28 July 2008

[Address_Nerd] Morgan Wick's Street Blade Gallery


Some time ago I put out a call hoping to have people share thier street blade photos with me. I obsess on them, and I know there may be people who have pictures they want to share but don't care to bother with a blog or putting up a personal web page. That invitation still stands, though it has only been lightly taken up.

The next best thing is chatting with someone who puts up a pretty cool gallery. Morgan Wick has done this. In his gallery (surf it here) he has a whole armful of Seattle blades, which exist in a handful of obvious and interesting vintages. I've always enjoyed the look of Seattle blades, and he has a good selection of them ... but also he has blades from SoCal towns, including Beverly Hills, LA, and Santa Monica. There's even one of Hollywood and Vine.

View it all here, and here's one more appetizer which I found particularly interesting:

(All Images are property of and copyright Morgan Wick)

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pril said...

wow. culver city. thats where my dad grew up. I have some from Palos Verdes I think (These are brown wood with the street name burned in and painted white, and all are in Spanish). Next time I am down there I'll collect some from the south bay for you ;) We have, here in KF, downtown, a hidden gem of a highway sign i've been meaning to grab for you, also. Have cam with me today, we'll see if I remember to shoot this for ya.

Samuel John Klein said...

Thanks, P. That would be quite excellent of you, no mistake about that.

I love California street blades. Maybe it comes from years of growing up watching Adam-12, Dragnet, and all those hour-long police dramas ... it made the Cali into the iconic place, in more than one way, the New York of the west coast.

I may have been born Oregonian, but I'm not one of those Califnornian-haters. I enjoyed my visit down to Sacto earlier this year. I just wouldn't live there ... nothing personal, just Oregon's home.

And Sacramento Valley summers are too darn hot!

Eric Fischer said...

If you want some more California street signs, I've got a bunch at http://flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/

Is "street blade" the normal name for them in Portland? I hadn't come across that before.

Samuel John Klein said...


thanks for stopping by. I've toured some of your street sign gallery and I must say you have a visually exciting collection. Thank you for sharing!

As I said on your LJ, expect a blog posting about your gallery.

With respect to the term "blade", I have no insider information on it, but I've reviewed a few online catalogues and that's what they call them, so I suspect that "blade" is the particular term of artifice for the part of the sign that displays the street name.

It's a good term to adopt, I think, because when you think about it, "street sign" applies to not just the blades themselves but any official sign on a street, including directional signs, traffic control signs, "next exit" signs, &c, &c. So that's why I use it and where I got it.

I think it makes everything marvellously clear as to meaning.

You'll earn a link in the street sign list from me. Not that I'm this nexus of signfannery, but I like knowing who else is out there. Look down in the sidebar for "The League of Extraordinary Street Sign Bloggers".