs (Oakland, CA)
Gunther's Ice Cream (Sacramento, CA)
Sam's Hof Brau (Sacramento, CA) [gone]
Peninsular Pest Control Service (Jacksonville, FL)
Kahlbach Oil (Menlo, IA)
Wolf's Bakery (Evergreen Park, IL)
Hi-Way Bakery (South Chicago Heights, IL)
Oyster Bar (Fort Wayne, IN)
Crystal Preserves (New Orleans, LA)
Butcher Boy (Malden, MA)
Hawkes Plaza (Westbrook, ME)
Marcel's Flower Shop (Detroit, MI) [gone]
Dawn Donuts (Flint, MI)
Federhofer's Bakery (St. Louis, MO)
Timber Bar: 1, 2 (Big Timber, MT) [map]
Master Cleaners (Albuquerque, NM)
Roswell Motor Supply (Roswell, NM)
Rio Pecos Ranch Truck Terminal (Santa Rosa, NM)
Anderson Dairy (Las Vegas, NV)
Pabst Blue Ribbon (Las Vegas, NV)
Mello-Creme Donuts (Lima, OH)
Friedman's Army Navy Store (Nashville, TN)
Smitty's Body & Glass (Parsons, TN)
baker (Austin, TX)
Esquire Cleaners (Dallas, TX) [gone]
England Plumbing Supply (Salt Lake City, UT)
Dixie Photo Shop (St. George, UT)
Master Muffler (various cities, UT)
C.F. Sauer Company Extracts (Richmond, VA)
McGavin's Bakery (Bremerton, WA)
Jim's Shoe Repair (Calgary, AB)
Chez Plumet (Canton-de-Granby, QC)

Pizza Chef signs (various locations)
Pancake signs (various locations)

If you know of any signs with depictions of working men that are missing from this page, I'd love to hear from you.

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