Fireproof Porcelain Sign Letters by Colonial Sign and Insulator Company

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Western Electrician

Chicago, IL, United States
vol. 35, no. 24, p. 468, col. 2-3

Fireproof Porcelain Sign Letters.


The electric-sign business nowadays appeals strongly to the central-station manager, since it furnishes a load that is practically constant for a certain period of the evening hours. One of the greatest, if not the greatest, essential, in the electric sign is that it be absolutely fireproof. Other points to be considered in selecting an electric sign are attractiveness, durability and economy in operation. The true cost of a sign is found in the sum total of expenditures the cost of the sign, plus the cost of repairs, plus the cost of operating.


Fig 1. Fireproof Porcelain Sign Letter.


The accompanying pictures illustrate the fireproof porcelain electric-sign letters manufactured by the Colonial Sign and Insulator Company of Akron, Ohio. These porcelain letters are made of vitreous porcelain, with a non-crazing glaze. They are said to combine the snowy whiteness of china with the durability of stone. The letters will last a lifetime without further attention than the occasional renewal of burned-out lamps.

The porcelain electric-sign letters are made concave and of such form that they will reflect the light in parallel rays, enabling one to read the sign at a great distance and at any angle, as illlustrated in Fig. 1.

These letters are designed so that they will give the best effect with the smallest amount of current consumption. This design reduces the number of lamps and the candlepower of each, so that a saving of 50 per cent. in operating expenses is said to be secured, at the same time producing a bright, sharply defined letter. Two-candlepower lamps are used in these signs.


Fig 2. Sign Made With Fireproof Porcelain Sign Letters.


The lamps used in the porcelain letters are especially designed so that the light is all radiated from below the face of the letter. This prevents the diffusion of light from one letter to another, and does away with any blurring effect.

The porcelain of which the letters are composed permits the use of color schemes which are permanent. The white face, gold-shaded letter (gold fired on) is said to be one of the most beautiful and the most durable sign letters on the market.

When the signs become dirty they can be washed, and no damage would result if a hose were turned on them, as the letters and sockets are constructed of one integral piece of vitrified porcelain.

The beauty and permanence of the letters compel the makers to use the highest grade of sign body, and they do not spare expense in the selection of materials or in skilled workmanship, as it is not the company's desire to turn out "cheap'' signs.

The white concave face of the letters is a reflector which produces a brilliant effect with lamps of even the smallest candlepower, thereby greatly reducing the operating expense of the sign. As these letters are of pure white porcelain, they make a beautiful day sign also.

Fig. 2 shows a neat sign made up. It is made of 16-inch letters and the sign has a royal-blue smalt background and gold-shaded letters. The Colonial company is expecting to establish agencies in every town where lighting current is supplied, and preference is given to the lighting company in placing the agency.


Keywords:Colonial Sign & Insulator Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:March 20, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;