Collectors of "vintage dealer signs" have always been aware of their power as great conversation starters and their ability to preserve the history of commerce, pop culture and creative advertising. Because they are available in such a wide range of materials, including porcelain, wood, metal and neon, adding to your collection is virtually a never-ending pursuit.
Used to advertise products like soft drinks and farm equipment, they became popular in the United States during 1890 after being developed in Europe during the early 1800's. Porcelain and tin were the most popular materials, but during WWII the demand for raw material was high and many of them were melted down.
Tin signs enjoyed a brief resurgence, but because of problems with rusting, were overtaken by neon. Good quality, neon "vintage dealer signs" are considered a valuable find, because of their role as a status symbol for businesses.