1987 >> May >> High Voltage and Power Company Signs  

High Voltage & Power Company Signs
by Hans Kettenburg

Reprinted from "Crown Jewels of the Wire", May 1987, page 13

Many people who collect high voltage insulators also collect these signs as an interesting "go-with" to display with their collections. These signs are another compatible collectible to our hobby. With hundreds of designs, sizes and shapes, and different company names, a collector could be kept quite busy. I personally like the signs with the "Ready Kilowatt" logo and the skull and cross-bones on them. Others collect the signs from their own home state. With almost every color of the rainbow present in these signs, a person could put together a small collection and come up with a beautiful and attractive display.

1. Several of these multi-colored signs appeared at the 15th National at Tacoma in 1984. This 12" x 12" porcelain sign is yellow, orange, blue and white and features the Ready Kilowatt logo. For those who have not seen this one, it is a very pretty and colorful sign.

2. This 3 color porcelain sign has a white background, danger is in red, and the rest of the lettering is blue. 6" x 14" is the size.

3. This 8" round sign is a beautiful burnt orange color with cobalt blue lettering and border stripes. The Hetch Hetchy system was built to service the growing city of San Francisco.

4. Even though I live in Alaska, I had to acquire this sign from a dealer in Florida -- of all places! This 13" x 15" porcelain sign is red, white and blue.

5. The colors on this porcelain sign are typical of all the Pacific Gas and Electric Company's signs. It has a cream colored background and dark brown lettering. The size is 5" x 13".

6. This nice early sign, circa 1913, is a dark cobalt blue on white porcelain enamel. These were fastened to the diagonal cross braces of high voltage towers, in Southern California, which explains the unusual position of the mounting holes. The size is 10" x 18".

7. The 10" x 14" porcelain sign has white lettering on a red background.

8. Light green porcelain enamel with white lettering. 6" x 15" size.

9. A nice skull and cross-bones sign in three colors: red, white and black. This porcelain enamel sign appears to be very old, I would guess sometime after the turn of the century. Not sure what language Elektrika is -- anybody? The size is 10" x 12".

10. These three little signs (two are 3 " x 5" and one is 3" x 5") were purchased from Lon Holy at the 11th National at Herkimer, N.Y. They are red, white and black porcelain enamel.

11. This is a large plastic sign, 15" x 21", and is red, white and black. I saw this one laying around in a backyard in Lemon Valley, Nevada. I liked it and Keith Ornbaum gave it to me. Thanks, Keith, wherever you are!

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