The art and history of commercial signs and sign fabrication are the subjects of study at the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, OH. The American Sign Museum takes great pride in being the public institution that is dedicated to signs the most in the entire United States. The museum spans more than a century and a half of the history of American signs and is housed within an area that is 20,000 square feet in size. It is a journey through the centuries of design and technology.

The storefront-laden Signs on Main Street show recreates a typical “Main Street USA” with shop windows filled with sign-related objects, curiosities, and samples. This display is part of the larger Signs on Main Street exhibition.

Discover additional information while listening to the tour on your phone. It is highly encouraged that explanations of the collection’s wider themes, in addition to unexpected anecdotes about the signs themselves, be included because they help build a fuller image of the collection. Neonworks of Cincinnati is a full-time neon workshop inside the museum, so don’t forget to stop by and check it out! Tube benders are still working their art today, constructing signs for companies that specialize in sign-making.

Through the presentation of over a century’s worth of signage, the American Sign Museum encourages the preservation and restoration of signs. We work to conserve and protect the history of the United States, as well as pay tribute to the artistry and craftsmanship of bygone eras. The collection pays tribute to one aspect of our society that is frequently disregarded even though it is present in our lives daily.

Tod Swormstedt worked for the magazine Signs of the Times, which began publication in 1906 and employed him for a total of 26 years. By following in the footsteps of his ancestors, he was able to become the editor of the “bible of the sign industry” for the fourth generation. Tod used everything he knew and everyone he knew to start what he called his “mid-life crisis project,” which would later become the American Sign Museum. Before the 3-D workmanship of multi-generational sign firms was completely lost, this was Tod’s opportunity to tell their tales, bring these signs to life, and preserve their legacy before it was too late.

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