29 November 2007

[info_design, street_blades] Salem Street Blades-The Way They Used To Be

1161. Posting about Salem street blades got me reminiscing about growing up in Salem, and I remember seeing some of the evolutions of that form. The following comes from memory ...

When my fam moved into town, the street blades (inside town, anyway-the Marion County blades were wooden, and standard off-white on green) weren't green-on-white, as detailed two entries back, but rather looked like this:

That's m4d Photoshop skillz, yo. The letterforms were slightly different too, but the current editions are close enough that this looks very close to the way they used to be. But this was just an intermediate step in their evolution. Perhaps influenced by styles seen elsewhere, the name blade used to be slenderer–with only room for one line of type, the street name; the block index went on a tab that was riveted to the main blade:

I believe this style was current in Salem through the late sixties and was supplanted by the other style as signs needed replacing. Moreover, street blades during those times attached to these burly, rebar-reinforced concrete pillars, not the lengths of pipe we are quite familiar with today.

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