Q: I have an old advertising sign that says, “Blue Buckle Work Garments, Strong for Work, Overalls, Pants, Shirts.” It is 13 inches long and 4 1/2 inches tall with blue letters and a blue border on a white background. It is metal with enamel paint. In the corner is written, “Balto. Enamel & Nov. Co., Balto. & 200 Fifth Ave., N.Y.” Is it of any value?
A: Blue Buckle Overalls were made by Jobbers OverAll Co., a firm founded in Blackstone, Va., before 1910. It later moved to Lynchburg, Va. In 1920 the company claimed to be the world’s largest overall manufacturer, but it went bankrupt in 1921 and was taken over by Old Dominion Garment Co. of Dallas. Old Dominion continued to make Blue Buckle work garments. The manufacturer of your sign, Baltimore Enamel & Novelty Co., was founded in 1898 as the Baltimore Enamel Co. It made signs and, in 1903, manufactured America’s first official license plates—for Massachusetts. Before then, car owners made their own license plates. The Blue Buckle sign is worth about $50.