Back at Milepost 1326, I shared with you some billboards that I had made to share with the guys who build and operate the Rome & Risdon Model Railroad. This happened a little by accident since I ordered what I thought were O scale billboard holders only to receive ones that are really too small even for HO. But they were glad to get them & I was glad to help them out.
As can be seen with the billboard above, they are a great way to “date” your railroad. At one time, Jantzen swimwear was the IN style for swimmers everywhere. Jantzen took advantage of this popularity by having billboards featuring their swimwear all along both coasts and in many other areas where swimming was a popular pastime. In this case, from the style of the suit, it pretty much dates the billboard to the 1950s. While it doesn’t show up too well, note also that the telephone number has two letters in it. When we first got dial-up telephones, your phone number consisted of a word then five numbers. I can remember ours at home being ULster9-2258. The UL coincided with 85 which eventually is the way that phone numbers were listed. But there was a time when those words were indeed a part of your early telephone number.
Another way to have some fun with billboards is to make some that reflect things that you remember as a kid. When I was in high school, Don’t Drive-in was THE place to go on a Friday night after a football game and most other nights after basketball games as well. Nothing seemed to go down better than a burger, fries and a shake after a hard-fought gridiron or hardwood battle. This could easily be about a business that you remembered from your hometown or even one owned by a friend’s family. That reminds me… my dad’s best friend from high school ran a used car lot back home when I was growing up. Better get out that Paint Shop Pro software and crank out a few more for old times sake!
Regardless of how you go, these billboards can help others date your layout and can allow you to remember those bygone days.