email: roadarch@outlook.com

Florida Signs (page 1)

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Reed's Motel
Avon Park, FL
Wilson Drug Company
Bartow, FL
El Jon Motel
Bartow, FL
The Orange Shop
Citra, FL
Reed's Motel opened in 1957. This sign is believed to be from then. The diving woman originally wore a one-piece bathing suit. By 2002, the arrow panel had been replaced with a smaller one. In 2004, the sign was badly damaged during Hurricane Charlie. The original diver which is about 15 feet long survived. The rest of the sign was rebuilt. The panels' shapes were changed a bit and the arrow was reduced further to about half the size of the original. At the time of the writing of this book, there were rumors that the name of the motel might be changing and that the sign would be redone or replaced. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

The Wilson Drug Company has a mass-produced drug store sign. There are other examples in Cullman, AL, Artesia, CA, and Salida, CO. [map]

The El Jon Motel still has a Superior Motel four-leaf clover sign. I don't know if there was a Superior Motel chain or if this was just an endorsement of some kind like the AAA-approved motels. There are still other examples of these signs out there. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

The Orange Shop opened in 1936. In addition to this shop, they have an online mail-order business. For more, see this website. [map]

Automotive Engineering
Clearwater, FL
Carriage Inn Motel
Cross City, FL
Dade City Hardware
Dade City, FL
The Automotive Engineering sign was built in 1967. It is meant to represent an engine rod. The lights at the top descend in animated racetrack fashion. The circle behind the text features swirling neon that alternates between green, red, and white. Around 2011, Automotive Engineering closed. The buildings now houses Gearhead Performance but the sign remains. [map]

The Carriage Inn Motel sign appears to be from the 1950s. [map]

The Dade City Hardware sign appears to be from the 1950s. [map]

Hawaii Motel
Daytona Beach, FL
Elks Lodge [gone]
Daytona Beach, FL
Won Lee Restaurant
Deland, FL
Boulevard Motel
Deland, FL
The Hawaii Motel and sign appear to be from the 1950s. [map]

This Elks Lodge sign is a rare example with an elk depiction. I have not seen one like this before. This photo is from 2009. The sign was still there in 2011 but gone by 2014. The Elks Lodge had either closed or relocated.

The Won Lee Restaurant has been here since at least the late 1950s. For more, see this website. [map]

The Boulevard Motel sign must have been inspired by Holiday Inn. [map]

Tropical Blossom Honey
Edgewater, FL
Pizza Hut [gone]
Fernandina Beach, FL
Pizza Hut [gone]
Starke, FL
Tropical Blossom Honey has been here since 1940. This photo was taken in 2005. This sign has been replaced with a similar one by 2007. [map]

These two Pizza Hut locations still had old plastic signs when these photos were taken in 2009 and 2010. They are both gone now. The sign at the Starke location was still there in 2011 but by 2013 had been replaced with a modern sign. The Fernandina Beach location closed sometime between 2011 and 2015. I believe these signs were from the 1970s. The text portion of these signs had been updated. They would have looked like this one in New Philadelphia, OH originally. That sign is also gone now. There was another one like this in Sebring, FL which is gone now. I don't believe any of these signs are still around.

More Edgewater Signs:
Fat Bob's Country Restaurant [vintage; gone]

Ferris Groves
Floral City, FL
Thunderbird Drive-in
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ferris Groves has been growing and selling fruit since 1930. In 1944, the company added a packing and shipping plant. Shortly thereafter, the retail store was built out front. The neon sign is probably from the 1950s. [map]

The Thunderbird Drive-in Swap Shop is a permanent indoor flea market style mall. I don't know if this clown sign inside is vintage or contemporary.

Shell Factory
Fort Myers, FL
Florida Motel
Gainesville, FL
Cadillac Motel
High Springs, FL
The Shell Factory first opened in 1938 in Bonita Springs. Destroyed by fire in 1952, the store was rebuilt here. The store nearly closed for good in 1997. The buyer renovated and expanded the place. In addition to the huge gift shop, there is also a restaurant, trails, a petting zoo, a video arcade, bumper boats and mini golf. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Florida Motel was probably built in the 1950s. The sheet metal representation is about 15 feet tall. I don't know if it was ever outlined with neon. For more, see this website. [map]

The Cadillac Motel sign was probably built in the 1950s. [map]

More Fort Myers Signs:
Tides Motel [vintage; gone]

More Gainesville Signs:
Sands Motel

Gibsonton Signs:
East Bay Motel [vintage; gone]

Lorelei Restaurant
Islamorada, FL
Blue Fin Inn
Islamorada, FL
Islander Resort
Islamorada, FL
Green Turtle Inn
Islamorada, FL
The Lorelei Restaurant features the world's largest mermaid. This plywood sign is 20 feet long. It was peeling badly for a long time but looks great now. For more, see this website. [map]

The Blue Fin Inn and the Key Lantern Motel seem to be one and the same with the same owners. Their neon sign is believed to be from the early 1950s when the Inn was built. The sign was revitalized in 1997, adding more neon. The original owner, Finley Wilson, had a boat named the Blue Fin as well. This photo is from 2009. At some point between 2011 and 2014, the neon text had been replaced with backlit plastic letters. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Islander Motel, now the Islander Resort, opened in 1951. For more, see this website. [map]

The Green Turtle Inn restaurant opened in 1947. This photo is from 2009. By 2010, a replica of the original sign was installed. The original sign was going to go to the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati. However, it was damaged in transit and is believed to have been scrapped. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

More Islamorada Signs:
La Jolla Resort
Sunset Inn Motel: 1, 2

Maxwell House
Jacksonville, FL
former Phoenix Lanes
Jacksonville, FL
Florida Bonded Pools
Jacksonville, FL
Wimpee Fuel Oil [gone?]
Jacksonville, FL
This Maxwell House sign is installed on the side of their coffee production plant. The sign depicts their advertising slogan "Good to the Last Drop". The original sign was 95 feet wide and built in 1955. It read "Instant Maxwell House" and featured the dripping cup. I don't know how much of this present-day sign is original or if any of it is. The sign was restored or replaced around 2003. In 2016, it was announced that the sign would be repainted and the neon would be replaced with LED tubing. There was a similar sign in Hoboken, NJ which was visible from New York City. That one was removed in the 1990s. There was also another sign in Houston. For more, see this website. [map]

The Phoenix Lanes opened in 1958. This sign might be from then. The place closed around 2013. In 2016, the building was being adapted for a brewery, bar and restaurant. 12 of the bowling lanes will be kept. I assume that the sign is staying. [map]

Florida Bonded Pools opened in 1957. The building and sign look original. For more, see this website. [map]

This Wimpee Fuel Oil sign is probably from the 1950s. In 2016, the sign was damaged in a hurricane and removed. It's not known if the sign will be repaired. [map]

More Jacksonville Signs:
Pepsi [vintage; gone]

Orange Bowl Lanes
Kissimmee, FL
Paradise Inn
Kissimmee, FL
Makinson Hardware
Kissimmee, FL
The Orange Bowl Lanes text sign is lit at night. The neon has been removed from the rooftop pin and ball sign. For more, see this website. [map]

The Paradise Inn is hard to miss with its towering sign and rockets. [map]

Makinson Hardware opened in 1884 and is the oldest operating hardware store in Florida. This sign was built in 1952 for $1,200. It originally had neon tubing. There is also a horse statue installed in front of the store. For more, see this website. [map]

C&G Mobile Homes
Lake City, FL
Drive-It-Away Auto Sales [gone]
Tallahassee, FL
C&G Mobile Homes must have been a chain based on this twin sign for Drive-It-Away Auto Sales. The photo of the Lake City sign is from 2010. It was still there in 2013 but the business had closed this office by 2015. The company moved the neon sign to their warehouse location at that time. There is another C&G Mobile Homes location in Chiefland, FL but it does not have this sign. For more, see this website.

The Drive-It-Away sign was still there in 2011. The business and sign were gone by 2013.

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