Friday, September 28, 2012

Machine Shop Service

Machine Shop Service by William 74
Machine Shop Service, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
For a long time neon signs were the preferred way to advertise your business. A nice bright sign with the letters outlined in colorful tubes was just the thing to get people to notice your shop. Everyone, from chain stores to fast food restaurants to independent shops used them, and still do.

However, it's getting increasingly rare to see national chains with original vintage neon signs anymore. They're expensive to make, need more maintenance that a plastic one with fluorescent tubes inside, and the weather tends to really beat them up, especially in places like Chicago, where the winters are harsh and the summers often blazing. Additionally, when the company upgrades or changes their signage or other store design, the neon sign suddenly is outdated, leading to an inconsistent image. So, often times they're taken down, usually if they deteriorate badly enough, or that particular location moves somewhere else.

This Carquest sign is in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Carquest has been in business since the mid-70's, pretty much at the tail end of mass neon sign usage. I've no idea how common these were, but this is the only one I've ever seen-there's some peeling paint down near the bottom, which makes me wonder what it used to look like.


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