An Email Out Of The (Palcolor) Blue

I like taking photos of old signs around town. Sometimes they’re on the outside of buildings, sometimes they’re on the inside. You can see the photos on my ‘Old Signs’ Flickr page or see the old signs laid out on a map of Melbourne. I think the fascination came from an article I read as a teenage that called on people to take photos of signs before they disappeared for good. Isn’t it amazing the things that stick?

I always wonder if the person who painted the sign, as most of them pre-date modern sign writing practices, realised how long their work would last. If, as they put down the final brush, they thought that someone would take an interest in their efforts in 2008. Never did I actually imagine I’d hear from one of these mystery people.

Today this email arrived in my inbox.

Hi Anthony,

I stumbled across your photo of the Palcolor sign in Yarraville. I actually painted that one in 1980 when I was 18 and still an apprentice. Back then we didn’t consider old signs as special as we all do today. I think there are about 4 or 5 layers of signs in that photo, I painted out an earlier film processing sign and replaced it with that Palcolor one.

That one remains the oldest evidence of my work in Melbourne.

Glad to see your interest in the old signs!

Cheers Tony

Yarraville Pharmacy Sign - Close Up

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