AN SCA POP-UP EVENT + TOUR: Seeing Ghosts – 7 Photographers Capture Faded Wall Ads

WHEN: Sunday, August 8
WHERE: Neon Museum of Philadelphia at NextFab (1800 North American St, Unit E)

Members of the Society for Commercial Archeology were in Philadelphia on Sunday, August 8th at the invitation of Neon Museum of Philadelphia (NMOP) for a special Pop-Up Event. We viewed the exhibit, mingled with the exhibiting photographers, took a walking tour of ghosts signs in the neighborhood and capped the day with an exclusive up close visit to the Harbison Milk Bottle.


Across the globe, artifacts from pre-Internet commerce emerge from building facades in hand-painted figures and fonts of vintage advertisements. Known as ghost signs, these faded wall ads are folk art diamonds in the rough of today’s shiny plastic cities. Their fossilized messages, ranging from obvious to obscure, are the focus of our show’s ghost sign hunters, who’ve captured these fading designs and histories in photographs, videos, and interviews.

The exhibition features work by Peter Woodall, Frank Jump, Chris Brace, Len Davidson, MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson, Gibbs Connors, and Jordan Keiffer.


12pm-2:30pm: Arrive at the Neon Museum of Philadelphia

Check out their collection of neon signs and view the exhibition, Seeing Ghosts: 7 Photographers Capture Faded Wall Ads. Meet with exhibition photographers.

3:00pm: Ghost Sign Walking Tour

Join exhibition photographers for a 1.5 mile walking tour in the area of the museum to see local ghost signs. You can also join us via car if you like.

4:00pm: Exclusive Harbison Milk Bottle Visit

The walking tour will conclude with a very special visit to view the Harbison Milk Bottle. At least 15 participants (or more depending on building constraints) will visit the roof of the building with Gibbs Connors who painted the Philly icon. All participants will get a good view of the milk bottle from the street.


We will return to the museum, where you are invited to stay for food and drinks at the restaurant inside NextFab.

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