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Mail Pouch Wall Sign.

Big Mail Pouch Wall Sign

Field review by the editors.

Ford City, Pennsylvania

In the early days of outdoor advertising, billboards in cities were often painted on the outside wall of brick buildings that faced streets or vacant lots. Mail Pouch, a chewing tobacco, had one painted in Ford City, probably around 1900. But in 1904 a building went up on the lot next to the mural, blocking it from view. It was forgotten for over 100 years until, in 2008, fire burned down the blocking building, revealing the undamaged mural.

Mail Pouch was known for using barns, not brick buildings, as billboards, and this mural didn't resemble any of the others that had been saved by devoted Mail Pouch preservationists. So it was regarded as a unique, early example, and a big deal, and Ford City hired artist Alison Zapata to repaint it. Her work was completed in September 2019. She called the opportunity to restore the mural "a sign-painter's dream."

The property owner has dragged blocks of stone from the town's demolished high school to serve as benches in the once-again-vacant lot, so that people can sit and admire the mural.

Big Mail Pouch Wall Sign

902 4th Ave., Ford City, PA
Downtown, on the northeast corner of 4th Ave. and 9th St.
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In the region:
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