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Due to our earned reputation, we have the good fortune to be in high demand by collectors. Because most of our items have a waiting list, if you're looking for a specific collectible restored to this level, please ask to be put on our first come, first served list (refundable deposit required). Call 1-800-292-0008
Very Rare Original Porcelain Dairy Queen Sign
78" W x 110" H x 15" D
Capture a genuine piece of Americana and national history with this Original Vintage Porcelain Dairy Queen Sign. Manufactured by the Leroy Signs & Manufacturing company, it dates back to the early 1940s and 50s. It is among a small batch created prior to Dairy Queen changing to a red logo around 1960.
Expertly restored with all original parts, along with new neon lights, this antique porcelain sign plugs into any standard outlet.
History From a Simpler Time - Signs Authentically Restored By Our Expert Craftsmen
Dairy Queen introduced soft serve ice cream to the world when the first store opened on June 22, 1940. Since then, the company has grown into an international presence, and many American locations are now considered historical landmarks.
DQ pioneer and founder, Sherb Noble, started from humble roots in Iowa where he managed a creamery before opening his own ice cream parlors in 1938. His supplier, the McCullough's, introduced him to their exciting new ice cream innovation - soft serve. Kept at a slightly higher temperature than traditional ice cream, soft serve became an immediate hit and crowds of eager customers flocked to Noble's parlor in Kankakee, Illinois to get their first taste. As Sherb put it: "We had ice cream all up and down the block, even had them eating ice cream in the corner tavern down the street, which was very unusual for this place" (Noble).
During this initial stage, regular commercial freezers were used to accommodate the demand, but in order to bring soft serve to new locations, Noble and the McCullough's knew they needed a different way of storing their ice cream. After purchasing rights to use an experimental custard freezer from Harry Oltz, and commissioning the Stoelting Bros. to build a commercial version, the first Dairy Queen store opened in Joliet, Illinois in 1940.
Shortly after, Noble went on to serve his country by fighting in World War II. Upon returning, he continued to expand his business of soft serve ice cream by opening more Dairy Queen locations featuring a logo with a blue background and a square, sans serif font.
Own One Of The Few Original Dairy Queen Signs Remaining
Before Dairy Queen adopted an official mascot in the 1960s - Curly the Cone - many stores were adorned with signs that featured a simple soft serve cone. A run of about 50 large, rectangular signs were made by the Leroy Signs & Manufacturing company, a company still in operation today (celebrating more than 75 years). Leroy Signs also made many subsequent Dairy Queen signs over the decades. Our round Dairy Queen neon sign is among those commissioned and produced by Leroy Signs in the early days of Sherb Noble's ice cream empire.
Very few original signs from the '40s and '50s still exist, especially in such exquisite condition. This rare, collectible find is perfect for reflecting on America's rich, pioneering past while owning a piece of history.
- Kletscher Helbling, Audrey. (2012, August 22) Appreciating A Vintage Dairy Queen Sign In Janesville. Minnesota Prairie Roots. Retrieved from http://mnprairieroots.com/tag/leroy-signs-manufacturing
- Kantzavelos, Maria. (2000, May 6) Lombard Won't Lose Old Dairy Queen Sign. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2000-05-06/news/0005060190_1_rooftop-signs-ice-cream-non-conforming-signs
- Noble, Sherb. (n.d.) History of Dairy Queen. Noble Dairy Queen Stores. Retrieved fom http://www.noblestores.com/EarlyDQHistorywrittenbySDN1973
Restored Antiques and Vintage Classic Collectibles
We are the oldest and largest restorer of fine art, historically correct, museum quality antiques and genuine, investment quality classic Americana - namely signs.
When we use the terms "Museum Quality" and "Historically Correct," we are indicating our world-class restoration process. We absolutely preserve all original signs, badges, glass with anomalies, natural aged patinas, and everything that makes a vintage item collectable. Maintaining non-structural damage - all age, wear, and tear - is proudly displayed to showcase each item's unique charm.
Due to our earned reputation, we have the good fortune to be in high demand by collectors. Because most of our items have a waiting list, if you're looking for a specific collectible restored to this level, please ask to be put on our first come, first serve list (refundable deposit required).
Learn more about our vintage items and restorations: