Thursday 10 September 2009

Ghost signs (25): on the coast road

Driving from Cancale to Mont St Michel, I spotted three new ghost signs. The first was on the way to Cancale and, tying in with my last post on these adverts, features the aperitif St Raphael. This time, its distinctive 'two waiters' logo is visible. They always appeared in contrasting colours, representing the two versions of the drink (regular and red). Careful examination shows that two separate adverts for the same product have been superimposed: the first had the logo at the top and the brand name writ large, while the second made a much more central feature of the image.

The second sign is a fragment of an advert for Azur petrol - a cunning reminder to tourists motoring along the coastal road to Mont St Michel.

Finally came a rather nice one, featuring a vintage piece of electronic equipment (accumulators are electrical storage cells). Pity about the McDonald's poster perched on top! The patchy writing at the top proclaims 45 years of experience; this sign should therefore date from around 1932 since TEM was founded in 1887. It manufactured lead accumulators for industrial and lighting use, although the range soon expanded to electrical transformers and batteries. It was a leading company, supplying the first French submarines, and even had a dedicated chapter in the 1904 publication Les Accumulateurs Electriques. The company name stood for 'Travail Electrique des Metaux'.

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