Cincinnati, OH

A blast from the past at the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati

Anita Durairaj

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Photo of American Sign MuseumBy 5chw4r7z from Cincinnati - American Sign Museum, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/in

The American Sign Museum is located at 1330 Monmouth Avenue in Cincinnati. A few years ago, I attended a work event during Christmas time at the American Sign Museum. The museum is all about signs. I even remember a Holiday Inn sign at the entrance.

It is the largest public museum in the United States that is exclusively focused on showcasing signs.

Take a walk down Memory Lane. The American Sign Museum takes you through a half-century of sign history, beginning with the fancy gold leaf glass signs of the early 1900s, through the pre-neon era of lightbulb signs, to neon's heyday in the 1930s-1940s, and on into the plastic era of the funky '50s. - cincinnatiusa.com

We were allowed to take a self-guided tour of all the signs before, during, and after our work party. It was great fun. It was a small museum - rather cozy but there was some incredible history and nostalgia to the place. There were signs from different places in the United States and then there was a room containing signs that were only from Cincinnati. Some of the signs may even have dated back to 100 years or so. The museum has signage from 1870 to 1970.

Here is an updated review of the American Sign Museum:

First, take note of the COVID-19 rules in place. Masks are required. There are no guided tours available. You can purchase advanced tickets on the American Sign Museum website. Visitor capacity is reduced and you will see social distancing markers throughout the museum. There might be a temperature check before you take your tour of the museum.

You basically show up at the museum according to the time block on your advanced ticket and then you explore the museum by walking through. The museum is 20,000 square feet of indoor space. You can take photographs inside the museum for personal use but you cannot touch any of the signs or objects.

The ticket price is $15 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. Ticket prices for seniors, teens, and military are $10 per person.

While there are no guided tours, there is a self-guided audio tour available and an online virtual guided tour via video chat if you are unable to physically visit the museum.

As for the signs themselves, you will see individual signs, old neon signs, and signs from businesses, advertisements, and items that were sold in the past. There are signs made of wood and porcelain and then neon. My favorite sign at the museum was the Frisch's Big Boy sign and statue.

When you are done with the tour, there is a gift shop where you can purchase books about Cincinnati and other knick-knacks.

Do visit the American Sign Museum for a unique experience. If you visit, you are surely taking part in its mission which is:

To celebrate the rich history of American signage through preservation and education. - American Sign Museum

Source: American Sign Museum

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.

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