Pictorial Decalcomanias, or Diner Signs
Although a little hard to read, the photo title reads “Dual Purpose Pictorial Decalcomanias”. In other words, decals. These images were transferred using heat to a non-porous surface, such as glass or ceramic. The process is an offset process, meaning the image is reversed when placed onto the surface. The first patent issued for use of this process was in 1951, although ceramic decals were in use as early as the beginning of the 20th century. These images were most likely marketed to and used by small restaurants and diners in the 1950’s. (We know the Sprite Boy stopped being used by the Coca-Cola Company in 1961. And he appears at the bottom of the photo, behind the Coke bottle.)
The text on the photo says, “These colorful designs, shown here on 16” plain discs, can be used on signs, inside or outside windows, or on any smooth surface.” Based on the rather large size of these decals, they were probably used for signs and windows. All of the images shown here are food items, with the exception of the last one, which is of a bowling ball and pins. Why bowling, you may ask? Perhaps to broaden the appeal of the signs to bowling alleys with lunch counters.
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