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Caution Optional » Blog Archive » NY Signage and some crazy cats

I’ve always preferred the older state route signs over the US Shield type. I like a nice US Route sign as much as the next guy, but something about the individual state signs really does it for me.

Here’s a recent addition to my collection that I received from a friend, Lary Brown. It’s a NY State Route sign (its shape comes from the NY State Seal) from the 30s (embossed and cateyed). Obviously it needs to be stripped and repainted, but it’s in remarkably good condition for its age (70 to 80 years old).
ny176-1.jpg
The cateyes are the smallest I’ve seen, measuring only one quarter inch in diameter (exposed glass portion).
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Additionally, these cateyes are unlike any others I’ve seen before insofar as they don’t have the standard metal bucket protecting the silvered portion. They are instead loose glass (with mirrored bottoms) that slip into rubber holders and are held in place by the back plate.
ny176-3.jpg
The more traditional cateye is a marble with the back half silvered and embedded in a metal ‘can’ that protects the delicate silver mirroring and provides a method to attach the cateye to the sign face.
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Although most patents that I’ve been able to find for cateyes have been from the early thirties, there’s ample evidence that they were first used in the twenties. I should also mention that if you have a couple of days to kill, you might dig around the Google Patent Advanced Search engine. Lots of good stuff to be found there. Such as this early idea to increase a sign’s visibility. And this one.

That’s it for now except for this pic of another NY route sign I have, state route 8 (it would be jealous if it was excluded)…
ny8-2.jpg
The above pictured NY8 also needs a good stripping and repainting, but hopefully after it’s done, it’ll look similar to this one (this NY38 is not mine, but instead is from Robert Edgar’s incredible collection):
ny38.jpg

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