Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Hub

The Hub by William 74
The Hub, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

We've visited Rochelle's Hub Theater once before. Sadly, this vintage movie house has closed permanently, having had a brief reprieve last year. The building is, as of this writing, still for sale. Hopefully someone will buy it, and save this classic.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Gold Star Lounge

The Gold Star Lounge has a long history in Wicker Park. I like this sign a lot, and wish it was in better shape when I saw it-I bet this would look awesome at night.

I've never asked, though, do they still have rooms to let?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Steele Jewelry

Stele Jewelry by William 74
Stele Jewelry, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Vintage vacuformed sign in Mendota, Illinois. I used to ignore these plastic fantastics, in my quest for fun vintage Googie-tastic neon slabs, or fadetastic ghosts painted on walls, but the more I see them the more I like them. They've often got cool graphics and genuine character, and they're often in better shape than old neon.

I shall continue to search them out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Garfield Park

Garfield Park by William 74
Garfield Park, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

One of the two rare 5000-series L cars at the Fox River Trolley Museum. Shot through the viewfinder of a 50 year old Kodak Duaflex II.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Factory Experimental

Factory Experimental by William 74
Factory Experimental, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Growing out of the Super Stock class (drag racing the family car!), Factory Experimental cars were heavily modified from stock. Big engines, blowers, straight axles, and altered wheelbases all featured to make these doorslammers real quarter mile weapons.

Factory Experimental

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pontiac Sports

Pontiac Sports by William 74
Pontiac Sports, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Pontiac Sports, a sporting goods shop in Pontiac, Illinois, a town along historic Route 66.

I believe this sign has been rebuilt at some point-there are some stray outlets dotted around it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Swift's Premium

Swift's Premium by William 74
Swift's Premium, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

We recently visited this vintage Swift & Co. refrigerated car, parked out the back of the Fox River Trolley Museum. I've seen a couple of these in other museums, and somewhere I found a photo of a Chicago & North Western freight train pulling a solid line of them out of the city. Not a surprise since Swift had a big facility in Chicago (big enough to warrant it's own stop on the CTA's Stockyards branch).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dairy Sweet

Dairy Sweet by William 74
Dairy Sweet, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

I can't find any info about Dairy Sweet, other than it seems to be a Midwestern ice cream shop chain, and the few that are still around are in pretty small, rural towns. Other than that, I've got nothin'.

This one is in the town of Ohio, Illinois, and is currently closed.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Hydra-Matic by William 74
Hydra-Matic, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Long retired, this Oldsmobile is still complete, parked in a corner of a farm. It's one of several vintage vehicles parked here, most likely left when they broke down or simply outlived their usefulness.

This car is interesting as it's a '41, and one of the first Series 60 models, which began Olds' tradition of cars with numbers for names. This one's a sedan, with it's distinct fastback body shape, and has the Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, the first fully automatic transmission in a mass-produced automobile.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Robert's Western World

Robert's Western World by William 74
Robert's Western World, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Aside from the now defunct Gilley's in Texas, Robert's Western World is probably the country's most famous honky tonk. Located along Nashville's famous Broadway (home of all sorts of venues, bars, and restaurants), there's always music playing (often live, even during the daytime) and it's always busy.

Anyway, here's a little bright-and-night show and tell of their excellent sign.

Robert's Western World

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Swift by William 74
Swift, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

A vintage refrigerated rail car, once owned by the Swift company.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Out to Pasture

Out to Pasture by William 74
Out to Pasture, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

I've show you this truck before but I keep returning to it. As it sits it's just a fantastic sculpture.

Friday, February 3, 2012

House of Bottles

House of Bottles by William 74
House of Bottles, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Happy Neon Friday!

I can't tell how old this sign is-the building is maybe thirty years old, but this slab seems a bit older. I like the font and the animated cork-I should really make an effort to go up there at night and shoot it!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

American House Hotel

American House Hotel by William 74
American House Hotel, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Belvidere, Illinois is known for it's murals, many of which replicate old advertising signs. This one was my fave.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Back Paddock

Back Paddock by William 74
Back Paddock, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Am I the only one who, when presented with a horse, wants to ask it "Why the long face?"