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McDonald's Signs

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McDonald's sign
Huntsville, AL
(now Cincinnati, OH)
McDonald's sign
Green Bay, WI
McDonald's stopped using the Speedee character in its advertising and buildings in the early 1960s. Once commonplace, there are only a two of these neon signs left at operating McDonald's locations (Green Bay and Muncie). Five others are on display at museums (see below) and there may be a few others in private collections.

The Huntsville sign was remarkably well-preserved and lit at night. The sign was built in 1963. The building itself was replaced with a more modern design. A car crashed into the sign in 2007 and damaged it. In 2008, the sign was taken down and is now on display at the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, OH. For more, see 1, 2, and 3.

The vintage Green Bay sign is also lit at night. It was restored in 2005. This location opened in 1958 but the building has been replaced with a new one. For more, see this website.

McDonald's sign [gone]
Lebanon, IN
McDonald's sign
Muncie, IN
McDonald's sign [gone]
Holts Summit, MO
This Lebanon sign was originally at a location in Lafayette, IN. It was saved and moved to this site in the mid-1990s. But by 2000, it was gone again.

This Muncie sign was installed in 1958 when this location was built. The sign was restored in 2006 and has fully-functioning, animated neon. In 2013, the sign was completely restored. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

This Holts Summit sign was originally located in nearby Jefferson City, MO. It was restored and installed on a huge pole at this modern location. The wording on the sign was changed to say "originally was" 15 cents and that the bottom part of the arch was chopped off. In 2011, this sign was removed and replaced with a modern plastic one. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

This Phoenix, AZ sign (now gone) shows an even earlier wording and script style at the bottom.

McDonald's sign [gone]
Biloxi, MS
The Biloxi McDonald's opened in 1962. Their sign survived Hurricane Camille in 1969 but the original building did not. In 2005, their sign was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina (bottom photos). It has since been replaced with a modern sign. [top photo ca. 1998 thanks Rich Kummerlowe]

McDonald's
Mason City, IA
McDonald's sign
Topeka, KS
former McDonald's
San Bernardino, CA
This Mason City McDonald's sign is installed at the back of the parking lot of an operating McDonald's. It is a unique mix of styles. The text part of this sign is apparently from an old Speedee style sign. The top part of the sign is the newer "Skinny M" type like those shown at the bottom of this page. The other side of this sign has neon and is lit at night. Does anyone know the story behind this sign? For more, see this website.

The Topeka Speedee sign from 1961 was originally at the first McDonald's in Topeka (the second one in Kansas). In 1981, the restaurant building was replaced with a new one and the sign was donated to the Kansas State Historical Society. The colorful top part of the sign is displayed at the Kansas Museum of History. For more, see this website. [photo thanks Glenda Campbell]

This McDonald's sign stands at the site of the first McDonald's restaurant which opened in 1948. In 1953, the original building was replaced with the classic double arches design. The red panel of this sign is apparently all that's left of the sign that was installed then. In 1962, after the chain was sold to Ray Kroc, this location changed its name to Big M and the sign was altered. In 1972, the double arches building was demolished. A music store was built on the site in 1974. In 1998, that building was converted into a McDonald's Museum, of sorts. Without permission from the McDonald's Corporation, it is known as the Unofficial McDonald's Museum. The museum is actually owned by Juan Pollo Restaurants. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

McDonald's
Lapeer, MI
McDonald's
Oshkosh, WI
This Lapeer sign is a retro, modern creation. Note the compressed double arch behind Speedee. There is another sign like this in Dearborn Heights, MI. I don't know of any other McDonald's signs like these. There are other modern signs out there that feature single arches and Speedee like these in Bethlehem, PA and Mount Ephraim, NJ. Note that the arch is not the same shape and does not have neon at the top. The Speedee figure is placed on a disk and is not freestanding.

This Oshkosh sign is also a scaled-down, modern plastic version of the old Speedee signs. This location opened in the 1990s or early 2000s.

More Speedee Signs
somewhere in AZ
Ford Museum (Dearborn, MI)

McDonald's
Winter Haven, FL
McDonald's
Lakeland, FL
McDonald's [gone]
Springfield, IL
McDonald's
Belleville, IL
McDonald's
Joplin, MO
The Winter Haven, Lakeland and Springfield McDonald's feature single arch signs with shields, aka "crest signs". The Springfield sign has since been replaced with a modern one.

The Belleville sign appears to be the same minus the shields. I believe this type of sign was only produced in or around 1962. The shield was based on a McDonald's family crest. The double arch signs were introduced in 1962. For more, see this website.

The Joplin shield sign appears to be a reproduction. The horizontal panel of the sign is single-sided and affixed to the front of the arch, without the white mid-section. The arch itself does not have the sections of the original signs.

McDonald's
Warren, MI
McDonald's
Independence, MO
McDonald's
Lancaster, PA

McDonald's
Magnolia, NJ
McDonald's [gone]
Akron, OH
The Warren, Independence, Lancaster, and Magnolia McDonald's signs are three other remaining examples of the single arch shield design. The Magnolia sign was about a mile away and moved here when that location closed. For more, see this website.

The Akron sign appeared to have been updated somewhat when this photo was taken in 2007. The shields were replaced with McDonald's logos. By 2009, the McDonald's building was updated and this sign was replaced with a new one.

More Shield Signs
Pine Bluff, AR: 1, 2
Warren, MI
Penn Hills, PA [early 1960s]

McDonald's
Austin, MN
McDonald's
Westland, MI
McDonald's
Tacoma, WA
McDonald's
Yuba City, CA
McDonald's
Topeka, KS
McDonald's
Northampton, MA
McDonald's
Bangor, ME
McDonald's
Middletown, CT
McDonald's
Milford, CT
McDonald's
Freehold, NJ
McDonald's
North Syracuse, NY
McDonald's
Richmond, IN
McDonald's
Muncie, IN
These cities have examples of the now rare "Skinny M" double arch signs. I believe these are from the early 1970s. The Tacoma sign is most interesting since it is missing the "Hamburger" text yet does not appear to have been reworked. The Austin sign must be older than the others since it still had the capability of changing the number of "Billions Served". The North Syracuse location has two of these signs: one at both of their lot's entrances.

McDonald's Buildings
(page 1)
McDonald's Buildings
(page 2)
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