• Billboards of the Past Specializes in Vintage Billboards.

    Want to see vitage billboard designs?  Billboards of the Past is the place to go.  The Milwaukee, Oregon company is run by Sharon and Randy Littlefield.  They have an inventory of more than 3,200 actual vintage paper billboards for sale from the days when paper billboard designs were were pasted onto plywood.  Insider interviewed the Littlefields

    How did you get involved in the out of home business?

    Randy went over to an antique shop in Ontario, Oregon and the owner had a couple of billboards at his shop.  So Randy found out  more billboards were being stored in Baker, Oregon. Randy wanted to see the rest of them so the billboard owner took him to an old potato cellar and there were billboards stacked up about 12 ft high. There were a lot of them Randy saw Coca Cola, and vintage car ads. Several had dates stamped on them from the 40’s  and 50’s. There appeared to be several hundred. Randy made an offer and  called to tell me he had to rent a storage unit. Several months later he brought them home to Milwaukie, Oregon.

    What happened next?

    It took him a few years to sort and catalog them. A few years later Randy’s brother helped him set up an overhead camera in a building and he started  taking pictures. Later Randy’s brother created a website for us so we could sell them. The average size is 8 ½ ft by 19 ½ ft  for the one’s printed in the 40’s and mid 50”s. The later 50’s ads are 9 to 10 feet wide and up to 21 ft long.  We sell them out of our home as they are stored near by.  As far as we know we are the only people selling billboards which we  iron and glue together.

    Olympia Beer #9 Used by permission of Billboards of the Past

    What’s your favorite billboard?

    Randy’s favorite billboard is an Olympia Beer #9 on our website. He like the old car in the background and it’s just a nice early 40’s billboard.  We also have some billboards designed by Charles Schultz with Snoopy and Lucy and a billboard designed by Normal Rockwell.

    How are the billboards used?

    We have sold billboards to movie studio’s and they have been in the movie “Ray” about Ray Charles (3) billboards. The movie “Men of Honor” had a Navy billboard in it. We have sold some to restaurants in the south, San Francisco, and  Olympia, Washington.  We have buyers put them in their homes on their wall such as Randy’s brother. People put them in bedrooms, family rooms and car garages. We sold 2 to the Cadillac museum back east and 2 to the Studebaker museum. A Jantzen swimsuit one was in the bedroom of the male lead in the TV show “Ugly Betty”.

    Vintage billboard used in Ugly Betty. Used by permission from Billboards of the Past

    Where can I find out more?

    Visit the Billboards of the Past website.  Complete billboards sell from $300 to $3,000.  The designs are on paper which you paste to a wall or wood.  Shipping is by Fedexp.  You can also buy the Littlefield’s book Billboards of the Past.

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