Some of the best-known Burma-Shave signs include a series that read, "Shaving brushes / You'll soon see 'em / On a shelf / In some museum" and another with the message, "A shave / That's real / No cuts to heal / A soothing / Velvet after-feel." The majority of Burma-Shave signs followed a similar pattern, with five sequential signs presenting a rhyming message, followed by a final sign that only said "Burma-Shave."Continue Reading
The concept of sequential signs was introduced by Burma-Shave's Allan Odell, who believed that the sequential signs would hold a driver's attention longer than would a single billboard. The signs were erected on many of the country's highways, leading to a significant increase in sales from 1925 until 1963. Eventually, there were more than 7,000 Burma-Shave signs on the nation's highways, with rhymes such as "Within this vale / of toil / and sin / your head grows bald / but not your chin – use / Burma-Shave" and "Half a pound / For / Half a dollar / At the drug store / Simply holler / Burma-Shave."
After the Burma-Shave signs became popular, the company began holding annual contests for new billboards, with top prizes of $100 and thousands of entries. However, by 1966, nearly all of the Burma-Shave signs had disappeared from roadways.Learn more about Advertising