hard to find early c. 1918-20 original single-sided american industrial stonehouse porcelain enameled steel factory "2,300 volts" danger sign


UR #:: UR-20000-14

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Product Description

very early customized "2300 volts" wall-mount danger sign designed and fabricated by the stonehouse steel sign co., denver, co. the single-sided industrial sign was likely used in a factory setting around electric equipment. the heavy gauge wrought sheet steel sign retains the original polychrome porcelain or vitreous enameled finish. allover crazing surface discoloration and sporadic loss of enamel evident. the sign contains one of the earliest known stonehouse sign "signatures" with a faded stamp found in undersized lettering in the lower right corner. three of the four original steel grommets surrounding the screw holes are intact. the stonehouse sign company traces its roots chicago, il., where william stonehouse opened a sign shop in 1863. there he taught his son, james wesley stonehouse, the art of gold leaf lettering on store front windows for banks, offices, and other commercial businesses. in 1904, james moved west with the gold mining boom and set up shop in douglas, arizona, advertising, “j.w. stonehouse, painter of good signs, pictures and framing.” after following the mining boom from place to place, j.w. moved to the victor-cripple creek region of colorado. it was here that the "accident prevention" sign business was born. mining was one of the most dangerous industries to work in during this time. miners used bell signals to control the hoists that raised and lowered men and material in the mine shafts. since these signals varied by location and state, there were numerous accidents due to miners getting confused about what signal defined what action. mr. stonhouse saw a need for increased safety and communication to protect the workers. he went to the colorado bureau of mines and lobbied for standardized bell signals for all mines in colorado. confident that his logic would be acted on, stonehouse printed standardized bell signal signs, which would help reduce accidents and injuries. when the mining bureau enacted the standard, he was ready to sell from inventory his silk screen printed signs, which provided an easy way for the mine operators to comply with the new regulations. stonehouse's interest in worker safety and his colorado state code of mine bell signals - considered one of the first standardized industrial safety sign - resulted in the creation of the accident prevention sign industry. as the concept of “workplace safety” was beginning to take hold in america, the contributions of j.w. stonehouse and stonehouse signs were beginning to be felt in colorado and across the nation. in 1914, stonehouse was moved to denver, with a continued emphasis or focus on concern for safety and standardization. stonehouse's efforts resulted in the creation of the “danger”, “caution” and “notice” panels that are in widespread use today. 14 inches x 10 inches.