While I’m on the subject of old street signage, there is also an amazing number of old painted advertisements that can be found in American cities. Sometimes and old house will fall to the wrecking ball and on the walls of the neighbors old advertisements suddenly see the light of the day. And then there are some ads that survive for long, long times on open walls.
Here is one example. MJB Coffee had these advertisements painted on house walls all over the Bay Area around 1906. The message was a simple one: “M.J.B. Coffee. Why?”
There are several sources that can be found through Google for some background on these ads, but nobody seems to have a conclusive explanation for the message in these ads. “Why?”
This ad has survived in San Francisco’s Chinatown for one hundred years… and if you look closely, you can see that it is actually painted over an even older MJB coffee ad!