In 1930s & Before, PHOTOS BY DECADE on July 11, 2015 at 8:36 am

burma shave magazine ad

(Editor’s note: This advertisement is not from among Bee / Momma / Grandma’s things, but from one of several websites set up by Burma-Shave collectors.

Burma-Shave was a brand of brushless shaving cream that was sold from 1925 to 1966. It was the second brushless shaving cream to be manufactured, and the first one to become a success. At the height of its popularity, there were some 7,000 Burma-Shaves sign stretching across America — with the exceptions of New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada (deemed to have insufficient road traffic) and Massachusetts (eliminated due to that state’s high land rentals and roadside foliage). The signs were originally produced in two color combinations: red-and-white and orange-and-black, though the latter was eliminated after a few years. A special white-on-blue set of signs was developed for South Dakota, which restricted the color red on roadside signs to official warning notices.

Typically, Burma-Shave signs were posted on rural highways, since posting them on roads with higher speed limits caused the signs to be ignored. As the Interstate system expanded in the late 1950s and vehicle speeds increased, it became more difficult to attract motorists’ attention with small signs. Once the Burma-Vita Company was sold to Gillette in 1963, which in turn became part of American Safety Razor and then Phillip Morris, the signs were discontinued.

To read more about the history of Burma-Shave, check out the rest of this Wikipedia article. To see a listing of Burma-Shave jingles by year, check out this page set up by a Burma Shave collector. A Burma-Shave sign is also archived online by the National Museum of American History.)


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