Burma Shave Signs

Saturday, April 7, 2018 - by Ed Connelly

Years ago my uncle Alf (A.T.) Connelly, a WWII vet, upon returning to civilian life, worked as a sign painter for the then Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tn. He painted miniature sets of Burma Shave signs.

Attached is a photo of one of those sets. The signs read as follows:

“They missed the turn, Car was whizzin’, The fault her’n, The funeral his’n, Burma Shave”. 

I'm sure that Burma Shave actually saved some lives. People laughed and they were more careful! 

It was a REAL "service" to America, even though it was an advertisement and it was one of the RARE "really useful" ones!

For those who never saw any of the Burma Shave signs, here is a quick lesson in our history of the 1930s and 40s.  Before there were interstates when everyone drove the old two lane roads, Burma Shave signs would be posted all over the countryside in farmers' fields. They were small red signs with white letters.

Five signs, about 100 feet apart, each containing one line of a four line couplet and the obligatory 5th sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving cream.

A MAN, A MISS,
A CAR, A CURVE.
HE KISSED THE MISS,
AND MISSED THE CURVE.
Burma Shave


DON'T STICK YOUR ELBOW
OUT SO FAR
IT MAY GO HOME
IN ANOTHER CAR.
Burma Shave

TRAINS DON'T WANDER
ALL OVER THE MAP
'CAUSE NOBODY SITS
IN THE ENGINEER'S LAP.
Burma Shave

SHE KISSED THE HAIRBRUSH
BY MISTAKE
SHE THOUGHT IT WAS
HER HUSBAND JAKE.
Burma Shave

DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD
TO GAIN A MINUTE
YOU NEED YOUR HEAD
YOUR BRAINS ARE IN IT.
Burma Shave

DROVE TOO LONG
DRIVER SNOOZING
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
IS NOT AMUSING.
Burma Shave

BROTHER SPEEDER
LET'S REHEARSE
ALL TOGETHER
GOOD MORNING, NURSE.
Burma Shave

CAUTIOUS RIDER
TO HER RECKLESS DEAR
LET'S HAVE LESS BULL
AND A LITTLE MORE STEER.
Burma Shave

SPEED WAS HIGH
WEATHER WAS NOT
TIRES WERE THIN
X MARKS THE SPOT.
Burma Shave

THE MIDNIGHT RIDE
OF PAUL FOR BEER
LED TO A WARMER
HEMISPHERE.
Burma Shave

AROUND THE CURVE
LICKETY-SPLIT
BEAUTIFUL CAR
WASN'T IT?
Burma Shave

NO MATTER THE PRICE
NO MATTER HOW NEW
THE BEST SAFETY DEVICE
IN THE CAR IS YOU.
Burma Shave

A GUY WHO DRIVES
A CAR WIDE OPEN
IS NOT THINKIN'
HE'S JUST HOPING
Burma Shave

AT INTERSECTIONS
LOOK EACH WAY
A HARP SOUNDS NICE
BUT IT'S HARD TO PLAY.
Burma Shave

BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL
EYES ON THE ROAD
THAT'S THE SKILLFUL
DRIVER'S CODE.
Burma Shave

THE ONE WHO DRIVES
WHEN HE'S BEEN DRINKING
DEPENDS ON YOU
TO DO HIS THINKING.
Burma Shave

CAR IN DITCH
DRIVER IN TREE
THE MOON WAS FULL
AND SO WAS HE.
Burma Shave

PASSING SCHOOL ZONE
TAKE IT SLOW
LET OUR LITTLE
SHAVERS GROW.
Burma Shave

Do these bring back any old memories? If not, you're merely a child. 
If they do - then you're "old as dirt" LIKE ME!  I loved reading them. 



John Shearer: Former American National Bank Building Turns 50

One of Chattanooga’s longtime depositors and loaners of money has collected its own form of gold this year.   The 20-story SunTrust Bank building downtown – originally built as the locally based American National Bank’s headquarters -- is reaching its golden anniversary with its 50 th  birthday.   In the early fall of 1968, the structure opened at Market ... (click for more)

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society To Meet Aug. 7

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society will meet at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7.  The meeting will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1160 Ridgeway Ave. Signal Mountain.  The speaker, Susan Gruwell, will present a program entitled, "Spotlight on Family Search."  Visitors are welcome. (click for more)

Congressman Zach Wamp Endorses Bill Lee For Governor

Former Congressman Zach Wamp endorsed Bill Lee for governor on Monday. The endorsement from Congressman Wamp, coming after last week’s endorsement from the conservative Free Press Editorial Page at The Chattanooga Times Free Press, shows Lee has built tremendous momentum as early voting is underway right now.  “It is an honor to have the support of Congressman Zach ... (click for more)

Senator Watson And Rep. Hazlewood Ask TDOT To Move Swiftly On Highway 127 Road Project Up Signal Mountain

State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) have asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to move swiftly on the Highway 127 project leading up Signal Mountain. In a sternly-worded letter, the lawmakers asked TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to prioritize the road project due to further deterioration of the road. ... (click for more)

Here We Go Again With The Same Cummings Highway, 12th Street Flooding - And Response

Here we go again with the same pitiful news reports about the Cummings Highway Interstate interchange with I-24 - Flooding yet again after a heavy rain.  TDOT is derelict in not having repaired this years ago.  How hard is it to get some excavators out there to dig up the collapsed drainage pipes which TDOT says are the cause of the flooding and replace them with ... (click for more)

Deal With The Graffiti Vandals

I travel to other neat old cities and don't see nearly the graffiti vandalism as in Chattanooga. Why do we allow one or two or three repeat vandals to mar our venerable Walnut Street Bridge, the pillars to the Holmberg Bridge, the remodeled Chief John Ross Market Street Bridge, the walls along our multi-million-dollar Riverwalk, our sidewalks, street signs and our old limestone ... (click for more)