He set up shop at a desk in a small room adjoining both our living room and kitchen. People came with their watches and clocks in hand, knocked on our front door, and were invited in. When Dad was home and working at the desk, they were ushered into that room. Otherwise, we wrote a tag with their name and phone number, attached it to the watch or clock, and Dad took care of it later.
Sometimes people called to make appointments or to be sure we were home; other times they took a chance, possibly on their way to other errands, and just appeared at our door.
The sign I most remember (above) hung on the side of our porch. It was easy to see during the day and electric bulbs inside made it easy to see at night, too. The switch to turn it on was inside our house.
Dad added this second sign, left and below, later. It was fixed to the top of a pole at the corner of our street and Main Street directing people eastward down Furnace Street. Because our first house was the first on the street it was easy to see the second sign on the side of our porch.
My father must have taken this sign down shortly before this photo was taken in the summer of 1964. Dad continued to work on watches and clocks for another 15 years or so but eventually stopped taking in repair work.
These signs were certainly painted by hand because they were one of a kind. I don't know what happened to them but I wish one or both had been saved. You know how it is with large items, time, and space, though. There are things we think would be wonderful to have in 50 years but who has space to store them, and who wants to transport them through several moves, especially when 50 years seems such a very long time and we don't have an immediate use for them or place to store them. I wonder how many wonderful, old family items went by the wayside for those very reasons.
Observations about the photos
As I was typing this post I was thinking how awful it would be to have misspellings on a sign. Then the spelling of "jewelery" in the top photo caught my eye. I suppose I've looked at that photo dozens of times but now is the first time I realized that "jewelery" is misspelled. The American spelling is "jewelry;" the British is "jewellery." I'll never know if Dad wrote out the words and gave them to the sign painter or if he dictated the words and the sign painter wrote them. (Was it possible to have an illiterate sign painter?) I wonder how many people noticed the misspelling through the years.
In the top photo I see the handlebars of the trike that's next to my sister. It would have been a hard pedal to get it there since there was only grass and no sidewalk. On the far right I noticed the car parked on the street. It almost looks like a convertible.
The porch on our house faced south with two maples standing in front. It was a wonderful refuge during a thunderstorm. We could sit on the porch, dry and safe, and watch the clouds, rain, and lightening. It was one of my favorite places in our house in the summer.
Looking at the second photo reminds me of the double doors that opened out. We propped them to stay open and padlocked them to stay closed. The garage had had an addition, before my time, I think, because I don't remember it being built. The garage may have been built when cars were shorter and needed more length for modern cars. Or it's possible that my dad wanted to add some workspace and extended the garage so he could put a workbench at the closed end. This garage was torn down not too long after this photo was taken and a two-and-a-half-car garage was built in its place.
To see more signs head over to Sepia Saturday 238.
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