Lucy Maust has found a unique way to remember them. She designed a quilted wall-hanging including 16 of the rhymes from these signs.
The first signs advertising a brushless shaving cream, Burma Shave, were introduced in Minnesota in 1926. The rhyming sign series soon became very popular and annual contests were held for people to submit rhymes for these signs that appeared in all of the 48 lower states except for New Mexico, Arizona , Massachusetts and Nevada. Four or five consecutive signs would give one line of the rhyme at a time, and always end with “Burma Shave!”. They were an interesting diversion while driving the major highways. Driving safety was the frequent theme of these rhymes, such as, “He tried to cross . . . As fast train neared . . . Death didn’t draft him . . . He volunteered” or “Don’t lose your head . . . To gain a minute . . . Your need your head . . . Your brains are in it”. The Burma Shave signs were discontinued in 1963.
This unique wall-hanging will be auctioned at Country Fest this year Saturday, August 28.