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Burma Shave Sayings

Burma Shave slogans

Burma Shave slogans

A little bit of background

 Burma Shave was first introduced to the public in 1925 by Burma-Vita Company.  Soon after, the Burma Shave sign series began appearing along roadsides across the country.  They were generally a series of 6 consecutive signs posted along the roadside with the name of the product (Burma Shave) on the last sign of the series.

In the beginning the signs were in two sepeate color combination:re with white writing and orange with black writing.  The orange and black combination was eliminated after a few years.  A blue sign with white writing was developed especially for South Dakota because of their restrictions on red signs being used for anything other than official warning signs.

The only states not to have these amusing advertising signs were New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada, because of low road traffic, and Massachusetts, because of the high cost of land rental and the overabundance of roadside foliage.

For many years people were able to enjoy these signs along the roadside.  However, sales declined in the 1950's and the company was sold to Phillip Morris in 1963.  After the company was sold they removed the signs we all had come to enjoy.  I've heard that every now and then you might be luck enough to see a couple of these signs still standing along the road.  I hope someday to see one once again.

How the Burma Shave signs were placed along the road.

How the Burma Shave signs were placed along the road.

A few of the sayings

A shave

That's real

No cuts to heal

A soothing

Velvet after-feel

Burma Shave 1931

*     *     *     *     *     *

Every shaver

Now can snore

Six minutes more

Than before

By using

Burma Shave 1928

*     *     *     *     *     *

College cutie

Pigskin hero

Bristly kiss

Hero

Zero

Burma Shave 1940

*     *     *     *     *     *

Don't lose your head

To gain a minute

You need your head

You're brains are in it

Burma Shave

*     *     *     *     *     * 

At intersections

Look both ways

A harp sounds nice

But it's hard to play

Burma Shave

*     *     *     *     *     *

There's no whisker

It won't soften

Shave 'em close

And not

So often

Burma Shave 1942

*     *     *     *     *      *

Old McDonald

On the farm

Shaved so hard

He broke his arm

Then he bought

Burma Shave 1936

*     *     *     *     *     *

Our fortune

Is your

Shaven face

It's our best

Advertising space

Burma Shave 1953

Burma Shave Billboard

Burma Shave Billboard

Two Slogans From 1927

Shave the modern way

No brush

No lather

No rub-in

Big tube 35 cents drug stores

Burma Shave

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Goodbye! shaving brush

Half a pound for

Half a dollar

Very fine for the skin

Druggists have it

Cheer up face the war is over

Burma Shave

* * * * * * * * * * * *

These are said to be the first two signs put out on roadside to advertise Burma Shave.

Signs From The Last year

When the stork

Delivers a boy

Our whole

Darn factory

Jumps for joy

Burma Shave

* * * * * * * * * * *

In cupid's little

Bag of trix

Here's the one

That clix

With chix

Burma Shave

* * * * * * * * * * *

Thrifty jars for

Stay at homes

Handy tubes

For him

Who roams

Burma Shave

* * * * * * * * * * * *

These are just three of the slogans from the last year they put up roadside advertising.

Roadside  sign

Roadside sign

What Clever Advertising Can Do

The first roadside signs for Burma Shave were put up on the main highways leading into the towns of Albert Lea and Red Wing, outside Minneapolis in 1925. At that time the company was near bankrupt.

The brilliant advertising campaign, took the company from near zero income to $68,000 by the end of a year. From there the income steadily climbed and reached $3 million by 1945.

The 1965 Highway Beautification Act, which regulated outdoor advertising on federally funded roadways, ending the roadside advertising and the downfall of Burma Shave.

© 2010 Susan Hazelton

Comments

Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on January 10, 2010:

I love the Burma Shave ads. It brings back memories of my childhood. Glad you enjoy it. Thanks

RedElf from Canada on January 09, 2010:

Greetings! Great hub! I so enjoyed seeing photos of those old ads when they went around in the emails a while ago.

I look forward to reading more from you.

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