Once you start looking for painted brick, you just can’t stop finding it! That’s what happened to me after the City Archivist challenged me to find the examples of this early Kingsport form of marketing. I thought I was finished with the project. I turned in my disc, proof sheet, and index and then . . .I started finding more brick. In fact, I became so obsessed, when I would see a big, blank, brick wall, I’d think, “What a shame! Someone could have painted that!” I even started noticing the painted brick in other towns I’d visit.
Some of the advertisements I found were beyond the edges of downtown.
Some signs seemed to be hidden just above eye level. I walked past this one on three occasions before I saw it in the alley of 166 Broad St.
Some signs are almost completely washed away, like this “Lunch” sign.
And some signs are no longer legible.
Some signs have stayed safely hidden for decades!
Some painted brick examples I discovered are a little more modern.
And some examples, while certainly historic, stretch the “painted brick” definition.
Lastly, there is one painted brick announcement that was photographed with the first batch of businesses, but its significance was not realized until recently.
I still need to burn a new CD for the archives, update the index, and print a new proof sheet, but I think I am finally finished. Or am I?