A Michigander Created One of Burma Shave’s Most Popular Jingles
Anyone who did a fair amount of traveling from the 1930s thru the 1960s had to come across these Burma Shave jingle signs. That was all part of the fun of traveling – you kept your eyes peeled for that Burma Shave poem that would occasionally pop up – usually on highways like Route 66, interstates, turnpikes, etc.
These road signs usually came in a series of five signs that rhymed, and ended with “Burma Shave”. These road signs had multiple purposes: to entertain, to promote road safety, and to push their product. And it worked.
Burma Shave signs first showed up along the roads in 1925, debuting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The original marketing ploy was to promote this new 'brushless' shaving cream. As shaving cream sales skyrocketed, the signs got more clever, with humorous rhymes and slogans, quickly becoming a permanent part of American pop culture and nostalgia. At its peak, there were over 7,000 sets of Burma Shave jingle signs, found in 43 states.
SIGN 1: “Don't lose your head...”
SIGN 2: “to gain a minute...”
SIGN 3: “you need your head...”
SIGN 4: ”your brains are in it!”
SIGN 5: 'Burma Shave'
In fact, it was an unknown Burma Shave fan from Michigan who submitted one of Burma Shave's most famous jingles that was not only fun, but promoted safety and pushed the product. It went like this:
SIGN 1: “Past schoolhouses...”
SIGN 2: “take it slow...”
SIGN 3: “Let the little...”
SIGN 4: “shavers grow.”
SIGN 5: 'Burma Shave'.
This clever road jingle appeared along highways in 1939.
I'm sure there are many younger people who have no clue what I'm talking about. Therefore, in the photo gallery below, I have photos of one of the 5-sign road jingles. Just as it appeared on Michigan (and other U.S ) highways, many decades ago.
I have included a video that shows you what it was like, driving down those highways and spying those Burma Shave signs. See for yourself!