February 1963: Burma-Shave signs

Burma-Vita Company, the shaving-products company behind the Burma-Shave rhyming signs that dotted U.S. roadways, is bought by Philip Morris Inc. The signs would gradually be removed in the coming months, as Philip Morris goes with a different advertising strategy. (Philip Morris noted in its 1963 annual report: "Burma Shave represents a bit of Americana coincident with our country's automobile age. A Sunday drive in the family car has, since 1926, been pleasantly 'interrupted' by the catchy signs that rhyme along the highway. ... But progress has passed them by; super highways, turnpikes and a nation in a hurry have doomed their bright doggerel.")

Note as to date of sale: A newspaper story dated January 30 stated, "Philip Morris Inc. announced today it had agreed in principle to acquire Burma-Vita Company of Minneapolis, for cash." The book "The Verse by the Side of the Road" (linked below) said the sale "was announced publicly" on February 7, while a New York Times story published February 23 indicated that it had taken place the previous week.
* Burma-Shave.org: @
* "The Verse by the Side of the Road" (Frank Rowsome Jr., 1963): @
* Story by Rowsome for American Heritage magazine (1965): @
* "How Burma-Shave Saved the Family Farm" (from www.grit.com, 2007): @
* Entry from Legends of America website: @
* Entry from Advertising Age: @
* Entry from Edina (Minnesota) Historical Society: @
* Print advertisements (from Duke University Libraries): @
* "Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America" (Mike Chasar, 2012): @ (Chasar's blog, Poetry & Popular Culture: @

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