Sunday, January 18, 2009

DO YOU REMEMBER?? BURMA SHAVE!!

For those who never saw any of the Burma Shave signs, here is a quick lesson in our history of the 1930's and '40's. Before there were interstates, when everyone drove the old 2 lane roads, Burma Shave signs would be posted all over the countryside in farmers' fields.
They were small red signs with white letters. Five signs, about 100 feet apart, each containing 1 line of a 4 line couplet......and the obligatory 5th sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving cream.
Here are more of the actual signs:
DON'T STICK YOUR ELBOW
OUT SO FAR
IT MAY GO HOME
IN ANOTHER CAR.
BURMA SHAVE

TRAINS DON'T WANDER
ALL OVER THE MAP'
CAUSE NOBODY SITS
IN THE ENGINEER'S LAP
Burma Shave

SHE KISSED THE HAIRBRUSH
BY MISTAKE
SHE THOUGHT IT WAS
HER HUSBAND JAKE
Burma Shave
DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD
TO GAIN A MINUTE
YOU NEED YOUR HEAD
YOUR BRAINS ARE IN IT
Burma Shave

DROVE TOO LONG
DRIVER SNOOZING
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
IS NOT AMUSING
Burma Shave

BROTHER SPEEDER
LET'S REHEARSE
ALL TOGETHER
GOOD MORNING,
NURSE
Burma Shave

CAUTIOUS RIDER
TO HER RECKLESS DEAR
LET'S HAVE LESS BULL
AND A LITTLE MORE STEER
Burma Shave

SPEED WAS HIGH
WEATHER WAS NOT
TIRES WERE THIN
X MARKS THE SPOT
Burma Shave

There were hundreds of signs like these along the highways. Do these bring back any old memories?

33 comments:

ugich konitari said...

Judy,

What great poetry....:-) I remember reading about these signs elsewhere too. I blogger friend of fine did This blog on a similar subject travelling from Mumbai to Goa (on the coast like Mumbai but a great hit with folks from outside India. ). Enjoy, spelling and all..

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Awe the memories. I definitely remember Burma Shave... So entertaining as we would drive along the highway!!!

Thanks for the great memories, Judy.
Hugs,
Betsy

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Those were great, weren't they? Your post reminds me of the time when taking a vacation or even a short day trip was an adventure. From start to finish. There were signs to read along the way, interesting things to look at. Even the houses that other people lived in that you could try to imagine who they were... It was fun to travel then.

Jeannie said...

Long story as to why I know all about Burma Shave, but here's one for you: "Within this vale of toil and sin, your head grows bald but not your chin."

Thanks for the memories! :D

June Saville said...

G'day Judy
No Burma Shave that I can remember in Oz. But we had Ford Pills - a laxative would you please. I remember the red signs.
And Aeroplane Jelly ... and Bushells Tea. At least the jelly signs went with a song sung on the radio.
There - you've done it again, stirring up memories all right.
June in Oz

Rachel said...

I love all these signs! I don't actually remember seeing any, but then we never traveled much, so maybe that was why!

I loved your TW post!! He is so cute and growing so fast! You are making precious memories with him!!

Bill said...

Ah, yes - Burma Shave! They were classic whether they were related to smooth chins or safety issues!
You can see many more Burma Shave Ads here and on links from there.

I'd take them any day over the massive blathering billboards that now "grace" our highways and byways!

Thanks for your post!

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Hi Judy, loved the blog, also the poetry, I don't remember the signs whether they appeared in the UK or not but thanks for putting them on to show people like me . A much enjoyable read.
Take care.

Yvonne.

Leigh said...

Hahah, NO, I dont remember these signs at all but they were before my time. Thanks for the history lesson Mom! Love you!

clairz said...

Thank you, Judy, for this post! Our family traveled from California to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine back before the big coast-to-coast freeways were built, and us kids were always on the lookout for Burma Shave signs.

These little signs certainly couldn't be read at the speeds we travel at today. Thank you for the memories.

pamwax said...

I saw the title of your post and had an instant flashback. Daddy always slowed down so we could read the signs. Thanks for the sweet memories.

One Woman's Journey said...

Judy, I remember these signs as my parents would drive to Tennessee every summer. 3 children in the back seat and we watched for these signs. Thanks for the memory

Linda said...

I love Burma Shave signs! They're wonderful. Glas you're feeling better.

Linda said...

I love Burma Shave signs! They're wonderful. Glas you're feeling better.

Margaret Cloud said...

I remember these sign's, one of my older posts is about Burma Shave. thank you for coming by.

Judy said...

Hi Judy! Ooohhh, I certainly do remember the Burma Shave signs! When us kids were little, my parents took us on "Sunday drives" all over in Michigan along the highways and byways of the country-side!

Thanks for the 'memories.' :)

((hugs))
Judy

Kate said...

We didn't have Burma Shave here either but there were plenty other signs, the funny thing is that the signs of advertising seem to be getting fewer around here - why ?Lord knows.

I was reading your previous post on T.W. and his Orange juice, s'funny 'cos Louis also drinks and eats things here that he says he never eats at home... He had me convinced last week that he liked my marmalade and he ate a couple of sliced bread toasted on which I had spread some marmalade. When he was leaving with his Mum I put a jar of marmalade in his bag and mentioned it to his Mum -- turned out that he had marmalade at home on toast but there he asked his Mum to put chocolate spread on the toast too ..... eeeekkk! Honestly kids sure have some wild tastes don't they..

Sylvia K said...

Oh, gosh! what a trip down memory lane! I hadn't thought about those signs in years, but I remember reading them when my parents took a trip and I'd be in the back seat trying to amuse myself and those signs always made me giggle. Fun!Thanks!

grammyof13 said...

Oh how much we miss today with the TV blaring commercials. We don't even have to use our brains for reading - it is just pushed into our ears without effort.

I loved those signs. Thanks for the memory.

grammyof13

Sweetie said...

The signs were wonderful. It was so much fun taking a trip "back in the day." I loved it when we didn't travel the interstates. It was so much fun going through small towns and seeing signs on barns and other great sites.
Sweetie

The Muse said...

i do recall the signs...reading them and loving every minute! :) LOL

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Hi Judy Thanks for the visit, I used to do pilates when I lived in Spain but I live 10 miles from a gym hence the WII FIT.
Take care.

Yvonne.

Beth said...

Regretfully, I missed the Burma Shave signs by a decade or two, but my parents used to talk about them. What a pity we don't have something like that now---it might serve to slow us down just a bit.

Great post, as always, Judy!

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Hi Judy lovely to see your photo on my blog, also thanks for the visit. Shelley's son who lived just along the road from us 200yrs ago originally bought the Manor for his mother Mary Shelley of Francinstien fame. she passed away and is buried in the local church, her parents and the remains of her husband is also buried there.All streets have names with the Shelley
associations and their poetry friends.
Take care.

Yvonne.

Amber Star said...

Oh my...yes...we do remember the Burma Shave signs. They broke up the long trips with a little wisdom.

Jamie Dawn said...

I've heard of these but never saw them. I love those cute poems. Funny advertising... I'm sure it was a great marketing tool for the company.
:-)

Clara....in TN said...

Yes, I remember those signs. I hadn't thought about them in a long time. THE BEARDED LADY TRIED A JAR....SHE'S NOW A FAMOUS MOVIE STAR.

Shelley said...

LOL...those are funny! Thanks for sharing :o)

Balisha said...

We didn't have a car till I was in my teens, so I only remember these when out for a drive with my Grandparents. They always warned me that they were coming up and then we would all read them aloud. Thanks for the memory.

Grannyann said...

I definitely remember those signs and you sometimes see a set on the highway in Oklahoma. Not original but people often duplicate them for fun.
thanks for the memory.

The Muse said...

Just popping in to say have a great weekend Judy :)

Nancy said...

I DO remember the Burma Shave signs. However, even though we took lots of family vacations when I was a child, most of the time, there would be a sign missing in the series. We always thought it was great when we found a whole set at a time!

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Thanks for the visit Judy, much appreciated. Likewise, you have a lovely St. Valentines Day.
Take care.



Yvonne