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Smoke Dry Climate Cigars – Wall Dog, Frank Meinhart – Butte, MT

July 2009 © Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

A little research unveiled one Frank Meinhart who not only painted signs but was a well known Montana wildlife artist, even exhibiting at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.. Northwest Digital Archives has a comprehensive bio of Frank as well as photos of his various signs.The Ghost Sign Weekly – Montana’s Fading Ads


  1. You can see a near-complete collection of the ghost signs in Butte here: http://www.veraldirenouard.com/gallery2/v/ghostsigns/

    What do you folks think of the idea of repainting ghost signs to make them look new? With 100 authentic, historic (and yes, fading) signs in Butte, I’m opposed to destroying the historic authenticity. We have a pretty active controversy on this going on right now.

    1. fadingad says:

      Although I can understand a community’s desire to restore these gorgeous relics, I am for leaving them to perform the decades long disappearing act. Once you apply paint on them, you ruin the process. That’s just me. I find fading ads are more interesting and tell a larger story than a restoration.

      1. Thanks very much. The Butte community is quite divided on this; I’m one who feels very strongly as you do. The historic preservation officer is one who wants to repaint as new. The battle is in progress.

        1. fadingad says:

          In the case where there are layered fading ads, which one do you choose? It’s the narrative of those layers that sheds light on our history. Covering them ends that narrative. Again, I understand the desire to bring these signs back to their original glory, but then you are risking just turning your community into a theme park.

          1. Yes indeed – and again, I and many others agree with you; the word “disneyfication” occurs frequently in the discussions here. To their credit, those who are pushing repainting have (maybe) backed off on doing anything to the multi-layer signs. So they say. Many thanks.

  2. Helen says:

    you have found some gems!

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