Burma shave

By Harvey Tobkes

Remember these? For those who never saw any of the Burma Shave signs, here is a quick lesson in our history of the 1930’s and ’40’s: Before there were interstates, when everyone drove on the old 2 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 1 line of a 4 line couplet……and the obligatory 5th sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving cream.

I have fond childhood memories of how much we enjoyed the diversion of those humorous poetic signs while enduring those long highway trips. When we were bored and thinking of a game or diversion, my sister and I sat in the back of the family car and took turns reading the signs aloud. And on every trip, by every family, the kids always asked, “are we there yet, Mommy?” Mommy always answered,”soon honey, soon!”


Watch this video on YouTube.

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