Fading Ads of Cincinnati


Bavarian Beer, Covington. Photo by Ronny Salerno.

Bavarian Beer, Covington. Photo by Ronny Salerno.

Fading Ads of Cincinnati by Ronny Salerno is the latest in the series of books from The History Press. Documenting the ghostsigns of his hometown, Ronny offers up some beautiful examples, complimented by detailed local history research that places them in context. Versus others in the series there is slightly less generic material on the subject matter at large, although the images will inspire those who appreciate the visual aesthetic of fading signs on walls. One observation new to me was an interpretation of ‘wall dogs’ coming from the safety harness used when painting walls having the appearance of a dog lead!

Photo by John Vachon/Library of Congress, depicting a street in Cincinnati in 1938, with sign firm Ed Gelke's name visible beneath the two signs.

Photo by John Vachon/Library of Congress, depicting a street in Cincinnati in 1938, with sign firm Ed Gelke’s name visible beneath the two signs.

The book was published just after I had been in the city, visiting the amazing American Sign Museum, and touring the workshops with Better Letters. It was a shame not to have the book with me as a guide to the city’s wonderful collection of ghostsigns outside, adding to the wonders on display inside the museum. The two make for a good excuse to visit the city and appreciate the many layers of advertising history now made accessible for all.

Provident Camera. Photo by Ronny Salerno.

Provident Camera. Photo by Ronny Salerno.

I would recommend this book to those with a specific local interest in Cincinnati, or those seeking more visual material to compliment other publications. The book can be bought from the following outlets: History Press USA; Amazon UK; Abebooks UK; Abebooks USA. Find more books here on Ghostsigns

Coca-Cola. Photo by Ronny Salerno.

Coca-Cola. Photo by Ronny Salerno.

Fading Ads of Cincinnati by Ronny Salerno, published by The History Press.

Fading Ads of Cincinnati by Ronny Salerno, published by The History Press.

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