Flashback: Burma Shave Roadside Poetry

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"In 1925, The Burma-Vita Corporation of Minneapolis began producing signs for a campaign that would soon propel the company into the position as the number two seller of men's shaving cream.

The signs were placed where motorists would see them in a staggered sequence usually along a rural, monotonous stretch of highway. Each series of signs contained rhyming lyrics, always ending the last sign with the words "Burma-Shave." Teams of employees fanned out across the country to erect the signs. By the mid 1930s, sets of signs stretched from coast to coast; only Arizona and Massachusetts lacked representation.

With the development of the interstate highway system motorists began driving faster. Consequently, road sings became larger and farther away, making the small Burma-Shave sings unreadable and thus obsolete. The Burma-Shave signs came down in 1963 and product sales plummeted, so much so that in 1966 the line was discontinued."
-- Eisner Museum

Here are some of the Burma Shave's rhymes and more fun trivia from Backwoodshome. You can even order a DVD collection of 120 jingles and signs.


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