New Hampshire Antique Co-op is pleased to present From Diners to Detectives: American Vintage & Antique Signs, a retrospective exhibit and sale of advertising signs from the 1800s to the present. Celebrating signage forms in America, this exhibit showcases a wide variety of materials employed by sign makers of today and yesteryear: hand-carved and gilded wood, hand-painted tin, printed broadsides, fabricated chrome, fired porcelain, electrified and more. This summer visit the Tower Gallery at New Hampshire Antique Co-op and view this eye-catching colorful collection for sale of signs and advertising ephemera from the 19th and 20th centuries and learn more about the different types and techniques of sign making over the past 150 years. From Diners to Detectives: American Vintage & Antique Signs highlights a wide range of signage graphics as well as a variety of typography styles and hand-lettered fonts. Using materials such as paper, cardboard, wood, tin, steel, porcelain and neon, sign makers in the United States employed a wide variety of techniques to create their works. Signage is initially intended to be practical and functional for commercial use, yet ultimately is artful in composition and execution. These vintage and antique signs, like paintings or photographs, offer a glimpse into times gone by. The origin of advertising signs can be traced back to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, where paintings were found on the rock walls of market stalls advertising wares such as “fresh holy bread for sale.” After the Dark Ages, growth in trade and commerce made way for the need to promote products and services with signs. The most widely recognized historical examples of this advertising method are wooden signs made for pubs and inns in England, Europe and North America, most from the 18th and 19th centuries. Carved wooden signs gave way to tin signs in the 1900s. After that, steel was used until plastics and vinyls were discovered in the 1950s. With the advancement of lighting and manufacturing technologies, electricity and neon were used, bringing a new dimension of creativity to signs produced in the modern era. From Diners to Detectives: American Vintage & Antique Signs will be on view in the Tower Gallery at New Hampshire Antique Co-op from July 8 through September 30, 2017. New Hampshire Antique Co-op is one of the largest and finest group antique shops in the state. Established in 1983, the shop features more than 200 dealers, 2,000 consignors and 20,000 square feet dedicated to showcasing fine art, period furniture, quality smalls and vintage finds. The shop was named "Best of New Hampshire" by New Hampshire Magazine. New Hampshire Antique Co-op is located 1.5 miles west of the Milford Oval at 323 Elm Street, Milford, NH. For more information, call 603-673-8499 or visit online at www.nhantiquecoop.com. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.