email: roadarch@outlook.com

Opal Glass Signs (page 3)

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Illinois:
Father Time Clock (Chicago)
Original Springs Hotel (Okawville)

Iowa:
Watson's Grocery (State Center) [map]

Tribune-Monitor Building
Fort Scott, KS
The Tribune-Monitor Building was built in 1925. The building features the original copper or bronze signs with opal glass letters. For more, see this website. [map]

Plotkin
Furniture
Athol, MA
Caplan's
Department Store
Ellicott City, MD
Keit's Flowers
Bay City, MI
Plotkin Furniture was founded in 1919 and moved to this location in 1953. This sign must have been moved with the business. The top part of the sign originally read "Glendale Ranges". This photo is from 2011. The store closed in 2012. This sign was still there in 2015. [map] Caplan's Department Store opened in 1895 and closed in 1977. The sign was probably built in 1926 when this building was constructed. There was an antiques store in the building when the photo above was taken in 2010. Another store, Sweet Elizabeth Jane, occupied the space after that. The sign was removed in 2011 and replaced with a replica which is lit at night. The opal glass letters were replaced with push-through acrylic letters. In 2018, Ellicott City was devastated by flash floods. The building below the store remains boarded up. [map]

Keit's Flowers was established in 1856. The flower shop moved to this location in the early 1930s and this sign was most likely installed then. This sign also has ripple tin panels. The top line of text is composed of opal glass letters while the rest of the letters had neon tubing. Signs in the 1930s frequently had both neon and opal glass. [map]

Maine:
Criterion Theatre (Bar Harbor)

More Maryland:
Seventh Baptist Church (Baltimore) [map]

More Massachusetts:
New Talmage Apartments (Malden)
Hotel Northampton: 1, 2 (Northampton) [map]

More Michigan:
Kingston Theatre (Cheboygan)

Victor Lundeen Company
Fergus Falls, MN
The Victor Lundeen Company was established in 1914. This sign was there by 1923. It is backlit at night with bulbs inside the sign. The flat letters appear to be translucent glass or plastic with each letter surrounded by some type of black material. It is not known if this was the original style of the lettering or if this sign had raised opal glass letters originally. For more, see this website. [map]

More Minnesota:
Yellowstone Hotel (Duluth)

Mississippi:
Johl & Bergman Hosiery (Greenville) [gone]
Nitta Yuma Service Station (Nitta Yuma)

Christie Transfer & Storage
Butte, MT
Chinook Hotel
Chinook, MT
Christie Transfer & Storage was established in 1909. Mayflower Transit was established in 1927. This sign with neon and opal glass letters was probably built shortly after that. For more, see this website. [map]

The Chinook Hotel had been built by 1917. This sign might be from the late 1920s or early 1930s since it combines both opal glass and neon.

Nebraska:
Benson Hotel (Oakland) [map]

North Carolina:
Southern Hotel (Elizabeth City) [map]
Guilford National Bank (Greensboro)
Soda (Hendersonville)
Hotel Troy (Troy)

L&H Shoe Shop [gone]
Valley City, ND
Lahiere
Restaurant
Princeton, NJ
The L&H Shoe Shop opened in 1949. This sign was probably from an earlier business. The sign was removed in 2021 and is now in a private collection.

The Lahiere Restaurant opened in 1919 and this sign is most likely from then. It was produced by Flexlume Sign which was one of the biggest manufacturers of opal glass signs. The restaurant closed in 2010. The space was being renovated for another restaurant when this photo was taken in 2012. It's not known what will happen with this sign. [map]

More New Jersey:
Elks Club (New Brunswick) [map]
Glassman's Drugs: 1, 2 (Paterson) [gone]
Hotel Pershing (South River) [gone]

IRT Subway
New York, NY
Barbetta Restaurant
New York, NY
Steffen's Ice Cream
Sapulpa, OK
This IRT Subway sign was lit in 2005. I don't know if it still is. For more, see this website. [map]

The Barbetta Restaurant opened in 1906 and moved to this location in 1925. This sign is believed to be from 1931. It is lit at night. The owner is interested in restoring the sign. For more, see this website. [map]

The Steffen's Ice Cream sign is located inside the Sign of the Times Event Center. This opal glass drug store sign might have been mass-produced with different glass inserts in the middle.

More New York:
Shultz & Co Hardware (Angola) [gone]
First Baptist Church (Attica)
Parkside Candy Company (Buffalo)
Polish Cadets (Buffalo)
Palace Theatre (Geneseo) [map]
Cafeteria (Germantown)
Thorpe's Drugs (Hoosick Falls)
Mohican Market (Kingston) [map]
Ayres & Galloway Hardware (Middletown) [map]
Interborough Subway (New York; now Miami Beach, FL)
Abbott's (Saugerties) [map]

Ohio:
Chevrolet (Canal Winchester) [gone]
American Sign Museum: 1, 2 (Cincinnati)

Pennsylvania:
Chevrolet (Allentown)
Vernondale Motel: 1, 2 (Erie) [map]
Benedum Center (Pittsburgh) [map]

Rhode Island:
Lincoln Lunch (Providence)

South Dakota:
Smith Jewelry (Huron) [gone]

Western Union
Memphis, TN
This Western Union sign is one of two on both the S. 2nd St. and Monroe Ave. facades. [map]

More Tennessee:
Florsheim Shoe (Nashville)

Rosemont Hotel [gone]
Beaumont, TX
Shepherd Laundries Co. [gone]
Beaumont, TX
The Rosemont Hotel was built around 1893 and has been vacant for many years. This sign is probably from the 1920s. It was still installed vertically in 2002. It may have been blown off the building in 2005 during Hurricane Rita and reinstalled. This photo is from 2011. The sign was still there in 2013 but gone by 2016.

The Shepherd Laundries Co. was established in the 1890s. I believe the company is still in business as Shepherd's Uniform & Linen Supply Co. This sign is probably from the 1920s or 1930s. This photo is from 2011. The sign was gone by 2016.

Hemi Hideout
Brookshire, TX
The Hemi Hideout has a huge sign collection. These opal glass signs are among them. The Victrolas sign has flat, backlit glass letters. The Gulf and Firestone signs feature very rare red glass letters. The Gulf sign has ripple tin panels.

Virginia:
Independent Order of Odd Fellows (Covington)
Billups Funeral Home: 1, 2 (Richmond) [map]

Rex Hotel
Rock Springs, WY
The Rex Hotel sign has got it all: opal glass, incandescent bulbs, and neon. However, it didn't start out that way. The building first housed the Oracle Theatre. In 1924, Rex Amusement bought the building and added the hotel. This sign was probably installed then. Initially, it was a combination sign with opal glass and bulbs. The bottom panel originally read "Jewelry", also in Federal Electric navy sectional letters.

When other sign companies began actively producing backlit opal glass letter signs, Federal Electric jumped on the bandwagon. Originally, the company got its letters from Flexlume. However, in 1921, Federal Electric patented its own "Silveray" letters. By 1923, the company was describing its "embossed snow white silveray glass" electric letter signs in its advertising and offering customers 12-month payment plans. Federal Electric also began producing modular signs with opal glass letters. The Rex Hotel and W.A. Haslam signs are among the handful of examples of this type to survive.

At some point, neon tubing was retrofitted over the "Rex" letters. The bottom panel which was also lit with neon was most likely added at the same time. The opal glass letters were presumably not lit by then. The sign's panels were originally Federal Electric's standard navy blue. They had faded considerably by 2005. By 2010, they were painted light blue and the neon was removed from the bottom panel. The photos above are from 2012. Thankfully, the border details were left in their original state. While the long-closed hotel's sign has not been lit for decades, the owner is considering restoring it. [map]

Canada:
Hotel (Chatham, ON)

Opal Glass Flickr group (various cities)

If you know of any other opal glass signs, I'd love to hear from you.

Opal Glass Signs
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Opal Glass Signs
page 2
Main SCA Article
Companion Page
Main Signs Page