21 Vintage Texas Signs from a Historian Celebrating a Bygone Era

Despite what they say, road tripping does not often inspire one to stop and smell the roses. In fact, it is quite the opposite for most people – the vast majority are streaking from point A to point B as fast as they can. For one Texan man, however, the trip is very much about the journey rather than the destination. And that journey always seems to include a few historic Texas signs.

Clive is an architectural historian in Austin that travels all around the Lone Star State documenting old signage to memorialize those that came before us. By documenting America’s roadside heritage, Clive is a pioneer preservationist who is singlehandedly creating a record of the culture our forefathers built that may in many ways seem as familiar as it is foreign.

Here are 21 little insights into what he has been photographing.

1. Grand Prairie, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas.

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The Ritz before it was so ritzy.

2. Ballinger, Texas

Ballinger, Texas

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When a Texan grill is called the Gonzalez Restaurant and the figurehead is a classic French chef, you know the food is going to be an experience.

3. Houston, Texas

Sears – Bus stop in Houston.

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Back when Sears had the cachet to sponsor bus stops to make them cool they got to sponsor them. Obviously, times have changed. However, at least the typeface they used is still neat.

4. Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth

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When you need a good deep clean, you come here.

5. Haltom City, Texas

Haltom City, Texas.

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This clown may be jolly, but it may also be luring you into a questionable facility. You’ll just have to try it to find out.

6. Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth

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The building looks like a TV and the sign is its antennas. What a great concept.

7. San Marcos, Texas

San Marcos, Texas.

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Follow the arrow! Every Texan knows where it leads.

8. Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas

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Neon bulbs still light up this address decades after its original installation. It’s amazing how long noble gasses last.

9. Junction, Texas

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A sign dedicated to the residents of the state. What’s not to love?

10. Richmond, Texas

Richmond, Texas.

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This sign is a classic in every way. The food probably hasn’t changed much either.

11. Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas.

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We all loved this brand growing up, but when was the last time you saw this logo outside of a milk carton? It may actually look better in person.

12. Houston, Texas

316 Main Street, Houston, Texas.

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This makes getting a loan look like a pretty good idea.

13. Marfa, Texas

Marfa, Texas.

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Doesn’t this sign carved into the building look suspiciously like the ones all over UT campus? Or maybe it looks quite a bit like a Spanish mission.

14. Wichita Falls, Texas

Wichita Falls, Texas.

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I wonder how many professional golfers walked through these doors in another era?

15. Hewitt, Texas

Hewitt, Texas.

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Who wouldn’t want their car magicked clean?

16. Mesquite, Texas

Mesquite, Texas.

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Quintessential ’50s fashion. This Texan roller rink made the perfect choice to preserve this sign.

17. Waco, Texas

Waco, Texas

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Home of the Baylor Bears and mid-century modern furniture.

18. Alpine, Texas

Alpine, Texas. See you in September.

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You are welcome in either language.

19. San Angelo, Texas

San Angelo, Texas.

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Whatever this sign is marking, only those who are in the know are allowed in.

20. Austin, Texas

Just running around town today.

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What you don’t know is that everything around this sign has been updated to the highest swanky standards of 2017. This gem, however, has remained an original.

21. Bryan, Texas

Bryan, Texas.

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Do you come for the beds or the coffee?