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Old signage on Quadra & Tattersall building


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#1 D.L.

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:03 PM

The recent reconstruction and renovation work on the old commercial building on the corner of Quadra and Tattersall Streets has revealed some interesting vintage signage.

Have a look. :)








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#2 Bingo

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:25 PM

That was Elizabeth May's office before a truck went through the front door on February 7th.

http://www.elizabeth...reet-destroyed/


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#3 gumgum

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:34 PM


Man that's perfectly preserved!

#4 Nparker

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 10:15 PM

With the track record of the Green Party, I would suggest they keep that sign, and offer the service it advertises. ;)

#5 D.L.

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 12:20 AM

I don't understand why the wood isn't even weathered.

#6 Bernard

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 07:39 AM

Looking at the sign, it does not look at all like it was from that long ago. I have no idea what the story is, I suspect it is interesting

#7 Bingo

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 08:02 AM

I don't understand why the wood isn't even weathered.


The old sign and the wood has been covered with stucco for years.

Here is an old photo of the Tattersall/Quadra intersection, previously posted by Sparky



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#8 Rob Randall

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 08:02 AM

I don't understand why the wood isn't even weathered.


"Ghost signs" can be beautifully preserved under years of stucco.

Looking at the sign, it does not look at all like it was from that long ago. I have no idea what the story is, I suspect it is interesting


I had the same suspicions as you, Bernard. The sign is painted by an amateur signpainter. Even the crudest temporary sign on a shack was painted with care in those days.

My first impression was that the style and execution of the writing didn't seem like an authentic antique and instead was a 1970s sign (there was a revival of old-timey styles then). But that doesn't explain the short phone number.

Part of me thinks it was recycled from a movie set but that's a lot of trouble to go to just to get some free wood to repair a building with.

Someone will have to go through the old city directories to solve this mystery!

#9 Bernard

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:54 AM

Movie set felt the right answer to me, but I can not imagine for what sort of movie and when.

When you look at the detail of the sign around the shoe the style looks wrong.

The phone number also does not seem right to me, the length indicates something very, very early, but the X1 makes little sense to me. I would have to look at one of the old City directories to get a sense of when this number might have made sense and if it is in the directory.

The look of the boards also do not feel right. Before World War 2 virtually no one would have made planks like that for facing that had any knots in it. You can look at almost any old house being torn down and see the wonderfully clear timber they used.

So, if I were to guess, the sign was made between 1947 and 1960. It may or may not have been made to go on that building, it may have been recycling from some for set or prop in a movie or theatre.

#10 gumgum

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:10 AM

The recently removed stucco looks the same as the one in the old photo. And that old photo looks to be taken in the 30s or 40s, judging from the cars.
Mind you, why does the wood where the sign is look so much newer than the rest of the wood? Was it a repair job in somewhat recent times maybe? Maybe this wasn't the first time a car has driven into that building.

#11 sebberry

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:15 AM

Sign looks like it was placed there from somewhere else. Top right of the sign looks like it is missing a few planks of wood.

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#12 gumgum

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:22 AM

Why would anyone go to the trouble of putting up a movie sign? I don't get that.

#13 sebberry

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:25 AM

Why would anyone go to the trouble of putting up a movie sign? I don't get that.


I wonder if they shot the movie there?

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#14 gumgum

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:27 AM

In streetview, look at how the the base of the front of the building has red brick, except on the Elizabeth May unit. Why would that be? I would guess it's due to past damage. Maybe a previous impact from a car is not such a far fetched idea.

#15 Bingo

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:36 AM

When you look at the detail of the sign around the shoe the style looks wrong.

The phone number also does not seem right to me, the length indicates something very, very early, but the X1 makes little sense to me.


The lettering style could be from the 1800's. see link to styles.

Victoria was still using five digit phone numbers in the early 1950's, I know because I was told to memorize mine.

I would say the cars are early 1950'. The closest might be a Plymouth.

http://www.fontage.com/woodcut.html

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#16 Bernard

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:18 AM

The lettering style could be from the 1800's. see link to styles.

Victoria was still using five digit phone numbers in the early 1950's, I know because I was told to memorize mine.

I would say the cars are early 1950'. The closest might be a Plymouth.

http://www.fontage.com/woodcut.html


In looking at the design style around the shoe, it reminds me of 1950s drawing style.

As to the number, it is the X1 that makes no sense to me.

In the 1915 City of Victoria Directory there is no business at this location. IN 1908 there was nothing at all at this location. In 1915 four digit phone numbers were in use, but not with any notation beyond the numbers. In 1892 3 digit phone numbers were in use.

#17 D.L.

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 04:53 PM

Could the "X1" mean "extension 1?"

The unweathered wood indicates to me that the sign did not spend even a single winter exposed to the elements.

#18 yodsaker

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 05:35 PM

The closest car in the photo looks to me like a "shoebox" Ford made in 1949-50-51. If so, the pic is from late 1948 at the oldest (new cars all came out in the fall in those days).
The sign does look like it was from a western-movie storefront but I like it a lot anyway.

#19 D.L.

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 05:51 PM

Perhaps the northern portion of this building was built first, and the other two storefronts to the south were a later addition. The northern portion may have had a western style "false front" which was originally higher than what it is now, but when the addition was built this false front was altered, creating the current roofline. The original building may have had a gabled roof. This would explain the differences in wood that can be seen, and the alteration to the sign's top right corner.



#20 LJ

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 07:45 PM

^I think you are on the right track. I think the building originally held two different businesses, the shoe repair shop on the right and something else on the left.

The original construction probably had a straight false front and a later owner fancied it up with the scalloping, which removed part of the sign, and then stuccoed over it.

Judging by the weathered wood below and around the sign I would suggest the sign-painter probably put a couple of coats of shellac or varnish over his sign to increase it's longevity thus preserving the wood in a much better state.
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