Welcome to the American Sign Museum audio tour. This tour will take you all around the museum, tell you interesting bits of information about the signs, and help to answer questions you may have about the museum. If you have any problems with the mobile application or this tour, please see the staff at the front desk for assistance. And now, on with the tour!
The American Sign Museum first opened its doors in 2005, however the museum moved to its current location in 2012. The original location of the American Sign Museum was in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati. The building the museum is in now is roughly 10 times larger than the original location. The museum was founded by one person named Tod Swormstedt.
Before founding the museum Tod was the editor and publisher of the magazine called Signs of the Times Magazine, which is the trade journal of the sign industry. Signs of the Times has been published in Cincinnati since 1906. And the first editor of the first issue was Tod's great-grandfather; so it's been a part of his family since the beginning to be writing about signs, sign technology, and the sign industry in general.
The building the museum is currently in is over 100 years old. And the museum's collection covers over 100 years American sign history, dating from the late 1800s all the way up through the 1970s. These signs are coming from all over the United States, they are not just from here in Cincinnati. In fact the vast majority of the museum’s collection comes from outside of the Cincinnati area. These signs are acquired typically by donation, oftentimes from the sign industry itself, either from a sign company or individuals related to the industry.
Now, the best place to start with the tour is at what we call “the Letter Wall”, which you will find that at the top of the ramp which is located to the right of the front desk from the front lobby.