Art/ Collection/ Art Object

[Album of Photographs of Electric Signs by the Gray Sign Company, Knoxville, Tennessee]

Unknown (American)
Gelatin silver print
28.3 x 22.9 cm (11 1/8 x 9 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Saundra B. Lane Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
Taken for granted in our digital age, electric signs were a modern marvel to city-dwellers at the turn of the twentieth century. Businesses drew crowds by outshining their competitors’ painted advertisements, and a city’s progress was measured in part by the brightness of its nightlife. This album of ninety-eight amateur and commercial photographs of electric signs was compiled as an internal record by the Gray Sign Company. It documents their booming business supplying glittering marquees across Tennessee, from Chattanooga to Nashville.
Inscription: Four Tennessee Inspection Bureau "Certificates of Approval" inscribed and dated in ink.
Tamerlane Books, Havertown, Penn., [Winter Works on Paper, New York]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 65".

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