email: roadarch@outlook.com

Norge Balls & Other Norge Village Cleaners Signs (page 1)

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Norge Village Cleaners was a nationwide laundromat chain based in Chicago. In the early 1960s, Rohm & Haas produced these plexiglas, polka-dotted ball signs, now commonly referred to as "Norge Balls". The earliest advertisements with photos of these signs that I have seen are from 1962. The signs are roughly four feet in diameter. The polka dots remind many people of Wonder Bread wrappers. These signs revolved and were lit from the inside. They were usually mounted on freestanding poles but many were also installed on the laundromat's roof. In addition, Norge Village Cleaners featured other plexiglas sign panels on their storefronts. These signs are even rarer now than the Norge Balls. They were also produced by Rohm & Hass.

In 1967, there were 3,400 Norge Village locations. My guess is that all or the majority of them had these signs. Of the roughly 60 Norge Balls known to still exist, I believe the only one that still spins and is lit is the one in Iron Mountain, MI (see next page). For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

Dean's Village Cleaners
Tucson, AZ
Video Palace
Tucumcari, NM
Norge Village Laundromat
Dalton, GA
Dean's Village Cleaners opened in 1961 and this sign may have been there from the beginning. This Norge Ball includes the company's name on the band around the middle. I don't know if these signs could be ordered with customized lettering or if this was altered later on. [map]

The Video Palace updated the ring around this Norge ball with the store's name at some point. The store has been closed for at least a few years. These photos are from 2012. [map]

This Norge Village Laundromat Norge Ball in Dalton is mounted on the roof. Although the paint has faded and mostly fallen off, the original Norge lettering is still visible on the band around the middle. [map]

Shop N Save [gone]
Harvey, IL
Vanity Box [gone]
Chicago, IL
former Norge Laundromat
Chicago, IL
The Shop N Save Norge Ball was also pretty battered when this photo was taken in 2008. By 2012, it was gone.

The Vanity Box, a beauty salon, had adapted this sign. This photo is from 2008. The sign Norge Ball was still there in 2011 but gone by 2014.

This other former Norge Laundromat in Chicago was a boarded-up building when this photo was taken in 2009. By 2016, the building was in far better shape and the broken ball remained. [map]

Star Deli Food Store
St. Petersburg, FL
Maitland Coin Laundry
Maitland, FL
Norgetown [gone]
Miami, FL
4 Paws Oasis
Largo, FL
former coin laundry
Largo, FL
The Star Deli Food Store probably took over a former laundromat at this site. Most of the Florida Norge Balls are striped. There is another one in St. Petersburg as well. [map]

The Maitland Coin Laundry is another striped example. The apparently original "Norgetown" lettering makes me wonder if this wasn't a spin-off company from Norge Village. That might also explain the striped ball design. [map]

The Miami Norgetown's striped ball was on top of a pole in front of the store. This photo was taken in 2005. By 2012, the ball was gone.

The 4 Paws Oasis pet shop was previously a laundromat. This sign is still installed on the store's roof. For more, see this website. [map]

This former coin laundry, whether a Norgetown or a Norge Village, is gone now. This ball still stands over the adapted sign for Michael's Food Store. By 2014, the band on the Norge Ball had been painted to read "Pizza". [map]

Norgetown Laundromat & Dry Cleaners [gone]
Sanford, ME
The Norgetown Laundromat & Dry Cleaners closed in 2009 and moved down the street. The Norge Ball sign is now at the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, OH. I don't know if there were other striped versions of these Norge Balls in Maine or if this one was brought up from Florida.

Wondermat [gone]
Maplewood, MN
Manchester
Karate Studio
Manchester, NH
Bubba & Company
Fargo, ND
The Wondermat sign and laundry in Maplewood were from 1961. This photo is from around 2001. By 2011, the sign was gone.

The Manchester Karate Studio has been here since 1984. Their Norge Ball is installed on the roof. [map]

The Bubba & Company Norge Ball is broken and being swallowed up by a tree. [map]

former Fashion Care Corp.
Albany, NY
Norge Village [gone]
DeKalb, IL
Norge Cleaners
and Laundry
San Gabriel, CA
Norge Village
Cleaners
Long Beach, CA
Fashion Cleaners
South Pasadena, CA
The Fashion Care Corp. cleaners closed in 2011. Since that same year, the building has housed Futia's Tuxedo, Bridal & Prom Gowns. The Norge Ball still remains. [map]

The Norge Village laundromat was replaced with Inboden's Meat Market but the Norge Ball remained for several years. It was one of the best preserved balls I have seen, however, it disappeared in 2007.

This Norge Ball in San Gabriel is mounted on the roof. This location is still going by the name of Norge Cleaners and Laundry. [map]

The Norge Village Cleaners in Long Beach is still in business. This Norge Ball is installed on the roof. [map]

The Fashion Cleaners Norge Ball was painted brown at some point. For more, see this website. [map]

Ranburn Laundry & Cleaners
Gary, IN
Ranburn Laundry & Cleaners is a former Norge Village Laundry. This location has both a Norge Ball and a Norge panel sign. In 2017, the owner was looking for a buyer for the signs. [map]

Jackson's Cleaners [gone]
Gary, IN
Glen Park Cleaners
Gary, IN
Hobart Village Cleaners
Hobart, IN
Jackson's Cleaners featured a battered Norge Ball on the roof. This photo is from 2009. In 2011, the Ball was still there minus the band. By 2014, the laundromat and Norge Ball were gone.

Glen Park Cleaners's Norge Ball is also installed on the roof. [map]

Hobart Village Cleaners has two Norge Ball pole signs - one at each entrance to their lot. I don't know of any other locations that have two of these signs. [map]

World Health Foods
Santa Ana, CA
Imogene's Cleaning Center
Sheboygan, WI
Plymouth Fabricare Center
Plymouth, WI
This World Health Foods sign appears to be an adapted Norge Village sign. The business below the sign is now Water World Two. [map]

Imogene's Cleaning Center features the only black and white Norge Ball sign that I've ever seen. It may have been these colors originally since there is no sign of the original paint. Imogene's has been around since 1962. [map]

The Plymouth Fabricare Center Norge Ball advertises for Plymouth Video on the other side. For more, see this website. [map]

Norge Village Cleaners
Menomonie, WI
The Norge Village Cleaners was closed temporarily due to a fire when these photos were taken in 2011. [map]

Norge Signs
page 2
Main Signs Page