Sign O’ The Times

Nestled snug inside my August 1947 copy of National Geographic lies this interesting piece of art.

Isn’t it just fantastic? I love the split levels. As with many ads of yore, it contained many more words than we’d bother reading today. But this was 1947, and most folks didn’t own a TV. Reading was a way to pass the time. With no information highway, ads were the information.

Having never visited New York, or anywhere up north for that matter, I had no idea what an SRO sign was. Evidently, it’s a single-room-occupancy residence. So I learned something today! How ’bout them apples? However, I have seen pics of subways, and they don’t look like “bright, cheerful cars” to me. And as far as 7.8 million population, that’s another lesson in demographics. New York City only has 8.5 million residents today. Yes, it’s true that there were 7.8 back then, but it’s also true that by 1980, the population had actually reduced down to a straight 7 million. It wasn’t until the 1990s that it surpassed what it had been in 1947. I guess you can only shove so many marbles in a jar.



  1. When I was a 19-year-old summer camp counselor for NYC inner-city ghetto kids in the summer of 1969, I often went the 15 minutes away to NYC. I rode the subway alone at midnight. I must have had a guardian angel to protect me from my stupid decision and from physical assault.

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