Burma Shave

Are there any original Burma Shave signs left out on the highways?

Once the highways
All did wave
With those signs
Both bold and brave.
But Lady Bird said they must go—
So today you will see no

That notwithstanding, I’m pretty sure I saw a set on a highway in the South somewhere several years ago.


It’s quite possible there is, though not intentionally. By 1963, the manufacturer of Burma-Shave was sold to Philip Morris’s American Safety Razor division. Because of television and such, the signs were no longer needed. There is a set in the Smithsonian (“Within this vale/of toil/and sin/your head grows bald/but not your chin-use/Burma Shave”), and other sets on display elsewhere. But are there any still on the roads? Who knows? As Frank Rowsome, Jr. wrote in his wonderful book on the Burma-Shave signs, The Verse by the Side of the Road,

It should be noted that when American Safety Razor brought back the Burma-Shave brand around eight years ago, they used the famous signs in their advertising.

[sub]Work Cited:
Rowsome, Frank Jr. The Verse by the Side of the Road: The Story of the Burma-Shave Signs and Jingles. New York: Penguin/Plume, 1965.

I saw a Burma Shave-style sign on MacArthur Blvd. between 164th and 178th streets (for all you OKC-area dopers) about 8-10 years ago…though I think it might have been a bible verse.

I’ll try to find a link on this, but I remember reading in Reminisce magazine at the same time that they planned (or were going) to put a set of authentic Burma Shave signs in all 50 states.

Note that a. Burma Shave signs are collectibles worth $ and b. that the signs are just sitting out there next to the road, that we can conclude c. no more signs by the road.