Sunday, April 28, 2013

A couple of ghost sign 'time capsules'

This post isn't about my pics, but those taken by other Melburnians and published online.

On the weekend I happened upon a Melbourne ghost sign site with a difference. John Hunter has been photographing local ghost signs since 1979, and, as well as more recently photographed examples, his site features some truly spectacular signs that have long since succumbed to demolition, repainting or wear and tear:

Also of note here is the My Fading Past site, created by Anthony Molloy in the mid-to-late 2000s. This site allowed people to contribute signs and plot their location on a Google map. Most activity on the site ended in 2009 although there are plans to revive it. No doubt some of the signs listed here have also disappeared in the intervening years:

Websites like this add another interesting dimension to the use of digital media to record ghost signs - when does the capturing of an example (and the online system that publishes it) become noteworthy in itself, as the only record of a particular era of sign writing craft. It's only really now (given that the popular internet has been around for nearly two decades) that these questions are starting to emerge. Already on this blog I've referred to at least four sets of online images from previous years for signs that have since been erased, altered or painted over.

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