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Ohio Finds: Jewelry Store Trade Sign

Above: This example of a unique form of advertising during the late 19th and early 20th centuries was once installed outside a Factory Street business in Canal Dover.

Illiteracy and language barriers gave rise to trade signs in the United States during the country’s earliest days, and their use continued into the early 20th century. Patrons searching for a particular business needed look no further than the two- or three-dimensional sign depicting a trade, such as a pair of eyeglasses for an optometrist or a molar for a dentist.

Check out this month's column featuring Fascinating Objects from Our Past.

Originally published in the JULY/AUGUST 2022 issue of Ohio Magazine.

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