Balton Sign Co. has had their hands on many great and recognizable signs in and around Memphis, including the giant letters that stand on the storefront of Ross and Hollywood Feed. But more interestingly is discovering how many signs they’ve worked on, including several we are researching for this book.
Beginning in 1875 under the name Balton & Sons Sign Company, the family-owned and operated business produced most of the signs in Memphis and surrounding areas. They are the ones who manufactured the original Holiday Inn Great Sign which was replicated and mimicked by so many other businesses.
We learned the Baltons are responsible for the making of the Universal Life Insurance Company sign as well as the restoration of the Sputnik, two of my personal favorite signs. And, most recently, I learned they manufactured the letters of the Midtown is Memphis sign.
I was fortunate and grateful to go on a tour of the factory with Jeff Balton. It is probable I resembled a dweeb, as fascinated as I was to see how it all worked, but certainly I am not the only one fascinated with the construction and making of this art form. Here are a few photographs I captured for your viewing.