Thursday, May 10, 2007

Burma Shave - a Roadside Tradition

How many of you remember the day when you would travel roads like the legendary Route 66 and read the Burma Shave signs on the side of the road.

My family made the treck from the Panhandle of Texas to the Plains of Missouri about once or twice a year when I was growing up. (I am now 55). One of the fun things that I did with my brothers as we traveled was taking turns reading the Burma Shave signs.

These type of signs and Branding of America have changed or gone by the wayside but they are not forgotten. Below is a short history of Burma Shave.

If you are one of the few that read this blog, leave a comment if you have a memory about these signs, or if you are too young to remember, do a little research and leave a few Burma Shave jingles in the comments.

Burma-Shave was a United States brand of brushless shaving cream famous for its advertising gimmick of posting humorous poems on sequential highway billboard signs.
Burma Shave was introduced in 1925 by the Burma-Vita company, owned by Clinton Odell. At its peak, it was the second-highest selling shaving cream in the United States. But sales declined in the 1950s, and in 1963 the company was sold to Phillip Morris. The signs were removed at that time. The brand decreased in visibility and eventually became the property of the American Safety Razor Company. In 1997 the American Safety Razor Company reintroduced the Burma Shave brand as a nostalgic shaving soap and brush kit — ironically, the original Burma Shave was one of the first brushless shaving creams.


Panhandle Poet said...

I recall seeing them a long time ago. I've also seen numerous knock-offs since.

Strawberry said...

When we took long car trips, we played the ABC game but to keep it interesting, my dad would change up the rules. You couldn't use license plates, the word had to start with the letter, and it couldn't be a proper name (which left out all the car models). With our children, we played "I'm thinking of an animal" and through asking a series of yes or no questions, would try to guess the animal. We also played a version of the alphabet game where we took turns naming towns in Texas that started with the letters of the alphabet.