Ghost Signs

Day 17: January 17, 2010
Day 17: January 17, 2010
Terkelsen Building
Terkelsen Machine Co.
326 A Street
South Boston

When I was a child, I was fascinated by ghosts signs, faded signs painted on the sides of old brick buildings. There were a lot of them in Worcester, my hometown, advertising soap and soda and such, or identifying long-gone businesses. I especially liked the ones that included prices (you could get a lot for 5¢ in the old days) or short phone numbers like “Park 175.”

These signs were discarded. They became obsolete, but no one cared enough to paint over them. They were just left to fade away, but they survived, messages from the past, clues to everyday life in days gone by.

5 thoughts on “Ghost Signs

  • August 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Just saw this photo of my great grandfather’s building in S. Boston. I had wanted to go take a picture for many years before it disappeared. Thanks for posting it, what a thrill to see it after all this time.

    • December 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Hi, My name is Rune Halvorsen I am living in Norway.
      MY grandfathers Brother emigrated to US in 1905.
      I am serching for som relatives,and find out that he has been working at Tekelsen Machine CO 326 A Street S Boston Suffolk Mass.
      It would be very interesting for me to get in touch With some relatives in US and you might be able to help me find them?

      His name was Ivar Hall his wife name was Margit Hall. They residece was in

      Looking forwward to hear from you and wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

      Best wishes from.
      mr Rune Halvorsen

  • August 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    This was my dad’s company in Boston. He moved the company to Hyannis in the early 1970s. I thought that the sign had been painted over…..I used to see it going from the airport to the Cape on the bus, but on the last two trips I was unable to locate it. My brother still runs the company, but now it is in Ohio.

    • August 29, 2011 at 9:10 am

      Any contact information from the shop? I grew up spending summer in the hyannis shop, was wondering how the company was doing?

  • August 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I’m glad that you both found this photograph! I like posting photos here and on Flickr that include names on buildings, memorials, gravestones, whatever. I like the thought that people will be Googling around and come across these, and that it might fill in a missing piece of family history, or even just stir a pleasant memory.


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