Saturday, January 29, 2005

Giant electric dairy billboard

Back in the Fifties, when I was a kid, we’d drive out from Willoughby-on-the-Lake to my grandparents’ house in East Cleveland, and somewhere along the way (or perhaps on a trip downtown) we’d pass a giant electric billboard, showing a bottle pouring milk into a glass, over and over. There were hundreds of light bulbs involved in the sign, but I don’t remember where it was located.

I mentioned this in the December issue of our News from Cleveland Memory e-newsletter, but the one person who responded couldn’t answer the question about which dairy it advertised or where it was. At one point I thought it was out at the Westinghouse Curve, but later realized that my family never traveled on the west side, so it had to be an east side landmark, perhaps somewhere along Lakeshore Boulevard, East 152nd Street, or the East Shoreway.

I’d like to know where it and whose sign it was. I’d love to have a photo or home movie of it for Special Collections. *

10 Comments:

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, and I do, that sign was for Dairymen's milk, and it stood on the west end of the strip of grass between the West Shoreway and Detroit Avenue, at about W. 45th. It haunts my dreams too.

 
At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's correct you're right. Dairymen's. Was on the west shoreway. I don't think anything is there now. The building it stood on is gone too I believe.

 
At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh.. I forgot.. you can catch a one second glimpse of it in the movie "the fortune cookie" w/ Jack Lemmon

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Bill Barrow said...

A long-time supporter of the Playhouse Square district reports that he believes this sign was atop the Point Building, where the Wyndham Hotel now stands. He says that there'd been a cigar sign there at one time, displaying expanding circles of cigar smoke in neon, and that at another time it displayed this milk bottle sign, too. I don't mean to dispute the claims that the milk bottle sign was on the west side, but I remember the sign clearly and hardly ever visited the west side to have seen it there. Playhouse Square, however, I visited often over the second half of the twentieth century. I'd love to see a sign (or, better yet, a film) of this sign.

 
At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First three comments are correcct. W 45th and the shoreway. Near the waterworks. Long gone, but it's true can see it for one second in "The forture cookie"

 
At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Dave Dzurec said...

Yes the sign was advertising for Dairymens Milk Co. and was on the West Shoreway near West 45th. I used to see it when I was a kid in the 1950s coming back from downtown. Our family owned Oberlin Farms Dairy and my dad always said it was a sign for Oberlin Farms. This was before I could read.

Ironically, Oberlin Farms did buy out Dairymens in 1973 but the electric milk bottle sign was long gone. I've worked at Dairymens off and on over the years and have never found a picture or even a mention of the sign.

Thanks to all of you for remembering.

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous John Kroll said...

An update: The Plain Dealer's Cleveland Remembers blog shared some memories of the Dairymen's sign, with a grainy photo and some information about its fate.

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger jerry jaye said...

hi, there was a lighted pouring milk bottle sign on the Westinghouse building as you headed toward Lakewood and the yacht club. Anyone remember the "bubble up" sign near downtown, which has different colored bubbles in lights? And on the Lakeland freeway in Euclid, the Silver-Burdett Company had a huge sign with a welder, and his welding torch was lit up in flame! Cool to a baby boomer kid!

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger jerry jaye said...

a milk sign was on the Westinghouse Bldg as you headed toward lakewood by yacht club. anyone recall the 'Bubble Up' opo sign nearby, with lighted different color bubble? or the Silver Burdett sign on freeway in Euclid, with a welder using a flaming welding torch? and at eat 140th st. and lakeshore was a giant Mobil flying horse in red neon!

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Feezos Phillips said...

Dave Dzurec or anyone- Do you have a photo of the oberlin dairy logo that was on their trucks?

 

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