1950-1959

1950-1960
Billboards began utilizing cutouts that extended beyond the billboard itself.

Full-bleed posters (no white border around the poster) were developed, which allowed billboards to be created using segmented panels that could be painted in the shop instead of on-site, and could then be reused in several showings.

Three dimensional effects first appeared on billboards.

Research conducted by both the Harvard Medical School and Iowa State College suggested that roadside signs may relieve "highway hypnosis."

The Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) became one of the chief architects of the illuminated strip in Las Vegas.
1950
Tiffin Art Metal Company, one of the largest suppliers of the standard outdoor poster industry, introduced a 6-sheet junior panel to encourage a standard poster. The Junior Panel Outdoor Advertising Association was formed to promote and develop this new medium.

National poster sales reached $85.5 million.

The U.S. Justice Department filed suit against the OAAA and 46 state Associations, charging them with price-fixing and discriminating against potential Association members through the use of their "Minimum Poster Plant Requirements."

The U.S. Justice Department filed suit against the General Outdoor Advertising Company on anti-trust charges, claiming that General operated a monopoly in 1500 cities.
1952
The OAAA received a judgment in the federal antitrust suit, which forced the organization to clarify and/or alter several practices concerning Association membership requirements and competition between its members.
1953
Wilbur Smith and Associates launched a series of reach and frequency findings for car-owning households that basically substantiated earlier studies. These studies were underwritten by the OAAA.
1954
General Outdoor produced the first animated cutouts, on a billboard for Peter Pan brand bread.
1955
National poster sales reached $114.5 million.

U.S. Senator Richard Neuberger (D.-Ore.) introduced a provision into the Highway Act, calling for a total ban on outdoor advertising along the proposed Interstate Highway system. The Interstate system had been mandated by Congress in the 1944 highway bill, but the details of construction, funding and regulation were still being debated in Congress a decade later. Neuberger's amendment was defeated during floor debate, but the Neuberger proposal marked the first major legislative attack on outdoor advertising at the federal level.
1956
New "slimline" fluorescent lighting devices were tested and adopted for poster panels.

The 30-sheet poster format became popular.

The Federal Highway Act was passed by Congress, creating the Interstate Highway system.
1958
The Federal Aid Highway Act was passed. Commonly called the Bonus Act, the law created a bonus system of incentives for states to comply with federal regulations on outdoor advertising along primary roadways. The bonus was a way of circumventing states-rights arguments against regulated outdoor advertising.

The U.S. Commerce Department published its National Standards, which regulated billboards along federally funded highways.

The OAAA commissioned Jack Prince, a professor of ophthalmology at Ohio State University, to study the visual dynamics of outdoor advertising, resulting in the first legibility studies of ad copy.


<  1940-1949 Timeline Start 1960-1969  >