Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wall Graphics... It was TASTIER!

Wanna solve a puzzle?  This painted wall graphic was recently uncovered on a downtown building in Medford, Oregon and we’d like to try restore it.  The only problem is that I can’t figure out what it actually says!

The corner of Main and Central is pretty much the heart of the community and this building, built in the 1880s has hosted a series of signs over the past century-plus, advertising a photographer, a local fountain, Signal Gas, Coca-Cola and what seems to be a never-ending series of drug stores.  Pieces of all of those “ghost” signs are visible, in bright yellows, greens, blues, reds and blacks.  About the only thing that IS clear is the block lettering “It’s Tastier” in the upper left corner and the diagonal swatch of some script black lettering that cuts across the sign.

It would be great fun to restore something here (but not too much…I don’t want to look new) but I sure would like to find an image of what it was.  Historic photos have been no use (they show other signs here, but not the It’s Tastier one, which I think must have been in the 1930s, perhaps even earlier.  I’ve tried internet searches, including looking to see if “Its Tastier” was associated with some particular brand (all I can find is Pabst Beer, and I just can’t see “Pabst” anywhere in this graphic).

SO.  Got any ideas?  I’m all ears…

3/15/2012... MYSTERY SOLVED!

Ben Truwe, a tiger on the historic hunt, figured out this sign advertised Rheinlander Beer and the internet supplied a copy of a pretty similar looking graphic.  Here is a mock up of what the repainted sign would look like.  Unfortunately the property owner, for reasons unknown, now appears to have changed his mind and wants to just paint the wall.  No matter....we'll get another chance to restore the sign in 15-20 years.  They don't call 'em "Ghost Signs" for nothing...they keep reappearing.



  1. The very resourceful Ben Truwe (the more resourceful than I, Ben Truwe) tells me that was a Rheinlander Beer sign painted in 1934, a label produced during that period by the Rainier Brewing Company of the Seattle area (not to be Confused with Rhinelander Beer, of Wisconsin). I still haven't located a good example of the same graphic, but Ben makes a convincing case... Mystery solved?

  2. A final update... the owner of this building, unfortunately, finds what he termed "legacy" signage distasteful and this particular sign particularly so. The wall will be painted in uniform "Wild Oats," the cream tones. Not the most inspired or visionary decision, but not the final one either.