150 Posts

mollyblock IT'S IG-VERSARY TIME! Last Thursday, I was going to post something about my fourth IG anniversary, but I ended up in southwest Houston that day, and was so excited to be able to stop by the Westbury Centerette(!) and take pre-demolition photos that I posted a Centerette photo while I was still walking around the property, forgetting to mention the anniversary! So, I'm taking a moment *now* to mark the occasion of the IG-versary! It's thanks to early adopters @davidherrold and @imelda that I learned about IG shortly before my first iPhone was in my hands. Who could've predicted in October 2010 that iPhone cameras and a newly launched (and pretty unstable) app would enable so many of us to become connected, both online and off, via small square photos? For me, a highlight of using IG continues to be meeting many great people, including a bunch of like-minded, vintage-sign-loving #signgeeks, and planning trips with y'all to Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and elsewhere. 🚂 Seriously, who would've thought that an app like IG could enable a nobody like me -- someone who hadn't been motivated to take photos in 10+ years (and who was depressed, not sure of my future -- that's a whole other story) -- to reach a point where people might want to hang on their walls some photos I'd taken with my iPhone? (Or use the photos on Web sites or in various marketing efforts? Crazy to think about!) Anyway, thanks, y'all -- sign-geeks and non-sign-geeks alike -- for all your kindnesses and for continuing to inspire me. A note about this photo: It features two rare #ghostsigns for the grain/milling company, Bewley Mills, which was established in Fort Worth in the 1880s. These unique #multipleghostsigns -- painted on a dilapidated barn on private property -- face a rural Texas road that I suspect saw traffic volume decline after some state highways and interstate highways were built. I'm guessing the signage could be 70+ years old. This was a special photo op. {#ghostsignsTexas #ghostsign #latergram from March 2013} 4w
  •   cruztownguy Very nice 4w
  •   davidherrold Wow I had no idea I was one of the early users who introduced you to IG. Cool. You've done an amazing job with it since then. ;-) 4w
  •   mollyblock @cruztownguy Thanks! 4w
  •   mollyblock @davidherrold Yep. On FB, you posted a photo from a concert, I think. I had just ordered my first iPhone, had not used Hipstamatic but was familiar with it, and I remember thinking your photo probably had been filtered, maybe via Hipstamatic. You added a comment on FB, something like, "Well, there's a new app . . . ." A day or so later, after I'd unboxed my phone, I downloaded IG, and the rest is history, as they say! Thank you! 4w
  •   goodcomma Great story, beautiful photos!! 3w
  •   mollyblock @goodcomma Thanks, Lynn! 3w
  •   elnon66 That's so wonderful that IG has been such a positive and creative experience for you and also connecting you to other like minded people, Molly!! 2w
  •   mollyblock @elnon66 Thank you, Michael. 2w

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ghostsigns Captured on a rainy day: Partially uncovered #ghostsignsTexas #multipleghostsigns in Van Alstyne (pop. ~3,000). On the right, I can make out an ad for Selz Shoes -- $3.50! -- with what might be remnants of a faint Coca-Cola ghost painted over part of it. To the left of this, the remains of at least two other ghost signs can be seen. Selz Shoes wall ads are old -- Illinois-based Selz went out of business in 1929 -- and are pretty rare in Texas; I know of only one other Selz ad that exists in Texas. Fun fact: I lived about a mile from the Selz shoe factory (in Chicago's northwest suburbs) and know the family who owned the building from the 1950s-1990. (The building's since been converted to lofts.) Special note to those of you who have posted and/or continue to post items in the #GHOSTSIGN-tagged group: It's great to see what keeps getting added to the group! I (@mollyblock) hope to get back into the habit of regularly checking out the photos tagged with the #ghostsign tag! 3mon

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4mon jpokluda
Nashville Jonathan Pokluda

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ghostsigns "Beaumont's Foremost Store" . . . (no more). #Ghostsign painted on the side of a long-vacant-but-beautiful historic building in downtown Beaumont, Texas. Note: In editing this photo, I might've fiddled with EVERY option in IG's new editing toolbox! The editing options seem similar to those in the Snapseed app, no? 6mon

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mollyblock The bottom #ghostsign says "Duncan's Admiration 100% Pure High Grade Coffee. The Cup of Southern Hospitality." (Admiration was an early brand of Duncan Coffee Co., which was founded in Houston in 1918 and later sold to the Coca-Cola Company.) Above that, near the top of the wall, the words "three flavors" were a part of the tagline "One quality -- three flavors" used in the 1920s to advertise Karo Syrup. What this wall also says (in my opinion) is that whoever demolished the formerly attached building didn't feel the need to remove all the plaster, which is a bummer for us #vintagesign #signgeeks! (So, do any of you have a really tall ladder we can borrow for a day or so?! I'll bring a hammer, chisel, and brushes . . . and beer!) #ghostsignsTexas #multipleghostsigns (Location: Downtown Port Arthur, Texas.) 6mon
  •   33agogo Great capture! 6mon
  •   weprintforyou Looks Fab! 6mon
  •   roadsidepeek Interesting. Nice job! 6mon
  •   mollyblock @33agogo Thanks, Miho! 6mon
  •   mollyblock @roadsidepeek Thanks, Syd! 6mon
  •   ned_bunnell Very cool 6mon
  •   mollyblock @ned_bunnell Thanks, Ned! Love seeing these old wall signs. There's a handful in Orange County that I hope to have time to see next month when I'm in southern California. When I lived in OC (1990s), my interests didn't include documenting vintage roadside finds. Probably a lot has disappeared between then and now! 6mon
  •   elnon66 If you're in LA during June, there is going to be a group show of vintage signs at our gallery. Hope you can drop by! 6mon

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ghostsigns In a narrow alley in downtown Palestine, Texas: Love old Dr. Pepper signs such as this one with the word "Dr." still spelled with a period. {#ghostsign #ghostsigns} 6mon
  •   breezylake Love! 6mon
  •   palestinetx Cool! Thanks for sharing @ghostsigns 6mon
  •   ghostsigns @palestinetx @breezylake -- This was a fun wall to shoot. I had to roll two recycling carts out of the way! (I later put them back where I found them!) BTW, I stopped by your office when I drove through town in early April. It was a spur-of-the moment thing. Would've been great to have met you! 6mon
  •   breezylake @ghostsigns shoot! So sorry I missed you. Please stop back by when you are back in town. We love your photos:) Thanks for sharing and loving East Texas! 6mon
  •   ghostsigns @breezylake Will do -- and thanks! I don't remember the name of the woman who was there when I stopped by -- Laura, maybe? Anyway, she was very nice! 6mon
  •   breezylake @ghostsigns yes Laura...she is our Main Street Manager:-). Hope to see you soon! 6mon

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ghostsigns More traveling = more spotting of #ghostsignsTexas (I know, not a big surprise to many of you ): Here, old Firestone signage was exposed when a dilapidated, attached building was demolished. And now this vacant building's roof has collapsed, increasing the likelihood that this still-standing building will be demolished [which, apparently, has been the fate of several old buildings here in (pretty vacant) downtown Port Arthur, Texas]. #ghostsign #multipleghostsigns #Hipstamatic #pureHipstamatic 7mon

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mollyblock It's been sooooo long since I last posted a photo of a ghost sign that I let the third anniversary of the launch of the #ghostsign tag on IG slip by without acknowledging it. So, without further ado, I hereby give props to all ya'll reading this who have included the ghostsign tag on your shots of #ghostsigns!! (Also, apologies -- I haven't glanced at what's been tagged with the #ghostsign tag in ages.) About this #ghostsignsTexas Beech-Nut shot: It was taken in the rain last Sunday, April 6, in Anna, Texas. Fun fact: In the early 1900s, Beech-Nut brand bacon was sold in glass jars. Also: This building dates back to the 1890s, per info on the @TxHistComm historical marker that's visible on the left. (For the full marker inscription, read comment that follows below.) 7mon

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ghostsigns Long-vacant -- in Thornton, Texas (pop. 530). #pureHipstamatic 9mon

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johnmmilton This #ghostsign was found while I was downtown last weekend. I can't imagine renting a room for $1! 9mon

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9mon mollyblock
Sierra Molly Block
mollyblock I drove home this week on Texas Highway 14 which, in a 70-mile stretch, passes through seven small towns. A short detour from one of the towns leads to Coolidge, Texas (pop. 963), where this long "FURNITURE UNDERTAKER" ghost sign can be seen from the main street. (Well, pretty much the word "FURNITURE" is visible; too many vines, debris, and other things obscure both the word "UNDERTAKER" and other letters on the top part of the wall.) Have you ever seen a sign or anything else that advertises a "furniture undertaker"? I must say this is my first. Stay tuned for shots from the towns of Kosse, Thornton, and more. To see a ghost sign photo I've already posted from the town of Bremond, check out the @ghostsigns account. 9mon

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ghostsigns In the cold rain, in Bremond, Texas (pop. 936): #Ghostsign -- one of two #ghostsigns, actually -- for Wayne Feeds (founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1916). On the side of an abandoned feed mill and store, facing railroad tracks. 10mon

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mollyblock On Facebook, when my long-time (but not old!) friend from middle school, @angelacdickerson, wished me a happy birthday, she added how fitting it was that she'd just seen a ghost sign painted on a barn in Goliad, Texas. I mentioned that if the sign advertised something other than "Grand Prize Beer," she needed to let me know what it was. Turns out, Angela had indeed spotted this Grand Prize Beer -- "Texas' largest seller" -- sign . . . which reminded me of the photos, including this one, from May 2013 on my iPhone's camera roll. The little I've read about Grand Prize mentions its heyday was the late 1940s, which is when the tagline "Texas' largest seller" appears to have been used. Houston-based Gulf Brewing Company, owned by business tycoon Howard Hughes, produced Grand Prize from the 1930s-1960s. #GoliadTX #latergram #ghostsignsTexas 10mon

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ghostsigns REMINDER: If you haven't already voted on the #ghostsign photos to be featured in a calendar of #ghostsigns from around the world, you can still do so this week . . . just click on the Facebook link in my IG profile above , and add your "likes" to your favorite photos in the album on the Ghostsigns FB page. Easy! Pictured: One of my (@mollyblock) fave Texas ghost sign photos. 1y
  •   ghostsigns @jfpo Thank you, John! It would be fun to have one or more photos included! 1y
  •   geoffpeveto That Emporium building is so cool. So much junk inside. 1y
  •   ghostsigns @geoffpeveto It is! I saw that you stopped by over the weekend (with the @ilovetexasphoto pics). Have you gone upstairs there or in the area in the back? I've bought a couple of things from there. Someone mentioned recently she thought the building was on the market. 1y
  •   geoffpeveto Yep, always go upstairs. I don't think they bring in that much new stuff but I always find something I didn't see before. So much crap. Cleaning out that building would be awesome and a nightmare at the same time. 1y
  •   karoloka You've got a beautiful gallery 1y
  •   mollyblock @karoloka Hi and thanks! 1y
  •   mollyblock @karoloka I'm still signed into my primary account -- just saw your notification pop up on my screen and didn't realize it was for a photo in my @ghostsigns account. :) 1y

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palestinetx Halloween is the perfect day to share this photo by @ghostsigns "Facing the railroad tracks in Palestine, Texas, a barely legible #ghostsign for Pearlstone Grocery Company, Wholesale Grocers -- which opened in this building in 1913.
#ghostsignsTexas
#ghostsigns
#PalestineTX" #txforesttrail
1y

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ghostsigns Facing the railroad tracks in Palestine, Texas, a barely legible #ghostsign for Pearlstone Grocery Company, Wholesale Grocers -- which opened in this building in 1913.
#ghostsignsTexas
#ghostsigns
#PalestineTX
1y

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ghostsigns I'm guessing that these doors, which appear to be old, were added later because they cut into the barely visible word "Reliable," in the Bull Durham Smoking Tobacco tagline "The Old Reliable." The other side of this abandoned building also features a Durham #ghostsign and other fading #ghostsigns. On Elm Street, in Waco, Texas. #ghostsignsTexas 1y

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mollyblock Well, this is pretty cool. The two side walls of this old, abandoned building on Elm Street in Waco, Texas, feature #multipleghostsigns. On this side, a fading "United States Tires" ad is pretty clear, as is the word "Durham," as in Durham Smoking Tobacco. (The building is so deep/long that I cropped the left end of it, which is where "Durham" appears.) Other words to the left of this area include "Texas," and more. However, it wasn't until I applied an IG filter to this shot that I could make out several words above "Furniture." What's now semi-legible (to me, at least)? "Relieves Fatigue" and "Sold Everywhere" -- parts of a Coca-Cola slogan dating back to the early 1900s! Do you see those words, too?
BTW, the total number of photos tagged on IG with the #ghostsign tag is fast approaching 10,000. I suspect we'll exceed 10,000 in the next day or two. Whoo-hoo!
1y

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ghostsigns In Palestine, Texas: An array of historic architecture and vintage signage, including this "COOK WITH GAS." #ghostsign, contributes to the city's charm. This particular wall faces another building that's maybe six or so feet away from it; it's fun to walk through the alley that separates the two buildings. To take this photo, I actually stood with my back against the other wall, but still couldn't get the entire ghost sign to fit into my iPhone camera's view! For more scenes from around town, check out the #PalestineTX tag and/or click on this photo's geotag. #ghostsignsTexas 1y

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