SIGNS: BACKLIT (Hanging & Wall Mounted)
BACKLIT SIGNS - Background
As the name indicates, Backlit signs have lighting from the behind the face of the sign. They usually have a metal frame, a plastic or glass face with lettering and images and florescent or incandescent lighting inside the case. In the late 1940s the use of a painted plastic face-plate with lighting behind it in a metal frame. They became more popular than neon signs in the 1950s and thereafter over neon signs. That's because they allowed more illustration and next than neon, could be eye catching, even when the lighting was turned off, and could be relatively less inexpensive. They came in varied sizes, becoming quite long if desired, and had some versatility in being displayed in either window, hung from a ceiling or mounted on a wall. There were essentially three periods that these signs were distributed. They include nearly a decade for Bavarian's Old Style Beer (mostly 1950-1956), just a couple years for Bavarian's Select Beer by Bavarian Brewing Co. - before its sale to IBI (1957-1959) and, several years for Bavarian's Select by IBI (1959-1966). The signs for each of these periods are presented below.
Circa 1946 - 1956: The oldest backlit signs probably date from after WWII in the late1940s. None are know that were before Bavarian changed the name of their flagship beer from Bavarian Master Brand to Bavarian's Old Style beer in 1946. The earlier signs in this period in the late 1940's and around 1950 likely had off-white backgrounds, like the first two shown below. Those with the blue background were probably in the early and mid 1950s. Often the signs featured the slogan "A Man's Beer" or "On Tap." In the mid 1950s the phrase was changed to "Flavor... at its Finest" and "...Hers Too!"
Mostly 1957 - 1959. Besides neon signs for Bavarian's Old Style Beer, backlit signs were also made when Bavarian Brewing Co. modified the brand to Bavarian's Select Beer and included a three flag design beginning in 1957. All the signs shown below were made before the brewery sold to IBI in 1959.
1959 - 1966. Neon signs were becoming out of favor starting around 1960. Therefore, after IBI's acquisition of Bavarian Brewing Co., there seemed to be a preference for IBI to use non-lit signs, novelty signs and non-lit signs, some 3 dimensional. IBI also normally wanted to use "International" or "IBI" on their signs. The first three signs below are shortly before or after the acquisition around 1959, and did not say "International" or "IBI" as part of the beer name. The sign below these was after IBI started to identify the name of their company with the name of the beer and is from the early 1960s. It appears that there were relatively few Bavarian's Select Beer backlit signs with International or IBI. This is probably because IBI did not want to have the additional cost of replacing signs that were just made a year or two beforehand.