email: roadarch@outlook.com

Plumbing Signs

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The photos on this page were moved here from other sections of my website to accompany an article that I wrote for the Society for Commercial Archeology's Journal.

Red's Plumbing Supply Co.
Sacramento, CA
R&R Plumbing [gone]
Worcester, MA
Roderick Plumbing
& Heating [gone]
Fall River, MA
The Red's Plumbing Supply Co. sign obviously had neon at one time. I don't know if it always advertised for Red's. The sign appears to be from the 1950s or 1960s. [map]

The R&R Plumbing sign was encased in plastic to protect the neon. The neon featured an animated drip and splash. R&R was established in 1905. The store closed around 2011 and Peabody Plumbing Supply is now operating here. The sign was donated to the Worcester Historical Museum. It is currently in storage. For more, see this website.

The Roderick Plumbing & Heating neon sign apparently had a dripping faucet at one time. This sign has since been replaced with a plain, plastic one.

Penguin Plumbing &
Electric Supply [gone]
Yakima, WA
Cambie Plumbing & Heating
Vancouver, BC
The Penguin Plumbing & Electric Supply sign started life in Richland, WA. Built in 1957 for Richland Plumbing & Electrical Supplies, the original sign featured the faucet and dripping bulbs that it still retains today. However, the neon text on the sign has changed a few times. In 1959, the top metal piece was added with text reading "Richland". The vertical connecting poles were added at that time as well. Richland Plumbing closed in 1972 and Penguin Plumbing bought the sign. They added their name to it and moved it to Yakima. Penguin Plumbing closed in 2007. This photo was taken in 2008. The sign was gone by 2012 and its whereabouts is unknown. The Yakima Valley Museum, which has a number of vintage local orphaned signs, had dibs on the sign for years. However, they didn't end up with it. For more, see this website.

Cambie Plumbing & Heating was originally going to open on Cambie Street. However, a last minute decision was made to open on Fraser Street instead. The company's sign and business cards had already been ordered so the original name was kept. This sign is about 12 feet tall and was installed in 1946. Neon tubes run down from the faucet, framing the vertical "Plumbing" text. A nest of tubing at the bottom of the sign is sequentially animated to create the effect of pooling water. For more, see this website. [map]

Ellyson Plumbing & Heating
Salem, OH
Moyer Plumbing & Heating [gone]
Kutztown, PA
Ellyson Plumbing & Heating features a small neon-outlined faucet on the side of their sign. The bulbs on the side probably flash or flashed sequentially to suggest dripping water. This photo is from 2009. [map]

The Moyer Plumbing & Heating sign is about six feet tall and was built in 1958. There was originally a frosted glass, backlit Texaco logo inset at the bottom of the sign. Texaco produced home heating oil at the time. The animated sign was restored for about $5,000 in 2010. Half of this was paid for with a grant from the Kutztown Community Partnership. The three neon drips had been broken since around 1970. A clear plexiglass cylinder was installed to protect the drips from weather, birds, and vandals. The new shield has a neon ring at the bottom which also creates a splashing effect. During the day, the shield simulated a solid stream of water. The photo above on the left is from 2009. The photos on the right are from 2010 after the restoration. In 2016, the sign was removed and put in storage. Moyer may install it at another location in the future.

Allen's Plumbing
& Heating
Denison, TX
Faucet Parts
Center [gone]
Oklahoma City, OK
Sherman Plumbing
& Heating Co.
Clinton, MO
George Senn Plumbing Supply
Egg Harbor City, NJ
R.A. Reigner
Plumbing & Heating [gone]
Norristown, PA
Allen's Plumbing & Heating was established in 1965 and this sign is probably from then. [map]

This Faucet Parts Center sign was awkwardly installed on the roof between posts. I have no idea how old it was or if this was its original location. This photo is from 2011. By 2014, the sign was gone.

The Sherman Plumbing & Heating sign, installed in 1947, was the first animated sign in Clinton. The neon has always been maintained but the sign itself developed a weathered patina over the years and was repainted in 1994. At night, the sign features red lettering, a green faucet, and blue drips. The three sequential drips are followed by a splash. Vandals have targeted the delicate neon tubing several times but the sign was always swiftly repaired. For more, see this website. [map]

George Senn Plumbing Supply was established in 1885. This sign appears to be wood faced with plastic and plastic letters. [map]

R.A. Reigner Plumbing & Heating featured a sculptural dripping faucet sign. This photo is from 2010. The faucet was still there in 2012 but gone by 2016.

Hull Plumbing
& Heating
Boone, IA
Brenske Plumbing Heating & Supply Co.
Saginaw, MI
Murdon Concrete Products
St. James, MO
The Hull Plumbing & Heating was established in 1947. This sign might be from then. There are three neon drips. I don't know if the drips were individually lit or if the sign still operates. [map]

The Brenske Plumbing Heating & Supply Co. sign was built in 1958. It is 20 feet tall and features six animated drips. The red plastic letters on the sign are believed to be original. When the business closed in 1997, the sign was removed and stored at a local museum until early 2010. It was restored for about $5,000 and installed in a parking lot which may become a neon sign park. The sign is lit at night. [map]

The Murdon Concrete Products sign was built in the 1940s for the Friede Plumbing Company which was located in St. Louis. In 1974, the owner's son had the sign moved here to St. James where he started a septic tank business. The wording was changed at that point to "Murdon" for Murdon Concrete Products. The animated drips and splash are lit at night. For more, see this website. [map]

Jack Stephan Plumbing
Los Angeles, CA
Jack Stephan Plumbing & Heating has two animated neon signs. They are both at least 15 feet tall. One faucet pours water with sequentially lit strands of tubing. The other faucet has five drops which are lit in sequence. Chief Neon produced these signs in 1946 for $1,500. The signs have been dark since around 2015. The owner would like to restore the signs. However, the neon is a frequent target of rock-throwing vandals. With the most recent estimate to repair the signs at $5,000, restoration plans are on hold for now. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

James Crowley Plumbing & Heating
Rochester, NY
Standard Plumbing Co.
Shreveport, LA
James Crowley Plumbing & Heating was founded in 1928. The business features a neon pole sign and a painted sign on the side of their building. The pouring water was originally animated. The sign is protected from vandals behind plexiglass. [map]

Standard Plumbing Co. had moved to another location when this photo was taken in 2010. This sign was still in place in 2016. [map]

Clayton Plumbers
Glendale, CA
This Clayton Plumbers sign is a replica of the sign that was originally located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. MONA, the Museum of Neon Art, owns the original sign but it was too far gone to restore. This replica is installed outdoors in the pedestrian walkway next to the museum. The neon drips, which read "The Leak Stops Here," and splash are sequentially lit like the original. The original sign was built in 1947 and is 20 feet tall. It was removed in 2007 and donated to the museum. It is now in storage at MONA's warehouse in Pomona, CA. [map]

Sanitary Plumbing & Heating
Hatch, NM
This Sanitary Plumbing & Heating sign was originally installed in El Paso, TX. It was there until at least 2010 but removed by 2013. It is now displayed inside Sparky's restaurant. It appears this is/was a double-sided sign. It may have been displayed differently originally, possibly even with some neon drips. For more, see this website.

B&B Plumbing Supply
& RV Center
Barstow, CA
England
Plumbing Supply
Salt Lake City, UT
Colusa Plumbing
Gridley, CA
The B&B Plumbing Supply & RV Center features this funky sign with pipe fixtures and giant drips. [map]

The England Plumbing Supply sign was built in the early 1950s. Including the flag, the sign is about 30 feet tall. England Plumbing believes that this sign was built by YESCO. England Plumbing moved to a different location in 1967 and brought this sign along. The sign's neon was removed in 1969 and it has been repainted a few times. The happy plumber has no name but he was used on the company's hats at one time. [map]

The Colusa Plumbing Co. sign is probably from the 1950s. The top and bottom part of the panels were apparently repainted at some point and reveal there was different text. The bottom may have read "Hardware". [map]

George Morlan Plumbing
Foster Rd.
Portland, OR
George Morlan Plumbing
Raleigh St.
Portland, OR
George Morlan Plumbing was founded in 1927. Around 1935, the company began selling a new invention: the electric water heater. George Morlan sold about 2,500 of them per year and was dubbed, the "Water Heater King." In 1946, the company expanded its showroom and installed this sign which is roughly 16-feet wide by 30-feet tall and contains 754 feet of neon tubing. The water heater character is referred to as "The King." A costumed, human mascot version of him appears in local parades. The sign's neon had been inoperable for many years when Morlan decided to repair it in 1996. It was completely refurbished by Columbia Neon of Vancouver, WA for $24,000. The Water Heater King's animated feet appear to dance at night. The Raleigh St. location has a modern sign. [Foster Rd. map]; [Raleigh St. map]

Industrial
Plumbing & Heating
Oklahoma City, OK
Western Plumbing
Bozeman, MT
Towers
Murray Plumbing
Murray, UT
Aurora Plumbing
& Electric Supply
Seattle, WA
Depictions of tools in signs are very rare. Hardware stores sometimes featured signs with hammers and saws but I don't know of any other wrench signs than these.

The Industrial Plumbing & Heating sign was built in 1946. The "Industrial" corrugated plastic panel was apparently added in the late 1950s or early 1960s. There was probably neon text in that spot originally. The sign's neon hasn't worked since at least the 1980s and the company has no plans to restore it. [map]

The neon on the Western Plumbing sign is probably from the 1950s. [map]

Towers Murray Plumbing was established in 1942. This sign is probably from the 1960s. [map]

Aurora Plumbing & Electric Supply opened in 1960. This sign may be from then. [map]

Rupert Plumbing
Albuquerque, NM
2008: 2017:
The Rupert Plumbing sign was built in the early 1950s by the Zeon Sign Company. The wrench is approximately 15 feet tall. In 2001, the company moved to another location and left this sign behind. Due to zoning restrictions, the sign could not be installed at their new building. The sign was maintained and lit until the company moved. The text alternated between red, green and yellow neon while the wrench was blue. In 2016, the sign was removed. It is now in a private collection. The owner may display it in a small sign park downtown.

More Plumbing Signs:
Chandler Plumbing & Heating: 1, 2 (Fairbanks, AK) [gone]
Adee Plumbing & Heating (Los Angeles, CA) [map]
Wyman Plumbing (St. Petersburg, FL)
Georgia Plumbing Co. (Griffin, GA) [gone]
American Plumbing Supply: 1, 2 (Des Moines, IA) [in storage at the State Historical Museum]
plumbing & heating company (Malden, MA) [vintage; gone]
O.K. Plumbing & Heating Co. (Flint, MI)
Crowder Plumbing & Supply (Lebanon, MO)
Plumb Perfect Plumbing Supplies (Selden, NY) [gone]
unidentified business (Volda, Norway)

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