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Recycle and Reuse: Signage

The shed is filled with dust, cobwebs and things that go bump in the night. Like many others, our shed develops into a cluttered mess by the end of the year. During the much needed cleanups, lost items are found while others are discovered.

Ethel Noonan, ca. 1920, was used to promote for a 2003 house tour that included over 20 houses and a handful of bars celebrating the Roaring Twenties.

Unidentified woman, ca. 1920, was used to promote for a 2003 house tour that included over 20 houses and a handful of bars celebrating the Roaring Twenties.

This year we came across more than a few old signs that were once used to promote a house and jazz tour in the spring of 2003. Unfortunately, the tour date was painted on each, which made them worthless beyond their original use. However, thanks to our friends at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, we came across an idea that gave these unusable signs new purpose.

The idea: create a rewritable surface with chalkboard paint.

The Newburgh Historical Society puts on nearly a dozen events a year. A variety of signs are necessary to point visitors in the direction of the entrance, restrooms, admission, membership and refreshments tables. We can’t forget about the trashcan and recycling. The words “Gift Shop” accompanied by a left or right arrow, depending on the point of reference. “No food or refreshments beyond this point.” “Parking.” And finally the “Exit” when museum fatigue takes hold.

Instead of printing sign after sign and wasting paper, our old signs were coated with liquid chalkboard, which can be drawn on, erased, written on, erased, and repeat for many years to come.

They will certainly come in handy during the upcoming Candlelight Tour of Homes.

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