Vintage sign at historical society inspires 1949 prices for ice cream

  • Visitors play a game identifying technology used to make various signs at the "Signs of the Times" exhibit which will be closing Saturday, June 29, with an ice cream party.

    Visitors play a game identifying technology used to make various signs at the "Signs of the Times" exhibit which will be closing Saturday, June 29, with an ice cream party. Courtesy of Aurora Historical Society

  • A sign showing prices for Valley Maid Ice Cream, c. 1949. On Saturday, the Aurora Historical Society's ice cream party will feature ice cream cones for 8 cents.

    A sign showing prices for Valley Maid Ice Cream, c. 1949. On Saturday, the Aurora Historical Society's ice cream party will feature ice cream cones for 8 cents. Courtesy of Aurora Historical Society

 
Submitted by Aurora Historical Society

An ice cream party with prices from 1949 will close out the "Signs of the Times" exhibit at the Aurora Historical Society at the Pierce Art and History Center from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 29.

Drawing inspiration from a hand-lettered sign for Valley Maid ice cream c. 1949, which is part of the exhibit, the historical society will charge 8 cents for a cone, 6 cents for a fudgsicle and 10 cents for an ice cream bar during the last day of the exhibit.

The exhibit displays 100 signs dating back as far as the 1880s, and includes signs from train stations, restaurants and bakeries, street corners, Phillips Park, political campaigns, schools and other aspects of Aurora history.

They are electric, neon, painted, printed, and even sewn.

There is a faded hand-printed sign announcing the appearance of John F. Kennedy in Aurora, put up just days before he won election to the presidency, and taken down only after his assassination three years later.

"You forget how the streetscape changes over time," said longtime volunteer Bill Walsh, who helped mount the exhibit. "Signs come and go, and we don't remember them very long. But I'll tell you what, for me the prices on that Valley Maid sign really brought back memories." It was Walsh's idea to sell the ice cream during the closing reception.

The exhibit is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. June 29 is the last day.

The Pierce Center is at 20 E. Downer Place. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

For information, visit www.aurorahistory.org and on Facebook and Instagram at aurorahistory.

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