Old Horse head Zinc Trade sign...Original Old Vintage Horse head Trade Sign made from Zinc & from the late 1800's..   $8500Very Old Wood Stop Sign with Glass jeweled Reflectors....Rather large & excellent condition....$1750Very Old 2 sided Wood Keens Painted Horse Farm..great Patina & good condition...$4500Early , Primitive & excellent condition Saddle Maker Bench..N  $600Old Animated Sign, Snake Charmer.....$2650Old Vintage Mazda Light Bulb Display....Excellent condition..."In our Collection "Small version of a Mazda Light Bulb Display..Very Old & excllent.."in our collection"Carved Wood  Fish, , Old original  Trade Sign for Bait & Tackle Store ...$3750Large Vintage Trade sign in the form of a Key...Very old trade Sign $1750Old Signed original Folk Art Type Trade Sign for Wheel Alignment..Excellent condition, On Wood..$4200Approx. 6' tall, Old Vintage Barber Pole that the top has been electrified ...also can mount a round glass globe on top. is missing....$650Very Old 2 headed Calf Rug, From Wisconsin....$2500Old Vintage  Trade & Folk Art type sign for Coles Horse Farm Sign , From Walpole New Hampshire........Made of Wood  & Horse is Metal.....$12,800Vintage old original Central Shoes punched Tin sign...The sign is near mint, from the early 1900's...It has little pinholes in the face to let the reverse lightning thru....its a counter top sign......$2500Wood Vintage Old Barber Pole ...Very large @ approx. 9' tall...Excellent condition....$9500Great Old Original Trade Sign in the form of a Pistol..Approx. 6' long, with old Patina  $10,500Very early one piece Glass Hardware  Globe..Same as a 1 piece GAS Globe....$3950Old Vintage sign for Electric Stock Cane Shoker, Trade Sign....$550Vintage Old English Style Crown...Still has a pole on it , stands approx. 6' tall..Excellent condition... Not sure what it was used for, but its cool........$ 1500Very Early dated 1877 Dr. Warner's Health Corset Trade Sign..." In Our Collection"Old Original Koken Barber Pole from 1909...Still retains the brass tags ..Vintage , Original, & Old....Made of Cast Iron & Zinc.....$4200Very Old Original Vintage Trade Sign from a Hat Shop...Heavy Steel with braket inside Top Hat to mount to the wall.....$2200Very early, OLD Bass Guitar Trade sign. Its full size, Made of Metal & some wood...Very Rare Trade Sign from a Music Instrument Store..............$6500I have owned this Totem Pole at least 20 years now..Its appro. 6-7" tall  with a 4'-5' wing span.........$1200Very Early Smetna Drugs Mortar & Pestal Trade Sign..Made from Zinc &  retains original paint..Approx. 5' tall ^ its 2 sided & complete.....$6950If i remember correctly this is made by Timken...This early time clock is in great condition & makes a great display piece...$2500This was used as a prop for a play & believe it was called Snow Maiden..It came out of a Chicago Prop house...Made from straw & has its own carrying crate...approx. 6' tall.....$1950Old Original 2 sided sign from " The Jug Liquor".....Came from the Boston Ma. Area.....made from wood & metal. & approx 8' tall....$1650Antique Carved  Wood Spring Valley Ranch, Montana.......$1495Old Original sign for Tiger Trans planter I would guess it from the 1940's...Its all wood with the tiger in paint..excellent condition..... $1250 2 Old Vintage Heywood Wakefield theater seats. .Very old & all original with a great designs.. $ 995Very old Sperry Flour Sign..It is made of canvas with thread used to make the graphics....also framed in a folk art type frame , not pictured....$8650Rare Popeye Light Bulb in Excellent condition.. Also Has The Original Boat Lamp Base.....$995Large Old Vintage Animated Sign, Snake Charmer ..$2250Vintage Folk Art Popsicle Sticks Lamp...Excellent condition..$180Old Original Pool Hall sign made from wood. The  white letters stick out approx. 1" from the green wood background...Approx. 8' wide. everything is all 100% original .......$1750Early Trade Sign For Pocket Watches. Made of Plaster & Horse Hair ......$995Old Vintage Pipe, Tobacco, Matches Holder & Display......$350Very Old & Original  Paw Paw Tobacco sign for Cigars....A Great Sign "IN MY COLLECTION "Excellent working condition Original Old Cash Register, Vintage & Old  .$1500Old Original Vintage Mission Oak Room Divider in Excellent Condition..$1500Vintage Paint Display for Minnesota Quick- Namel Paint sign....$750Old Mazda Light Bulb Display Sign...(In Our Collection )Very early framed advertisement for Perry Picture Company.. They make Indian Portraits  in Color for Five CentsLarge two sided Farm Sign for Holstein Cows..They Have Hay For Sale at Bishop Farms

Well designed and eye-catching trade signs meant a lot for the business owners.

Earlier, there was no concept of advertisement. A good sign was considered a perfect ad. So, those who were offering unique services had witnessed a tremendous increase in their income and reputation. It was hard to imagine our life without those trade signs.

We grew up seeing and learning sign boards, so it was like incorporated into the blood. That’s the only reason, we come across many trade signs throughout the history.

Signs include businesses of tailors, pharmacists, dentists, butchers, bakers, blacksmiths, brewers, shoemakers, perfume makers, gunsmiths, locksmiths, pottery makers, folk signs, watchmakers, fishermen signs, to different kinds of specialized shops, like specialised coffee and tea making shops, DIY shops, carpenters, painters, builders, rug makers, jewelry makers and many more .

Consequently, the materials used to carve those designs also varied. We have a variety of rustic wood signs, beautifully hand-carved without compromising the attention to details. We have some of the unique wrought iron and guild signs, gold leafing trade signs of various shapes and sizes. The history of trade signs revolves around the guild signs.

Our collection includes many iron guild signs in the shape of a boot, scissors, fish, sewing machine, coffee, plate, watch, pig, bottle and many others. Iron has its own significance in the history of trade signs. With the invention of printing press, the game of marketing trade signs changed forever.

With the advancement of the society wood, iron, expansion of colors are extensively used in the process of making glass. We are remembered for a unique combination. Like printing, carving, and hand carving combined with modern technology and addition of plastic and neon lights to the fine design of these signs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Trade signs: Vintage signage pieces that marked the history by Darryl Tilden, Roadrelics

  • These days, we come across various advertising signs using LED’s and a projector screen to lure customers. But little did they know about the origin of trade signs, and how long they existed? Trade signs were the tools to mark one’s profession, and that’s certainly the oldest types of signs.
  • Trade signs, these days, have gained immense popularity and increased the status of the owner. As time progressed, the design changed according to the generation. However, something that didn’t change is the predominance of antique symbols and logos ideal for every era.
  • During the initial days, the vintage trade signs and folk signs were employed to resemble businesses like Dentists, Boot-makers, Pawn shops, Meat Shops, Millinery buildings, Horse Traders. Also Glasses & Optician Stores, Doctor Offices, Glove Makers, Shoe Makers, Cafe’s, Hotels, Billiard Parlors, Pharmacies, Hardware Stores, Grocery Stores. Also Gun, Pistol, Rifles Ammunition,  Veterinarians. Furthermore Barber Shops, Pretzel Stores, Candy Stores, Hats, Lunch, Restaurants, Flowers, Beauty Shops, Clothing Stores, Bicycle Shops, Pork, Clock & Watch Makers. Also Padlock, Blacksmith, Taverns, Furs, Drug Stores, Books, Cigars,  and many more.
  • Above all, some of the museum’s history available here include Poole History of Trade Signs, Roadside America. Pinterest is the place to explore more about the different signs of Brooklyn Museum.

Modern trade signs and folk signs include variations in style

These days, our collection is not only limited to the mixture of the materials. Modern trade signs include a huge variation in style. Variation differs as per era, like, some signs are purposefully vintage, while some are modern and minimalistic.

The demand for trade signs reached their peak during the second half of the twentieth century. This happened because graphic design and improved printing were changing the way market used to run. With the invention of neon lights and PVC, trade signs became what we know them to be today.

Nowadays we randomly come across any trade signs out there on the street. These signs depicting their owners business are a rare sight these days. Therefore, they deserve an important place in the vintage signs collection.


I hold an incredible collection of trade signs and folk signs which I am working for the last 30 years. Trade signs include but not limited to cow heads, horse heads, fisk signs, large frying pan, a large pistol, base guitar, and many other. All of them are very old and figural. Here is a picture collection of those antiques.