Indy Ad Show ringing in Spring


INDIANAPOLIS – While many shows and markets want to have a broad appeal to the masses, the Indy Antique Advertising Show, being held March 14-15 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, has chosen a different approach. By specializing in a particular niche, vintage advertising and toys, the promoters are able to bring specialized dealers from 28 different states to build the premier show of its kind.

ice cream sign

Lorain Creamery’s pressed steel sign promoting Jersey Lane ice cream. (Photo courtesy Indy Antique Advertising Show)

Promoter Donna Weir explains, “We are often asked, is advertising more than signs? Definitely!” Coca-Cola is an example of a company that mastered marketing early on. Besides signs and print advertising, they included their adverting on bottles, soda machines, toys, pocket mirrors, book markers, menu boards, jewelry and the list goes on.

There are a wide variety of categories at the show that include advertising, such as soda fountain, gas & oil, automotive, drug & country store, veterinary and brewery & saloon items. You can also find coin-operated machines, toys from cast iron to pressed steel to tin, show cases, country store & counters, carnival items, barber shop, political items and a wide variety of ephemera items, including post cards. So Indy is definitely more than just signs, but it remains true to vintage advertising items.

beer light

Griesedieck Beer Light. (Photo courtesy Indy Antique Advertising Show)

Advertising for products and services has been around for generations. Business owners put their names on their buildings; manufacturers promoted their products and often provided displays to the shop owners. Early American advertising was commonly on wood; from a wood sign for a livery stable to the shipping crate for soap to the general store owner. From the late 1800s forward, advertising appears on metal, porcelain, cardboard, tin, paper or wood and on toys. There are too many brand names represented at the show to name them all.

The show is on the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind., March 14-15. For additional information, visit or call 217-821-1294.

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