For today’s post, I’m pairing two ghost signs from two different cities. The sign from Nashville is so faded it’s hard to see what it says but I can make out the word Biscuit. It looks like this was a sign for Uneeda Biscuit. Here are some others to compare. The illustration to the right of the t looks like the Nabisco logo. Here’s a close up:These are more shots of the ghost sign taken in Youngstown, OH: Via Wikipedia:
Thomas Cusack (born in Ireland in 1858 and died in Illinois in 1926) was a pioneer and entrepreneur in the outdoor advertising industry and a politician, serving as a Democratic U.S. Representative from Illinois’ 4th District from 1899 to 1901.
Cusack emigrated with his family from Ireland to New York City in 1861 when he was a young boy. Shortly after the move, his parents died, leaving him and his younger brother orphaned. Cusack was raised by relatives in Chicago, where he received his education and learned how to paint, a skill that ultimately made him a very wealthy man. At the age of 17, Cusack established his own sign painting business, the Thomas Cusack Company, in Chicago, Illinois, making him one of the pioneers in the field of outdoor advertising. The business soon grew to be very profitable, leasing over 100,000 billboards and advertising spaces and turning Cusack into a prosperous and influential Chicagoan.
In 1890, Mayor of Chicago Hempstead Washburne appointed the “billboard baron” to a seat on the city’s school board. In 1898, Cusack was elected to his first and only term in the United States Congress from the 4th District of Illinois. After his term, Cusack decided to return his attention primarily to his outdoor advertising business, which had grown considerably in size to more than one hundred offices with an annual revenue of over $20 million. Cusack was known for his fair labor practices and amicable relationships with his employees, and was most proud of the fact that, in a city known for labor strikes, his workers never walked off the job. In his day as a sign painter, Cusack remembered getting $8 a week in wages. By the time he sold his business to a New York banking syndicate in 1924, he was paying his workers $10 to $15 a day.