Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Up on Main Street

Our third entry this week from a loyal reader.  This time, from Mr. B. Johnson.
Our research indicates the J.B. Schmitt company was incorporated in 1882, and is still in business today.

When you have the inclination, be sure to review the other ghost signs submitted by you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beer and Parks

The ever-sharp eyed Ms. S. Zee spotted this, on a recent excursion through one of the Butler County Metro Parks this past weekend.  Thanks! 
Keep those submissions coming!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mead's Grocery

We got a tip late last week from D.S. Spencer about some recently uncovered ghost signage.

Billboards on the bottom half of this building had been brought down, revealing the sign for Mead's Grocery, at the corner of Vine and Mitchell.

So many of our discoveries lately have been faded beyond recognition, so this find was spectacular.
The top half had been visible for a while, but we still hadn't seen it before.

Barq's signs are rather common around Cincinnati, but this may be the first Tom Collins Jr ad we've seen.
Tom Collins Jr. was locally produced.  But that's about all we know.

Vernor's is still around today.  It was always a favorite of my father.

Many, many thanks go out to D.S. Spencer for the heads up on this treasure!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pictures of Pictures

Now at the Cincinnati Museum Center, a collection of historical photographs.

So, naturally, the ghost signs in the pictures jumped out at us.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Another Rectangle

On Pleasant, south of Liberty.

In the background, Citron vodka is missing a fantastic opportunity with this remnants of a building and chimney.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Above is the alley sign(?) referenced yesterday.
Was there another Burger Chef sign here, or did someone merely paint over graffiti?  

Below is what may have been.  On a building along Central Parkway.

We know.  There's nothing to see here.  But, logically speaking, there might have been once.   It's an ideal location.  There's no windows on that corner, and there's a hint of a border along the bottom.

Do you, dear readers, remember anything that might help clarify?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On Another Note...

Magnificent architecture.

Up top, we mean.  Because if you look at ground level, there's that modern steel-and-glass thing going on.
Now, what's even more interesting is what's on the back of this building.

The favored theory among Cincinnati's ghost sign community is that after the Lyric Piano Company stopped selling pianos, and before it was turned into apartments, the building was home to a Burger Chef.  
Of course, Cincinnati's ghost sign community consists of about two people.

(There's also something on the side, in the alley way, that appears to have been painted over.  Not much to look at, but we still need to get a picture of that.)

And on the building to the right, there's this:

Which is the subject of an ongoing debate.  Is it, or isn't it?

Monday, April 21, 2014


I swear this was just open a couple of weeks ago.
(Bonus: The greyish rectangle to the right use to advertise a bodega.)
(Double bonus: Spatz Foods has a faded sign too. But, they're still in business.)

Friday, April 18, 2014


Zoom in.

To be fair, the Underground Sports Shop, all three stories of it, is still in business.  And they probably do still receive and ship at these doors.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


On Hamilton, in Northside.  Close to all the other Northside ghostsigns we found recently.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

West Liberty

Between Central Parkway and Linn.

Chas. Z(something) Bakery and Confectionery

And we've seen "The Globe" elsewhere in Cincinnati.  But, we can't make out what's beneath it.
Interesting also, there's a vertical line wiping out the baker's name.  At first glance, we thought it might be the remnants of a chimney, but it's more likely FROM a chimney; smoke damaging the paint.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bear Photo

As in "had it been a bear, it would have bitten me".

This is on Vine, at Findlay Playground.  Big as life.

And the only reason we finally noticed it, was because Visualingual noticed it first.
Note the angelic/ghostly wedding dress on the left.

Monday, April 14, 2014


We'd like to thank Ms. S. Zee, who captured, tagged, and released this mysterious sign to us.  We're in agreement that it probably referred to used cars.
She has promised more from Hamilton, but in the meantime, go visit her blog for some of her original, non-ghost sign photos.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fake, But Okay

On the tiny patio of Japp's, there's this.  Recently painted to honor the bar's former incarnation. 

It's only the second "new ghost sign" we've found.  And in our opinion, it reinforces the argument that ghost signs need to be preserved. They mark history, and, they add flavor and character to a neighborhood.  If they didn't, why recreate the artform?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lost in Westwood

Faded by time and weather, and covered by a billboard, just off of Boudinot, on Harrison.

We can't help but wonder if the billboards have been there long enough to preserve some of this one.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Three Doors Down

Just a couple of buildings to the north of yesterday's entry, we find what appears to be the remnants of a sign painted on glass, and then painted over, and then, uncovered.

Look at it on Google Street View, when it was more covered.  And then take note of two other points of interest: The Carol's Variety sign, and the two guys sitting on the stoop of this building, who seemingly materialize out of nowhere if you move one "click" to the left.

(Why haven't we featured the Carol's Variety sign in its own entry here?  We were going to, but this reveal kinda steals the thunder.)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Picture Lamp

Now, picture lamp being sold here.

On Elm Street, between Liberty and Findlay Market.

One recurring theme with ghost signs is their loss.  Granted, in order to have a ghost sign, one must often go out of business, so there's loss there too.  Here at Writing on the Wall, we often rail against the covering or removal of ghost signs, and the loss of character they add to a neighborhood.
The Guardian has an interesting photo gallery documenting the loss of both ghost signs, and primarily, the businesses they advertised.
(Hat tip to Ghostsigns UK for the heads up.)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Twofer

Vine Street, between 4th and 5th.

Dunlap Clothes is now the Lofts at Fountain Square, and the Carew Tower Service Entrance is still the Carew Tower Service Entrance.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Westside Representing

Our first entry from Cheviot, which has several ghost signs scattered about.

We will definitely partake of another safari that way, if for nothing else, to see if direct sunlight will make this any more legible.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tagging Northside

Durn kids and their spray paint.

Suppose we should be glad they're kids.  They're only so tall, and can't cover up more of the ghost sign.