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Monday, June 29, 2009

Old barns like these were prime targets for the Barn Painters.

It started in 1925...an entrepreneur had the idea that there was wasted advertising space on the roofs and walls of barns...they were often along the road...America was beginning it's love affair with the automobile and the farmers needed help. This was the perfect storm...his idea would help everyone. For years afterward...the barn painters were often seen in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and other Midwest states...their work even spread West and South as well. New England also has it's share of the legacy....the first work began in Syracuse.

Their work has probably been seen by everyone in the states who is reading this. In exchange for using the barn, the farmers were offered magazine subscriptions, sometimes money and sometimes they would get their entire barn re painted. As we travel across this country on a Summer Vacation...keep an eye out for "Mail Pouch Tobacco" or "See Rock City"....you will be viewing a true slice of Americana.

I can see it now...the roof of the barn in this image is prime real estate for what used to be a thriving business...now a lost art.

20 comments:

Patty said...

Beautiful, Dan. I love old barns.

I was raised in Georgia and one of my fond memories is seeing the Rock City signs painted on barns in Georgia and NC, and of course Tenn.

Love your churches.

Dan Felstead said...

Patty,

Georgia, Tennessee and Rock City are one and the same! I have seen them all over down there myself!

Dan

PS Thanks for the comment on the churches.

Dan

Simply Heather said...

This is a post to learn from...I've seen it on television but do not recall ever seeing one in front of me, with advertising on it. Most of our barns just hold a little wear and tear - and maybe bird poo (haha).

You made me lol at shabbygirl's blog! I responded, if you haven't already noticed.

I like the way you've faded the edges out and (of course) the technique you chose.

I ALWAYS enjoy your posts, Dan - very much :)

...... Bobbi said...

Another gorgeous barn! This one really sparks my imagination!

Heather said...

I've seen the "See Rock City" one you spoke of! (Or are there several? I've seen one of them, at least!)
What an interesting medium. Perhaps the first billboards?

septembermom said...

What a smart way to advertise! Beautiful, serene barn in the photo.

Dan Felstead said...

Vermont Heather...I have not checked the response yet! But I will. I would think that the barn ads would have been up through New England as well but maybe not???

And yes Heather...it is an HDR image. I am probably running this in the ground but I love the process. It is fun to wait and see the outcome!

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Bobbi...I thought of you when I posted this...I know you like barns.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Alabama Heather...Yes these were probably the first billboards! Cars were just coming into their own and free enterprise took over...even on rural barns!


Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Septembermom...have you seen the barns up in your area?

Dan

Sabrina said...

So much character...it thrills me to my bones!

Dan Felstead said...

Sabrina...
Old Buildings like people develop character over time!

Dan

Crazy Mo said...

I love old barns too. They seem to tell a story of hard work, pride, love of nature, family and tradition.

I admit, it's taken some time to adjust to your style. Being new at photography, I still need to be a purist and not alter the photos. But I'm really starting to appreciate what you bring to the soul of the picture. Your pictures remind me of pastel (or even pencil crayon) sketches, which I adore. I just have a point and shoot right now, but when I buy my 'big girl camera', I'll play a little with your technique.

BTW, congrats on the win at PPP. That was an awesome story and a great springboard for a short story, if not a novel. You should write it.

Jean said...

Oh, what a flashback! My parent's barn had the Mail Pouch sign on one side. Sadly, the barn is no more.
Thanks for the lovely memory, Dan.

Dan Felstead said...

Jean...you are the first person I have spoken with who actually had one of these barns in the family! Do you happen to have any old pictures of it?

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Crazy Mo...
Thank you so much for your comments and you...like others...have struggled with my style! In the past some have actually been put off by my style since I alter the photo. I posted a month or so ago about the two different schools of thought with photography. In my opinion, if one states up front that photos are altered...then enjoy them for what they are worth. It is not my intention to approach photography from a journalistic point of view...by the way, a very valid point of view. I on the other hand try to create a final image that is as close to what I saw when I took the photo as possible including the mood of the scene. Many times we take a picture and it just doesn't relay the true mood and emotions of the time and place the photo was created...I try to bring that back.

Thanks for your patience in trying to adjust to my style...I appreciate it. I also highly respect the journalistic approach...I just choose the other road!

Also thanks for the comments on the PPP.

Dan

Cynthia L. H. said...

Nice, Dan!

Dan Felstead said...

Thanks Cynthia...this probably looks like Oklahoma as well???

Dan

Jean said...

I can't remember any photos of our barn but I'll look and let you know.

Dan Felstead said...

Thanks Jean...that would be neet!

Dan