Neon Signs from the Boston metro area’s past

Each year, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Greenway in Boston displays a different offering of Arts/Sculpture to keep the park new and interesting. 2018’s installation of the GLOW exhibit did not disappoint. Eight different neon signs originating from the around the Boston metro area that were in use in the 20th century were installed, expanding 2 city blocks.

I normally post images from these photoshoots to Instagram, and if I get 30 likes or so I’m happy. This go around was different. I was DM’d from the creative director of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, asking if he could use some of these images on their web site and on social media. Being my favorite place in Boston, I said of course! You can view some of these photos  on the official Rose Kennedy Greenway web site – such an honor. Hope you enjoy these pictures!

Click on an image for a larger view, camera info, and to comment:

Stateline Potato Chips

The State Line Potato Chips neon sign originated in Wilbraham, MA, and began its usage around 1950. The first State Line potato chips were fried in a family run kitchen that straddled the Massachusetts/Connecticut state line, thus the company’s name.


General Electric Radio

This is the oldest sign on display – dating from the mid-1920’s. This sign was at the helm of Bills Radio and TV on Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury, MA.



Fontaine’s Restaurant

Originally in use in West Roxbury, MA, this sign dates back to 1952. It features Topsy the neon chicken, which interestingly was created by George Fontaine, who sketched the bird’s design at his kitchen table.



Cycle Center

This distinctive sign of a recreational cyclist began use in Natick, MA in 1956. The sign, with flashing wheel spokes, give the illusion that the wheels are turning. The cyclists legs flash alternately to give the illusion the cyclist is riding his bike.



Siesta Motel

The Siesta Motel sign helmed from Route 1 in Saugus MA, and was created in 1950. On the Greenway today, this sign was the backdrop for the rings fountain, which provided some interesting photo opportunites with the steam the fountain provided.



Bay State Auto Spring

I just love the rust on this sign – the Bay State Auto Spring helmed in Roxbury, MA Circa 1950.


European Restaurant

At the European Restaurant, they would boast that “it’s always time to have a bite to eat” This sign originated in Boston itself, around 1970.


Flying Yankee Restaurant

According to the Greenway web site, “While the name of the diner evoked a connection with a much-loved New England streamliner train, the rocket logo, with its distinctive flashing tail, celebrated the accomplishment of local aerospace inventor Dr. Robert H. Goddard. Goddard made history when he launched the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn in 1926.” This sign originated in Auburn MA in the early 1950’s.

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