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Vintage Sign Sampler

Recent acquisitions exemplify the diversity of the museum’s growing collection.

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Each of the five signs pictured here has its own story to tell, but for this month’s column, I’ll highlight the man behind the Style Sign Co. sign.

>Bill Christman of Christman Studios (St. Louis) told me that the man who created this sample sign was also a signpainter to the stars, so to speak.

>Jim May, who co-owns Purple Cow Antiques, the sign’s source, confirms that John Trantina’s signshop sat in the back of the Herkert-Meisel Quality Luggage building. The famous St. Louis luggage purveyor often called Trantina to the front office to hand-letter the names of the rich and famous — such as Clark Gable and Carol Lombard — on their newly purchased trunks. Oh, the stories those trunks could tell.

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