Give Me a Sign. Any Traffic Sign.

Traffic signs are sort of a gateway into traffic signal collecting. They’re flat, easy to hang, have interesting graphics, and are easy to store if you don’t have it hanging on your wall.

These signs come in many shapes and sizes. Over the years standards set by the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) have come and gone dictating how large it has to be, how much reflectivity it should have, what the design needs to look like, how big the letters are, what style font has to be used, and much more. Smaller signs are easy to deal with. They can be as small as a few inches wide and as large as several feet wide.

My first sign was a stop sign that my parents got for me when I was about 7 years old. I had it hanging on the wall in my bedroom. It had a bit of meaning for me because it was from Newark, New Jersey – my home state. I remember it being heavy. But then again, many things are heavy to a 7-year-old. I think it also had meaning because “stop” was the first word I learned how to spell. It was etched into the table my parents’ redwood patio furniture by a certain little kid in the mid 1970s. Oops.

At some point, it was taken down. It was replaced by car & AC/DC posters. I pretty much forgot about it for years until I found it being used to cover the sump pit in the basement. A corner broken off to allow the pump discharge pipe out of the pit. Well, that sucks. Oh, well. I moved on. These days, I have connections. If there’s a traffic sign I’m looking for, I can usually find it pretty easily.

And if a sign isn’t being hung for display, I’ve started making furniture out of them. Like it? Make me an offer I can’t refuse.

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