PHOTOS: Over 400 vintage signs at Cincinnati Sign Museum

CINCINNATI - When you walk inside the American Sign Museum you might think you've hit the jackpot.

"It's kind of like being in Las Vegas without the slot machines. A lot of neon here," said visitor Joe Todd.
 
There are big signs, small signs, and just plain out of this world signs.
 
 
"I don't know how practical some of these signs are today with our weather, but it's great that somebody has preserved them because frankly our kids will never see one of these signs out somewhere," said Marty Cotterman of Monticello, Indiana.
 
A stroll through the museum takes you down memory lane.
 
"The McDonald's, I remember the first time I got to go to McDonald's when I was little. It was a half hour drive away from our farm into the city. The 15 cents hamburger. We all just sat their looking at the arches," said Mary Findley of Cincinnati.
 
American Sign Museum founder Tom Swormstedt says the statue has changed with the times.
 
"They've kind of slimmed down the big boy. The big boys now aren't quite as well fed as our version here," said museum founder, Tod Swormstedt.
 
It's also popular with visitors who pose to take pictures.
 
"It's a Kodak moment  a lot of people kind of put their arm around the big boy. Maybe taking a bite out of the big hamburger," Swormstedt said.
 
Swormstedt , the former editor and publisher of the Signs of the Times magazine, opened the museum in 1999.
 
He's watched as visitors have gotten lost in the museum.
 
"If they get caught up in the moment they're lost for a little bit. That's a good thing. It's good to get lost in the sign museum," Swormstedt said with a smile.
 
What started out as a hobby has now grown to 400 signs.
 
If you plan on stopping by for a tour make sure you have plenty of time to follow the signs.
 
 
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