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