View Full Version : Among my souvenirs #181 (Studebaker neon sign from 1934))

Studebaker Wheel
04-01-2015, 11:58 AM
I purchased this neon sign from Hodak Motors in Kankakee, Illinois in the late 1960s. It was in the attic in the original shipping crate and had some broken neon. Hodak’s opened for business in June 1934 and this sign is the first one they had. Some years later I was fortunate enough to find the advertising flyer, cover letter and even the invoice for the sign showing a purchase date of 8-29-34 and a price of $20 plus shipping. I had the neon repaired and a new transformer added. I believe it is the first neon sign offered by Studebaker.

It is 26” in diameter and 7” thick. It has a domed (convex) glass face with the Studebaker lettering2 1/2 high. I do have a photo of the same sign hanging in the Studebaker Administration Building above the east facing entryway and also a few dealer buildings also showing this sign. According to the literature it was available as single or double sided. It was made for Studebaker by the Irwin-Walker sign company in Lima, Ohio. In the fall of 1935 a new “red ball” logo was adopted and the wheel type logo was discontinued so this particular style was very short lived.


Pop's Chariot
04-01-2015, 04:41 PM
Wow What a find even if it was 50 years ago. a real beaut.!!

04-01-2015, 04:43 PM
Great looking sign. Thanks for posting it.

04-01-2015, 08:12 PM
Original price $20.00, ok I'll step up and give you double for it ;)

52 Ragtop
04-01-2015, 08:35 PM
NICE! I printed the order form and mailed it in "direct" to Lima Ohio! I "should" receive my sign in a few days I would "assume"


04-01-2015, 11:41 PM
Does it flash as original?

Studebaker Wheel
04-02-2015, 12:14 AM
Does it flash as original?

No flashes.

04-02-2015, 12:33 AM
That is really too cool, Dick. Thanks for sharing it!

04-02-2015, 03:53 PM
Great Neon, and wonderful paperwork to go with it. Do you have it hanging up on display now?

Studebaker Wheel
04-02-2015, 04:51 PM
Great Neon, and wonderful paperwork to go with it. Do you have it hanging up on display now?

Not hanging but reposing on the floor. Afraid of earthquakes! Remember things cannot fall off the floor.

04-02-2015, 06:13 PM
in your "neck of the woods", i'd be worried about sinkholes - if your permafrost ever melts!:lol:

04-02-2015, 06:26 PM
Very nice Richard! I wonder if any more of them have survived?
Like to find a nice Studebaker neon sign for the garage.
Missed a nice "Lark Powersteering" neon sign from Mathis Motors years ago. :(

Studebaker Wheel
04-02-2015, 07:02 PM
I know of only one other like this in Ohio. One owner dealership.

04-02-2015, 07:36 PM
I guess the soon too happen logo change would limit the production and giving the survival rate of these neon signs. It's amazing yours and the one in Ohio are still around!
Thank you for sharing this sign Richard.:!!: