Amber Street, North of Tioga, Philadelphia, PA
The main product line for Gillco Glass Sign Company during the 1920s through the 1940s was a wide variety of lighting fixtures, for both commercial and home use. The Gillco Glass Sign Company was headquartered in Philadelphia, PA and also used the name Central Lighting Fixture Company on some of their products.
With the repeal of the National Prohibition in 1933, Gillco Glass Sign Company saw a promising market in developing glass advertising signs, in both illuminated and non-illuminated styles, for the large numbers of breweries that were now back in business, particularly in the Northeast corridor of the country, where Gillco was based out of. The Gillco Glass Sign Company developed a wide variety of styles of reverse-on-glass advertising cab light signs, saucer lens signs, and clocks. One of the most famous styles of signs that they made are known as Gillco Cab Lights. Cab Light signs get there name from their resemblance to a taxi cab light; they are made up of two half glass lens with only one lens having the sign graphics all mounted in a metal body.
For a short time they even made back-lite signs by the name of Neonglas by Gill Glass and Fixture Company. They not only made signs for breweries but also other industries and companies like Dolly Madison Ice Cream, Philco Radio, Fruit of the Loom, RCA, and Kelvinator Refrigerators.
One distinct style of sign that they produced was Gill Glass Gas Pump Globes for gas stations and gasoline companies across the United States. They made metal and ripple glass bodied ones with glass lenses mounted inside and a light bulb to illuminate the sign. The lenses could be interchanged according to the product the gas stations were promoting. Some breweries like Ruppert’s Beer, Yough Brewing Company, and Dutch Club Beer adopted this style of advertising signs too.
The distinctive signs Gillco developed drew a great deal of inspiration from the Art Deco styles of the 1930’s era. Because of their high quality, it’s likely the signs Gillco marketed to brewers were some of the more expensive point-of-purchase advertising signs that could be ordered at the time. With brewers jockeying for market position in the months following Repeal, the advertising departments of many breweries undoubtedly took an interest in the colorful, high quality signs Gillco had to offer.
The Gillco Glass Sign Company made various Gillco Beer Cab Light Signs, Saucers, Box Lights, and Clocks for breweries like Old Reading, Barbey’s Sunshine, Esslinger, Lebanon Valley, Kaier’s, Adam Scheidt, Valley Forge, Poth’s, Fort Pitt, Stegmaier, Betz, Yough, St. Mary, Ballentine, Jacob Ruppert, Green Seal, Globe, Ben Record, Deer Park, Pabst, Old Tankard, Utica, J. Leinenkugels, Pilsener, Alaska Lager, Burger Brau, Hull’s, Brucks, National, American, Mellow Brew, Renner, Trommer’s, and Krueger as well as many others.
Below are a few examples of Gillco signs: