norge-ball-1

Though quickly giving way to a brain-numbing repetitious cheap cartoon background of Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Mobile Gas and Dunkin’ Donuts, bits of the more eccentric roadside advertising of the 1950’s and 1960’s are still visible.

Here’s one I must have driven by more than 1,000 times in my life, but noticed just three days ago.

Improbably perched atop a tuxedo rental shop on Central Avenue in Albany, NY, this once-animated 10-foot diameter Wonder Bread-like orb once advertised Norge Laundry & Cleaning Village. According to Roadside Architecture, 50 years ago, there were 3,400 of these across the country. About 60 are known to survive. There is a postcard on Flickr that will give you a good sense of the “Jeston’s optimism” this sign once signaled.

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