1920-1929

1920
The Poster Advertising Association membership expanded to serve over 9,000 cities and towns in the U.S.

Thomas Young opened a sign shop in Ogden, Utah. In the 1930s it expanded to become the Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO), and would go on to create some of the most important and memorable neon displays in Las Vegas, such as for the Sands Hotel.
1923
Foster & Kleiser developed the "Pilaster Board." Commonly called "lizzies," these poster panels were framed by classical-inspired sculptures, and fronted by a landscaped formal garden. Pilaster boards remained in use until the Depression.

Elizabeth B. Lawton, a housewife, organized the National Roadside Council to combat the proliferation of roadside advertising.
1924
Elizabeth Lawton, now the Chairman of the National Committee for the Restriction of Outdoor Advertising, published a letter in the trade journal Printer's Ink that clarified the Committee's stand on outdoor advertising. The Committee, she wrote, objected to outdoor advertising only when it appeared outside of commercial areas. This idea of "commercial areas" as open zones of advertising and commercial speech, versus "scenic areas" closed to advertising, would be a dominant element in the "billboard controversy" for the next 50 years.

The Barney Link Fellowship was established at the University of Wisconsin. The Fellowship sponsored pioneering research in the field of traffic circulation and analysis.
1925
The first 12' x 25' standard poster panels with three-foot green bottom lattice appeared.

Dry-brush, non-wrinkle type posting techniques were in general use.

The first Burma Shave series of signs was erected, by Allan G. Odell. Six signs were placed 100 feet apart along Minnesota highways 65 and 61. Eventually the Burma Shave advertisement series became one of the most famous and widely recognized outdoor campaigns in history. Burma Shave signs continued in use until 1963.

The first major outdoor advertising industry merger took place when the Fulton Group and the Thomas Cusack Company combined to become the General Outdoor Advertising Company (GOA). Nearly two dozen poster advertising companies were involved in the merger. Kerwin Fulton was named its president. The merger gave General Outdoor a disproportionate voting power in the Poster Advertising Association. A member had one vote for every town with a population over 2,500 that the member represented, a policy that favored the larger advertising companies.

The Poster Advertising Association, Inc. merged with Painted Outdoor Advertising Association to form the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc. (OAAA). The same merger brought about the demise of the Poster Advertising Company. Harry O'Mealia was elected as the first president of the newly consolidated organization. His father, Joseph, had been previously the president of Painted Outdoor Advertising Association. The merger brought more uniformity to billboard structures. Some state associations also changed their names to mirror the new national Association.
1926
The first convention of the new Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) was held in Atlanta, Ga. OAAA members now served over 15,000 cities and towns. The new organization continued the PAA's official publication, Association News as its official organ but changed its name to the Outdoor Advertising Association News.
1927
National outdoor advertising volume reached $50 million.

The National Poster Art Alliance was established, linking the OAAA with poster art associations, lithographers, and local arts councils in the promotion of the poster as an art medium.

The Tiffen Art Metal Company began producing all-steel poster panels and bulletin structures. Touted for its low-maintenance cost and weather resistance, steel panels eventually became an industry standard.
1928
National outdoor advertising volume dropped to $47 million, an indicator of hard times to come.

A second antitrust case was brought against organized outdoor advertising. The so-called "Mack Decree" was handed down in U.S. vs. General Outdoor Advertising Company et al. The case came about after General Outdoor had grown to become the largest member within OAAA, capable of influencing Association policies in ways that eliminated General Outdoor's potential competitors. The Association's then-current practice of voting, one vote per market in lieu of one vote per member, gave General Outdoor a disproportionate voice within the Association. The suit was later dismissed when the national association (OAAA) agreed to voluntarily correct its membership policies, and institute a one member-one vote policy.

The OAAA and the Executive committee of the General Federation of Women's Clubs held a joint committee meeting to discuss their differences regarding outdoor advertising and scenic beauty.
1929
National outdoor advertising volume fell to $43 million.

Howard Johnson posted his first billboard--produced by the John Donnelly and Sons outdoor company near Boston--to promote his restaurant. Howard Johnson's chain of restaurants and motels became virtually synonymous with travel among American motorists and vacationers, according to cultural historians, in part because of Johnson's ubiquitous outdoor displays.

The Barney Link Fellowship Committee conducted a county-wide survey of roadside advertising in Waukesha County, Wisc. This was the first systematic study of roadside advertising in the U.S.


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