Burma Shave Signs

Saturday, April 7, 2018 - by Ed Connelly

Years ago my uncle Alf (A.T.) Connelly, a WWII vet, upon returning to civilian life, worked as a sign painter for the then Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tn. He painted miniature sets of Burma Shave signs.

Attached is a photo of one of those sets. The signs read as follows:

“They missed the turn, Car was whizzin’, The fault her’n, The funeral his’n, Burma Shave”. 

I'm sure that Burma Shave actually saved some lives. People laughed and they were more careful! 

It was a REAL "service" to America, even though it was an advertisement and it was one of the RARE "really useful" ones!

For those who never saw any of the Burma Shave signs, here is a quick lesson in our history of the 1930s and 40s.  Before there were interstates when everyone drove the old two lane roads, Burma Shave signs would be posted all over the countryside in farmers' fields. They were small red signs with white letters.

Five signs, about 100 feet apart, each containing one line of a four line couplet and the obligatory 5th sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving cream.

A MAN, A MISS,
A CAR, A CURVE.
HE KISSED THE MISS,
AND MISSED THE CURVE.
Burma Shave


DON'T STICK YOUR ELBOW
OUT SO FAR
IT MAY GO HOME
IN ANOTHER CAR.
Burma Shave

TRAINS DON'T WANDER
ALL OVER THE MAP
'CAUSE NOBODY SITS
IN THE ENGINEER'S LAP.
Burma Shave

SHE KISSED THE HAIRBRUSH
BY MISTAKE
SHE THOUGHT IT WAS
HER HUSBAND JAKE.
Burma Shave

DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD
TO GAIN A MINUTE
YOU NEED YOUR HEAD
YOUR BRAINS ARE IN IT.
Burma Shave

DROVE TOO LONG
DRIVER SNOOZING
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
IS NOT AMUSING.
Burma Shave

BROTHER SPEEDER
LET'S REHEARSE
ALL TOGETHER
GOOD MORNING, NURSE.
Burma Shave

CAUTIOUS RIDER
TO HER RECKLESS DEAR
LET'S HAVE LESS BULL
AND A LITTLE MORE STEER.
Burma Shave

SPEED WAS HIGH
WEATHER WAS NOT
TIRES WERE THIN
X MARKS THE SPOT.
Burma Shave

THE MIDNIGHT RIDE
OF PAUL FOR BEER
LED TO A WARMER
HEMISPHERE.
Burma Shave

AROUND THE CURVE
LICKETY-SPLIT
BEAUTIFUL CAR
WASN'T IT?
Burma Shave

NO MATTER THE PRICE
NO MATTER HOW NEW
THE BEST SAFETY DEVICE
IN THE CAR IS YOU.
Burma Shave

A GUY WHO DRIVES
A CAR WIDE OPEN
IS NOT THINKIN'
HE'S JUST HOPING
Burma Shave

AT INTERSECTIONS
LOOK EACH WAY
A HARP SOUNDS NICE
BUT IT'S HARD TO PLAY.
Burma Shave

BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL
EYES ON THE ROAD
THAT'S THE SKILLFUL
DRIVER'S CODE.
Burma Shave

THE ONE WHO DRIVES
WHEN HE'S BEEN DRINKING
DEPENDS ON YOU
TO DO HIS THINKING.
Burma Shave

CAR IN DITCH
DRIVER IN TREE
THE MOON WAS FULL
AND SO WAS HE.
Burma Shave

PASSING SCHOOL ZONE
TAKE IT SLOW
LET OUR LITTLE
SHAVERS GROW.
Burma Shave

Do these bring back any old memories? If not, you're merely a child. 
If they do - then you're "old as dirt" LIKE ME!  I loved reading them. 



Burma Shave Signs

Years ago my uncle Alf (A.T.) Connelly, a WWII vet, upon returning to civilian life, worked as a sign painter for the then Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tn. He painted miniature sets of Burma Shave signs. Attached is a photo of one of those sets. The signs read as follows: “They missed the turn, Car was whizzin’, The fault her’n, The funeral his’n, Burma Shave”.  ... (click for more)

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