Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thank You Burma Shave--You Kept Me From Killing My Siblings

Re: our 1962 drive across the US.  I neglected to mention Burma Shave signs and what entertainment they were to the auto traveler.  For you younguns out there, Burma Shave was a brand of shaving cream.  As part of their advertisement they posted signs, maybe 5 or 6 in close intervals, that sent a droll, comical message to passing drivers.  The last one had the company advertisement on it; the previous signs were clever rhyming verses, usually about safety.  I hope this makes sense.  I was an anxious, restless 7-year-old trapped in the back seat of a station wagon.  Burma Shave signs were something to get excited about.  And how many ways can you promote safe driving?   Burma Shave found hundreds.

Here's 2 different messages in this photo; read top to bottom; along the highway each section of sign would have been posted separately:

2 more:

More Burma Shave witties:
  • Hardly a driver / Is now alive / Who passed / On hills / At 75 / Burma-Shave
  • Past / Schoolhouses / Take it slow / Let the little / Shavers grow / Burma-Shave
  • If you dislike / Big traffic fines / Slow down / Till you / Can read these signs / Burma-Shave
A couple of World War 2 era witties:
  • Let's make Hitler / And Hirohito / Feel as bad / as Old Benito / Buy War Bonds / Burma-Shave
  • Slap / The Jap / With / Iron / Scrap / Burma-Shave
And finally:

  • Our fortune / Is your / Shaven face / It's our best / Advertising space / Burma-Shave
  • If you / Don't know / Whose signs / These are / You can't have / Driven very far

According to Wikipedia, the highway ads were discontinued in 1963.   Am so glad they were still there in 1962!  So are my siblings.

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