The Hollywood Sign – Guess Who’s 90 years old?

Fun Facts About the Hollywood Sign.

We spend a lot of time trawling the internet looking at signage information that we think might be useful to our customers. Every now and then we come across something that may not be necessarily useful (unless it comes up in the pub quiz!) but is either a bit of fun or just interesting. We hope that this post written by Catherine R from www.sign.com/blog is maybe a bit of both.

1) The Hollywood Sign is almost 90 years old.

The original Hollywood sign was constructed in 1923, the same year that Rin Tin Tin gained fame as a canine film star. Though it wasn’t originally meant to be an icon for the film industry, the sign was created during the beginning of the glamorous, decadent Golden Age of Hollywood: in 1925, Ben Hur was released with its record-breaking production budget of $3.95 million.

2) The Hollywood sign wasn’t created with the movies in mind.

The sign wasn’t created to advertise movies and starlets; it was created to advertise real estate. Developers S. H. Woodruff and Tracy E. Shoults began developing a new neighborhood called “Hollywoodland.” The sign was meant to act as a huge billboard to draw new home buyers to the hillside.

3) The first sign didn’t say “Hollywood.”

To advertise the Hollywoodland development, the sign was composed of 13 letters that spelled out the development’s name: “HOLLYWOODLAND.” The last four letters of the sign wouldn’t be dropped until 1949.

4) The original Hollywood Sign was bigger than the current sign.

The original letters were constructed of large sections of sheet metal and stood as high as 50 feet tall. They were held up with a complicated framing system that included wooden scaffold, pipes, wires and poles.

5) 4,000 light bulbs graced the original Hollywoodland sign.

The bulbs were timed to blink so that the words “HOLLY,” “WOOD,” and “LAND” each lit up consecutively, followed by the entire word. This was not considered tacky, but rather quite progressive and modern. Each bulb generated only 8 watts of electricity, so 4,000 were needed in order to create the impressive display that Woodruff and Shoults needed to sell building lots.

6) The sign was a very expensive billboard.

Considering that the original Hollywoodland sign was only intended to be an advertisement for a real estate development, it was quite expensive. The construction cost of the sign was around $21,000, which is roughly the equivalent of $250,000 in 2013 dollars. Imagine building a new neighborhood and paying a quarter of a million bucks to advertise it with one sign!

7) An Englishman designed the Hollywood sign.

Thomas Fisk Goff, the artist who created the Hollywood sign, was born in London in 1890. He immigrated to the United States and settled in Los Angeles in the early 1920’s and opened the Crescent Sign Company. Woodruff and Shoults commissioned Goff to create and install the sign. In addition to owning a sign company, Goff was an artist who painted landscapes on canvas.

8) The sign had its very own caretaker.

The real estate developers hired Albert Kothe to act as caretaker. In addition to other responsibilities, Albert was in charge of the maintenance of the Hollywoodland sign. One of his jobs was to replace the lightbulbs on the sign when they burnt out, a large task considering the number of bulbs and the height of each letter.

9) The original sign was only meant to last for 18 months.

Since it was only intended to be a temporary advertisement for the new real estate development, the Hollywoodland sign was designed to be in place for about 18 months, while lots were sold.

10) The Hollywood sign was the site of a suicide.

Sadly, the allure of fame and fortune was not reality for many who flocked to Hollywood in hopes of becoming actors and actresses. One such unlucky girl, Peg Entwistle, left New York City and moved in with her uncle in Los Angeles while she tried to become a film star. Despite her efforts at stardom, Peg failed to land the big role she’d hoped for, and on September 18, 1932, she hiked up to the Hollywood sign, climbed a ladder to the top of the “H” and jumped to her death.

Click her to read Catherine R’s original article

New budget, New Signs

While the announcement of the new government budgetary measures may not have been the news everyone was hoping for, it does mark the start of the financial New Year for many organisations. It is the perfect time to carry out a signage audit of your premises.

Taking Stock of your Safety Signs

Take time to walk round your premises, it may take a couple of trips round if you have a large or complicated building layout.

Note all your existing fire and safety signs. Do you have all the necessary signs covered by legislation? Through the course of the year things happen to your building, were signs replaced after that wall got repainted? Were your signs covered up when you had the last office move round? Many people find that their fire signage is often in the wrong place, check your emergency escape signage is being displayed properly. If you are not sure whether you are completely covered legally get a site survey done to give you peace of mind.

While it isn’t yet a requirement to change all your existing safety signs to the new ISO 7010 versions, make sure any missing or damaged signs are replaced with the new updated symbols.

Care of your safety Signs

Safety signs over time can become dirty or damaged and several environmental factors can effect your signs. Signs in areas of high traffic can become dirty quickly. Make sure all signs are clean and clear and can be easily read, and cleaning where needed. If they are illegible and beyond cleaning replace where necessary.

For more information about safety signs or any other signage query please contact our sales team at sales@stocksigns.co.uk and don’t forget to order your new 2013 catalogue.

ISO 7010 what does it really mean for me?

Don’t Panic about ISO 7010

There has been much in the industry press regarding the new safety signs standard ISO 7010. A lot of the coverage has implied that all companies must change their safety signs in order to comply. This scaremongering has led to many companies making expensive but not necessarily required signage purchases. Yes there is new legislation, and yes a lot of the safety symbols have changed, but you don’t need to rip out all your existing signage and start again.

What to do next about ISO 7010?

Here at Stocksigns we recommend certain guidelines which means our customers fulfil their legal obligations without breaking the bank. We advise that you don’t need to change all your signs to ISO 7010 but if you require a new sign, or a replacement sign, yes, you should be insisting on ISO 7010 symbols. However as ‘best practice’ you shouldn’t really mix symbols from the old and new standards. We no longer manufacture the old symbols as standard but if you need to add a sign and your existing signs are all BS 5499 and you don’t want to mix signs from different legislative standards, we can, for a limited time, provide it as a custom made sign. A little more expensive than our standard catalogue products but much cheaper than replacing all your signage, which many of the less scrupulous sign companies in the market would have you believe is your only option.

ISO 7010 has been developed to provide consistency in design across the EU. The new designs have now been phased in and all our signs follow The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1966 and conform to BS ISO 7010 where applicable.

Call our sales team on 01737 77 40 72