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Objects and Artifacts - Tools & Equipment for Communication - Visual Communication - Sign

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Gran Quivira Harvey House "Lunch Room" sign

Gran Quivira Harvey House "Lunch Room" sign
Date: between 1906 and 1920
Metal "Lunch Room" sign from the Gran Quivira Harvey House in Clovis, New Mexico. According to the Santa Fe Museum inventory, this sign alerted patrons to the lunch room's location at the Gran Quivira Harvey House, one of the earliest buildings in Clovis. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe established the town of Clovis as a division point on its new line across New Mexico, purchasing the land in 1906. Harvey Houses were the nation's first chain restaurants, operating in towns along the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe rail lines.


Greensburg street sign

Greensburg street sign
Date: 2007
Homemade street sign constructed of a 2" by 4" piece of wood and two rectangular-shaped pieces of plywood. Street names (Main and Scott) are spray painted in green on plywood (both front and back). Rectangular pieces of white coreplast, with names printed in large, computer-generated black letters, are nailed over the spray painted names. This street sign was put up by the City of Greensburg, Kansas, after the town was struck by an EF5 tornado on May 4, 2007. The tornado was 1.7 miles wide and traveled over 20 miles. Ninety-five percent of Greensburg was destroyed. These signs were used temporarily until permanent signs could be put into place. Since the tornado, the citizens have focused on rebuilding the town to be more environmentally sustainable.


Kansas Draft Board sign

Kansas Draft Board sign
Date: between 1918 and 1919
World War I-era white paper sign. In 1917 the United States Government passed the Selective Service Act. It required all men between the ages of 21 and 30 (later 18 to 45) to register for military service. In April 1918 the War Department issued the "Nation's Want Column," a list of jobs deemed important to winning the war. Skilled men were encouraged to volunteer for the positions and put their talents to work for the war effort. In addition to being skilled in one of the needed trades, the men had to be registered for general military service. Posters like this one were printed and sent to draft boards around the country to be displayed where workers would see them and fill the 12,000 positions. The Kansas Draft Board displayed and distributed this sign.


Kansas delegation sign

Kansas delegation sign
Date: 1996
Red, white, and blue vertical Kansas delegation sign from the 1996 National Republican Convention. Held in San Diego, California, the convention nominated Kansas Senator Bob Dole for the Republican Presidential candidate. Born in Russell, Kansas, Dole was partially paralyzed during World War II. He later served in the Kansas Legislature and United States Congress. In 1996, he lost the Presidential election to incumbent Bill Clinton. Members of the Kansas delegation used this sign on the convention floor during the nominating process. It is signed by delegation members.


Prisoner of War identification tag

Prisoner of War identification tag
Date: between 1942 and 1945
Small, rectangular metal identification tag. Safety pins at top to attach tag to clothing. Colonel James C. Hughes wore this identification tag while being held as a Japanese Prisoner of War during World War II. The Japanese assigned him this tag at Cheng Chia Tun POW Camp in Manchuria, China, on November 14, 1944. Born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1888, Hughes served in the Mexican Border Conflict, World War I, and World War II. During the latter conflict, he commanded a Philippine regiment (Filipino soldiers led by American officers), which surrendered in 1942 on the Bataan peninsula. Hughes spent the next 41 months in various Japanese P.O.W. camps. He was liberated by Russian forces at Camp Hoten, Manchuria, in 1945. Hughes died in 1964 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Protest sign

Protest sign
Creator: Jared Dailey
Date: 2001
Plywood protest sign with white painted lettering. The sign was fashioned by Topeka resident Jared Daily in response to the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Founded by Reverend Fred Phelps, the Topeka-based church has promoted an extreme stance against homosexuality since 1991 by picketing at public sites with vulgar signs and inverted United States flags. The church continued its use of inverted flags during a period of elevated patriotism after the September 11 attacks. Daily, a recent high school graduate and army recruit, found the church's protest to be unpatriotic and initiated a counter-protest using this sign. According to Daily, the phrase "Not Today Fred" references the inappropriate use the United States flag by Fred Phelps' church following the September 11, 2001 attacks.


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