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View Full Version : Were there really once signs saying "No dogs or Jews/Mexicans?"


Argent Towers
08-18-2005, 08:22 AM
Every once in a while I will read or hear about signs on public pools, parks, recreation areas, or whatever, reading "No Dogs or Jews" or "No Dogs or Mexicans."

I fully understand that there was once a time when discrimination was so rampant that there were signs specifying racial priviledges. However, I have a hard time believing that any public sign in America would be so classless and deliberately insulting as to lump "dogs" in with the unwanted ethnic group. I mean, even in the Jim Crow days, the signs said "WHITES ONLY" or "White" and "Colored" - not "NO BLACKS." At least as far as I know.

So, did these "No Dogs or (x)" signs really exist?

If they did exist, might anyone have a picture of one?

seosamh
08-18-2005, 08:29 AM
I cannot vouch for the USA, but there was definitely a parallel in the UK in the 50's.

My parents came over to London - from Ireland - in 1955 and my mother used to tell me that she regularly saw in windows of houses with rooms to let hand-written signs saying "No Blacks, No Irish, No Children, No Dogs".

Johnny Rotten's autobiography is entitled "No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs", after his own parents' memories of such things.

Paul in Qatar
08-18-2005, 08:56 AM
Every a sign like this? Sure, almost certainly somewhere at someplace, sometime. Were such signs widespread? Well, the fact you have to ask the question sort of points up toward the answer.

I have personally seen (old, faded, painted over) 'Colored' signs. I have also seen them in old photos. They were once quite common. I have never seen a sign like you describe. They were probably quite rare.

Lissa
08-18-2005, 09:30 AM
Here (http://ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/what.htm) is an image of such a sign, courtsey of the online portion of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memoribilia.

Can Handle the Truth
08-18-2005, 09:37 AM
Here (http://ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/what.htm) is an image of such a sign
The fact that the sign appears to have been mass-produced says a lot.

elmwood
08-18-2005, 09:40 AM
Here (http://ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/what.htm) is an image of such a sign, courtsey of the online portion of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memoribilia.

That sign looks too new, though, like it's a reproduction of something that may or may not have existed. I've seen similar "NO DOGS OR IRISH" signs in shops specializing in pop culture and kitsch items.

Later in the page, there's a "RESTROOMS -> WHITES ONLY" sign. While I have no doubt that such signs existed, the date on the sign looks like 1926 or 1928. The typeface is Helvetica, which was developed in 1957.

Acsenray
08-18-2005, 09:40 AM
I was going to link to that same site.

I have a hard time believing that any public sign in America would be so classless and deliberately insulting

I don't mean this in a bad way, but this statement displays a lot of naivete about America and Americans. This might be a good opportunity for Argent to take a real, hard look at our political and cultural history.

Acsenray
08-18-2005, 09:44 AM
If you think those signs are a sign of public lack of class, then take a look at some of these books available on Amazon -- http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/102-8984135-1308140 . People in public treated lynchings as public celebrations and took photographs, proudly displaying their handiwork.

Lissa
08-18-2005, 09:47 AM
However, I have a hard time believing that any public sign in America would be so classless and deliberately insulting as to lump "dogs" in with the unwanted ethnic group.

Want something that will really blow your mind?

Here (http://tolerance.org/news/article_tol.jsp?id=946) is the story of Ota Benga, an African man who was once kept in the Bronx Zoo in a cage with an oragutan.

Uvula Donor
08-18-2005, 09:52 AM
Later in the page, there's a "RESTROOMS -> WHITES ONLY" sign. While I have no doubt that such signs existed, the date on the sign looks like 1926 or 1928. The typeface is Helvetica, which was developed in 1957.

Helvetica was developed based on the much earlier "Akzidenz Grotesk" font, introduced in 1896. Here's an example of it. (http://bertholdtypes.com/bq_library/AkzidenzGrotesk.html) There is no real reason to think that the "Whites Only" sign in question is not authentic.

hajario
08-18-2005, 10:02 AM
Not really a true cite but my grandmother told me that when the family came to the U.S. in the 1910's there were "No rentals for Jews or Dogs" signs on apartment buildings in New York City.

elmwood
08-18-2005, 10:10 AM
Helvetica was developed based on the much earlier "Akzidenz Grotesk" font, introduced in 1896. Here's an example of it. (http://bertholdtypes.com/bq_library/AkzidenzGrotesk.html) There is no real reason to think that the "Whites Only" sign in question is not authentic.

Maybe, but on old stock signs, I've seldom seen relatively modern san serif typefaces used. Typefaces would usually be serif, or resemble "signpainter copy" (WWII propaganda posters, dry cleaner promotional signs, etc.). Signs appearing in more than one typeface, also incorporating script, were also more common. I've NEVER seen Akzidenz Grotesk or a similar font on a sign from before the 1960s. Even in print, its use was rare.

When a typeface is introduced, it takes a while before its use becomes widespread; Helvetica didn't become popular until the late 1960s. Even a Jim Crow sign from 1960 would probably not be in Helvetica.

I know I'll probably end up in the pit for expressing a politically incorrect opinion, but I think the sign is a fake. The attitude may be real, but the sign isn't.

Lissa
08-18-2005, 10:16 AM
I know I'll probably end up in the pit for expressing a politically incorrect opinion, but I think the sign is a fake. The attitude may be real, but the sign isn't.

Why not e-mail the museum and ask them about the sign? Tell them all about the fonts and whatnot.

They should have the sign's provenance.

pulykamell
08-18-2005, 11:09 AM
Helvetica was developed based on the much earlier "Akzidenz Grotesk" font, introduced in 1896. Here's an example of it. (http://bertholdtypes.com/bq_library/AkzidenzGrotesk.html) There is no real reason to think that the "Whites Only" sign in question is not authentic.

Well, this is pretty interesting.

I looked at Akzidenz Grotesk, and it looks nothing like the font on the sign. OK, maybe I use "nothing like" too strongly, but the sign shown has a very tell-tale Helvetika "R." Look at Akzidenz. The "R" looks nothing like it.

I was very skeptical of elmwood's assertions, but the typeface in that sign is almost certainly Helvetica.

hajario
08-18-2005, 11:27 AM
Just because that sign is a fake/reproduction, doesn't mean that there weren't real ones.

pulykamell
08-18-2005, 12:34 PM
Just because that sign is a fake/reproduction, doesn't mean that there weren't real ones.

I'm not contesting (and I don't think anyone else is) that there weren't real signs like that.

Cartooniverse
08-18-2005, 01:04 PM
We all know about the wonders of PhotoShop. Having said that, I am hard pressed to believe that

any (http://nypost.com/img/ce/021105.jpg)

of (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/ppmsc/00200/00218r.jpg)

these (http://jimcrowhistory.org/series/overview.htm)

signs presented here (http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/history/1-segregated/detail/for-rent-sign.html) are fakes.

However, I will admit that there is some respectable evidence (http://railroadcollectors.org/pgFakes_Signs.shtml) proving that there is a brisque market in fake Jim Crow signage. ( personally, I find this to be despicable but that's just me... )

Cartooniverse

elmwood
08-18-2005, 01:23 PM
I was very skeptical of elmwood's assertions, but the typeface in that sign is almost certainly Helvetica.

Skeptical? The sign has a date in the 1920s, and is using a 1950s typeface. it's a bad reproduction.

I still think the "No DOGS NEGROS MEXICANS" sign on the linked site is a reproduction. This This eBay auction shows a reproduction of the "NO DOGS NEGROS MEXICANS sign (http://cgi.ebay.com/SIGN-NO-DOGS-NEGROES-MEXICANS-1942-DALLAS-TX_W0QQitemZ7175749820QQcategoryZ10805QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem), but look carefully - it's a repro of a 1940s sign, again using Helvetica. Jim Crow and "mammy" memorabilia is popular in some circles, and it may be possible that someone is making something they claim to be a reproduction, but is actually a retro-style racist statement. "I heard that there were signs like this, so I'll print up a batch that look really old and sell 'em to African-Americana collectors on eBay."

I'm not saying such signs didn't exist in pre-Civil Rights era America. I'd like to see proof, though, not urban legendy FOAF recollections or statements like "Well, it could have happened." There's old photos of segregated water fountains, train stations, bathrooms, and so on. There's got to be an old photo of a "NO DOGS OR [ETHNIC GROUP]" sign somewhere then, right?

CalMeacham
08-18-2005, 01:25 PM
I've seen reproductions of signs from long ago for sale in places catering to antique lovers. In most cases these are pretty obvious reproductions, not meant to fool anyone. The pristine condition of the signs is often a dead giveaway.


I also don't put much stock in the typeface argument =-- I've seen plenty ogf old street signs that were sans serif and were clearlt pre-1957.

pulykamell
08-18-2005, 01:39 PM
I've seen reproductions of signs from long ago for sale in places catering to antique lovers. In most cases these are pretty obvious reproductions, not meant to fool anyone. The pristine condition of the signs is often a dead giveaway.


I also don't put much stock in the typeface argument =-- I've seen plenty ogf old street signs that were sans serif and were clearlt pre-1957.

The font argument is not that sans serifs weren't used pre-1957--it's not my argument at least--it's just that the particular font, Helvetica, wasn't used. Unless you can find another font that looks just like it dating back to the 20s...

elmwood--I said "skeptical" because I wasn't sure at first whether that font was definitely Helvetica--you do have a rather limited selection of letters to use. However, the style of that font, the "R," the shape of the "O"s and everything about it points to your assertion being true. I certainly agree with you.

pulykamell
08-18-2005, 01:40 PM
I still think the "No DOGS NEGROS MEXICANS" sign on the linked site is a reproduction. This This eBay auction shows a reproduction of the "NO DOGS NEGROS MEXICANS sign (http://cgi.ebay.com/SIGN-NO-DOGS-NEGROES-MEXICANS-1942-DALLAS-TX_W0QQitemZ7175749820QQcategoryZ10805QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem), but look carefully - it's a repro of a 1940s sign, again using Helvetica.

Yeah. That sign is so clearly a modern typeface that it's jarring.

bradministrator
08-18-2005, 02:50 PM
I was going to link to that same site.



I don't mean this in a bad way, but this statement displays a lot of naivete about America and Americans. This might be a good opportunity for Argent to take a real, hard look at our political and cultural history.

I don't think that's really fair. Every society puts on a face that is different than the way the society acts. Just because lynchings, etc, were common in the South 1880-1950 doesn't mean the society operated overtly in an undignified manner. While I wasn't alive then, it's my impression that society existed in an orderly "know your place" manner, and no black needed to be told by such a crude sign that he was considered inferior by many (most?) whites.

Acsenray
08-18-2005, 03:01 PM
I don't think that's really fair. Every society puts on a face that is different than the way the society acts. Just because lynchings, etc, were common in the South 1880-1950 doesn't mean the society operated overtly in an undignified manner. While I wasn't alive then, it's my impression that society existed in an orderly "know your place" manner, and no black needed to be told by such a crude sign that he was considered inferior by many (most?) whites.

Why is it unfair? There is plenty of evidence that the social order was enforced on a regular basis with lynchings and other overt acts to make it explicit what the rules were to anyone who might try to violate them. Those lynching photographs prove the point. People were proud of what they were doing and they wanted others to see it.

An "undignified manner"? I'm really at a loss. We know what went on back then, from a person-to-person perspective and in the public eye. Segregation was a political, spiritual, and physical brutality that was enforced in public, not merely by a genteel, "dignified" implied social structure. Yes, maybe your Savannah blue-blood didn't have to put up "no negros or dogs" signs on the toilets in their mansions, but enforcement of the social order in less rarified society was not so subtle.

Future days
08-18-2005, 03:04 PM
In pubs in England you used to get signs saying:

No Blacks
No Dogs
No Irish

An Arky
08-18-2005, 03:16 PM
There was a dentist in Lake Village, Arkansas that had two seperate office doors right next to each other clearly labelled Colored and White. This was in the late 60s, early 70s. Also, at that time, you could still see the darker rectangular areas where those signs had been over water fountains in the Court House. (My uncle, the sheriff, told me that's what they used to be. They were taken down in '64, I think).

When I was a kid, I knew of a laundromat in Dardanelle, AR, that informally didn't allow blacks, still, in the mid-70s. There wasn't a sign, but for some reason, there didn't need to be. It was run by a really mean old guy who died shortly thereafter.

Ick. :(

These things were definitely real. I believe there's some real ones in the Smthsonian Museum of American History. They have a section of the historic Greensboro lunch counter there.

samclem
08-18-2005, 08:08 PM
I think we have to distinguish between whether such a sign as "NO/dog, Negros, Mexicans" ever existed and what they were used for.

I pesonally think the sign reproduced in the website was a modern reproduction. But that doesn't mean that such a sign didn't exist.

There probably was such a sign, and it was cardboard, and it was placed in the window of an apartment or house renting rooms in a border(Mexican) state in the South. It just meant that they didn't want to rent to blacks, Mexicans, or anyone who had a dog. BFD.

I would doubt that there were signs placed in bars, restaurants, etc. in the US that said "NO dogs, Mexicans, Negros, etc." It just didn't happen. If you think they exist and were placed in establishments of commerce other than lodging, then good luck hunting. Show us the proof.

Blake
08-18-2005, 08:44 PM
Add me to the list of the highly skeptical.

The sign probably did exist in private rentals situations, along with signs saying no smokers, no drinkers, no gamblers and no anything-else-that-someone-considered-undesirable. We can debate the morality of it elsewhere, but to this day people regularly advertise for females or even white Christian females for housemates so it's hardly surprising that people did so in the past.

But I won't beleive it ever existed as commerically printed signs in biusinesses without a lot of evidence.

It has uncanny similarities to an almost identical UL in China.

For many years it has endured as a particularly striking example of the demeaning, racist way that Chinese were treated in their own country during the early decades of this century. At a time when Europeans, and especially the British, dominated much of China, a sign at the entrance to the Huangpu Park in Shanghai supposedly announced: "No Dogs or Chinese Allowed."

For decades this story has been widely repeated. It is cited in numerous books, including the writings of China's first republican president, Sun Yat-Sen. Harvard University historian John K. Fairbank refers in his 1986 study, The Great Chinese Revolution (p. 147) to the "oft-mentioned (but never photographed?) sign at the Public Garden on the Shanghai bund (waterfront), 'No Dogs or Chinese Allowed'." Oddly, it seems that no one has ever reported actually seeing the infamous sign, and the story's precise origin has always been obscure.

Last year a Chinese journalist set off a furor when he announced that his research indicated that the sign never existed. To impress the Chinese masses with the wickedness of European imperialists, he reported, the park sign story was popularized as official history during the 1950s in Shanghai's "Museum for History and Reconstruction."

http://ihr.org/jhr/v15/v15n5p31_Weber.html

You can find plenty of other websites adrssing that particular Chinese verison of this UL.

The story being almost identical whether it refers to "no dogs or niggers" in America, "no dogs or Irish" in England, "no dogs or Chinese" in China or "No dogs or boongs" in Australia is the biggest hint that this is an UL. The really amazing thing is that in all cases mass produced reproductions of the sign have been sold to people eager for 'evidence' of the evils of the past.

It's an UL by the duck test until someone produces come evidence.

BTW, many of these signs on those websites have dates stamped on them. Not copyright dates or law dates or anything, just dates. Why would a sign have a date like "June 1942" or "May 1926"?

dre2xl
08-18-2005, 08:52 PM
FYI: I can personally assert that Black Americana items are a huge collector's market--bigger than many people think. As such, there are many, many fakes & reproductions floating around. However, it's good to remember that all those reproductions were based on originals--that's why collectors buy reproductions--they think they're buying the original.

hajario
08-18-2005, 09:01 PM
We all know about the wonders of PhotoShop. Having said that, I am hard pressed to believe that

any (http://nypost.com/img/ce/021105.jpg)

of (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/ppmsc/00200/00218r.jpg)

these (http://jimcrowhistory.org/series/overview.htm)

signs presented here (http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/history/1-segregated/detail/for-rent-sign.html) are fakes.


Not only did you not address the OP at all, it looks like you didn't read any of the responses either. The first picture in your last cite may well be a reproduction.

My grandma's story was told to me when I was a child. It could well be that she never saw one of these signs but was repeating something that she heard. In any event, I always pictured them as handmade signs on a piece of paper or cardboard as samclem hypothesized.

I could see how a "Colored Only" sign would be mass produced because it would be nailed to a wall and expected to last for years. A sign for a rental would only be needed for a week or two and then not again for maybe months. This lends itself more to something homemade. One would think, though, that there would be a picture of one of these signs somewhere.

Blake
08-18-2005, 09:10 PM
However, it's good to remember that all those reproductions were based on originals--that's why collectors buy reproductions--they think they're buying the original.

Cite please.

I would dearly love to see a reputable reference that all reproductions of this type are based on originals, and not simply faux-reproductions. And of course if you can produce any such evidence you have answered the question.

Eolbo
08-18-2005, 09:29 PM
http://ihr.org/jhr/v15/v15n5p31_Weber.html



Please dont link to anti-semitic nazi nutjobs.

samclem
08-18-2005, 09:32 PM
FYI: I can personally assert that Black Americana items are a huge collector's market--bigger than many people think. As such, there are many, many fakes & reproductions floating around. However, it's good to remember that all those reproductions were based on originals--that's why collectors buy reproductions--they think they're buying the original.

As blake said so well, there's no evidence that these "reproductions" are based on real signs.

In the world of collectible political buttons, there were fakes created in the 1970's that were of buttons that never existed. In the world of coins, we call these "fantasies."

Many of the modern tin signs for all kinds of products are "fantasies." Such a thing never existed.

rfgdxm
08-18-2005, 09:50 PM
As blake said so well, there's no evidence that these "reproductions" are based on real signs.

In the world of collectible political buttons, there were fakes created in the 1970's that were of buttons that never existed. In the world of coins, we call these "fantasies."

Many of the modern tin signs for all kinds of products are "fantasies." Such a thing never existed.
If these existed as real signs, there should be photographic evidence. Photography was around in the US Civil War, and signs such as "No coloreds or dogs" wouldn't have been used until after the Civil War. Where is the photo evidence of these signs being used back then?

Uvula Donor
08-18-2005, 11:45 PM
I know I'll probably end up in the pit for expressing a politically incorrect opinion, but I think the sign is a fake. The attitude may be real, but the sign isn't.

I see your point and wouldn't drag you to the Pit for it. But I have seen old signs - especially from the early 1930's - with san serif fonts (though admittedly more Deco in appearance than Helvetica.) San serif fonts were also quite common in letterpress-printed handbills and advertising going back as far as the 1890's.

RickJay
08-19-2005, 12:34 AM
In pubs in England you used to get signs saying:

No Blacks
No Dogs
No Irish
Show us a picture.

There's a very similar story here in Toronto that was very popular a few years back, that public beaches had signs reading "No Dogs or Jews." This story flared to life in the 80s and you still see it repeated now and then, but to my knowledge, nobody has ever been able to find a photograph of such a sign.

The amazing similarity between these tales - the signs are always "No dogs or (insent group" - suggest they're mostly baloney.

An Arky
08-19-2005, 07:30 AM
I'm having trouble figuring out if some of y'all just don't believe the particular signs linked in this thread aren't real or if you actually don't believe signs like that existed at all.

If you know any black people of a certain age, you can most certainly get confirmation. If anyone really thinks those kind of things never existed, then you're worse than holocaust deniers. I really don't think that's the case, though, at least I hope not.

pulykamell
08-19-2005, 08:25 AM
I'm having trouble figuring out if some of y'all just don't believe the particular signs linked in this thread aren't real or if you actually don't believe signs like that existed at all.

Well, judging by the evidence presented thus far, I am skeptical of the existence of mass-produced signs that said "No Dogs, No [insert ethnic group]." See samclem's first post for clarification. The "Colored/White" signs I believe--there's plenty of photographic evidence for that.

samclem
08-19-2005, 08:34 AM
I'm having trouble figuring out if some of y'all just don't believe the particular signs linked in this thread aren't real or if you actually don't believe signs like that existed at all.

If you know any black people of a certain age, you can most certainly get confirmation. If anyone really thinks those kind of things never existed, then you're worse than holocaust deniers. I really don't think that's the case, though, at least I hope not.

Let's make sure we're on the same page.

I think all of the players in this discussion would agree that there were real signs in the past that said "Colored---White," signs that said "White only" and signs that said things of this kind. I was there in the 1940's and 1950's. I'm white, but I damn well noticed them.

What is being argued is about signs that specifically include the word "dog" in combination with groups of excluded people, "Negros" "Mexicans" "Jews" etc.

Almost all of us think that signs that included the "dog" reference would apply to housing situations ONLY.

...and now I just realized that I took up a lot of bandwidth to say exactly what pulykamell just said. :o

elmwood
08-19-2005, 09:05 AM
I'm having trouble figuring out if some of y'all just don't believe the particular signs linked in this thread aren't real or if you actually don't believe signs like that existed at all.

I know that "WHITES ONLY," "BLACKS/COLORED/NEGROS ONLY," and similar signs existed. There's plenty of photographic proof and firsthand sightings. It was the Jim Crow era, after all, and there were "separate but equal" bathrooms, waiting rooms, public accomodations and so on; without sich signs, there would be no way to identify them. There is also a brisk trade in bad reproductions of such signs, as well as other racist memorabilia of the era, for collectors of black Americana (http://antiques.about.com/cs/aroundtheworld1/a/aa052000.htm).

I have a very difficult time believing that mass produced or professionally custom-made "NO DOGS OR [ETHNIC GROUP] ALLOWED" signs ever existed, though. There has been no photographic proof so far. Most evidence seems to take the form of what would normally be associated with an urban legend; second-hand accounts, FOAF, anecdotal stories, "well, it could have happened," and similar tales from around the world. There's reproductions of such signs, but most of them are flawed and obviously fake; for example, using modern typefaces, or including printed dates (http://img367.imageshack.us/img367/3148/jimcrow5cl.gif) that normally aren't seen on stock signs (http://realtysignco.com/stock_signs/stock_signs.html). As others have said, there's been no evidence presented so far that such signs are based on something that actually existed. Maybe some hicks displayed a handwritten sign like that in the window of a bar or private club, but I doubt that Ace Sign Printing of Macon, Georgia churned them out by the thousands, or even tens.

There's no denying that the Jim Crow era existed, and that it was an ugly time in America's higtory; the effects of the time, and its de facto and de jure discrimination and segregation, linger to this day and will continue to do so for decades, if not centuries, into the future. Nobody here is denying that lynchings, separate accomodations, and overt racism ever took place; there's no "Jim Crow revisionists" in this thread. However, I doubt the existence of professionally made "NO DOGS OR [ETHNIC GROUP" signs from the era, or similar signs from other countries. It's like alien anal probes, the face on Cydonia, and the silhouette of the Virgin of Guadalupe burned into in a tortilla; we want to believe. I do too, but I have to have more than my gut feeling that "it could have happened" to go on.

elmwood
08-19-2005, 09:16 AM
Massive simulpost. samclem and pulykamell both said it more eloquently.

Unregistered Bull
08-19-2005, 09:46 AM
Maybe some hicks displayed a handwritten sign like that in the window of a bar or private club, but I doubt that Ace Sign Printing of Macon, Georgia churned them out by the thousands, or even tens.

It would have probably been city folk that would have displayed such a sign. If the signs said Jews, they were probably Northern city folk displaying such a sign.

Cartooniverse
08-19-2005, 10:36 AM
Well, samclem, I respect the points you brought up, but refuse to believe that the United States is filled with older African Americans and their children all of whom are the victims of mass hysterical hallucination.

Do we all assert here that there isn't a photo in existence that is real? That nobody took photos such as the one showing the movie theatre? That all African Americans who were adults during the period prior to the 1960's are hallucinating and incapable of recounting images from their own life? Cause, it sure sounds that way.

I'm not talking about some stupid fakey fonted sign. I'm talking about the cites I provided that are either the entire face of a movie theatre that was cleverly made up out of whole cloth, or it is the real deal.

If it is the real deal then it is a valid cite and proves the point that there were indeed signs at the time that designated use of public facilities that were "colored only".

If, OTOH, every image presented in the various cites I provided can all be proven to be PhotoShop crapola, and there is copious proof that such signs never existed despite the recountings of literally millions of African Americans- and white folk- in the South who had to grow up facing such signs then yes, by all means, I stand corrected and will admit I was snookered. By all the cites I provided. Each and ever one of 'em. :rolleyes:

Me, I find it a bit of a stretch.

Acsenray
08-19-2005, 10:49 AM
Now, hold on here. It seems that an interesting question has been brought up. No one has qeustioned the authenticity of those images, but none of them specifically used the "no dogs" language. I stand by my previous statement that it is mistaken to begin with the presumption that our society could not be so classless as to have such signs. It is perfectly believable, given our history, that such signs might have existed. But did they really? Where are the photographs? Where is the specific evidence of "no dogs ..." signs? I tried to take a look at Snopes, but couldn't come up with anything there. This isn't a question of denial. We all know that the things that are shown in the linked photographs existed. But what about the "no dogs ..." signs specifically?

pulykamell
08-19-2005, 10:55 AM
Cartooniverse-- You're missing the entire point. We're addressing the specific wording in the OP.

aktep
08-19-2005, 10:57 AM
If it is the real deal then it is a valid cite and proves the point that there were indeed signs at the time that designated use of public facilities that were "colored only".


Nobody's arguing that:

I think all of the players in this discussion would agree that there were real signs in the past that said "Colored---White," signs that said "White only" and signs that said things of this kind. I was there in the 1940's and 1950's. I'm white, but I damn well noticed them.


They're aguing that the answer to this question:

So, did these "No Dogs or (x)" signs really exist?


Is "No" (or "Not on any large scale"), for various reasons, and poor "reproductions" of such signs to do not constitute proof.

samclem
08-19-2005, 11:09 AM
Talking only about signs with the "dog" usage:

It's not hard to believe that there were individuals who would make up a homemade sign and post it in their restaurant, bar, whatever. I'm sure this happened in the UK with the "no dogs, Irish" too.

But there were almost certainly no government-made or institutionalized signs which lumped dogs and [x-ethnic group] together, preventing them from entering the premises.

An Arky
08-19-2005, 11:20 AM
elmwood, pulykamell, samclem - loud and clear, sorry for the confusion.

And I think I agree that the signs in question are well, questionable.

dropzone
08-19-2005, 11:24 AM
Personally, I trace the downfall of this country to when dogs got banned from restaurants, bars, and stores. I'd move to France if they'd stop using that stupid language of theirs.

samclem
08-19-2005, 11:32 AM
Personally, I trace the downfall of this country to when dogs got banned from restaurants, bars, and stores.

Hmmm? I never saw one of those "NO dogs/xxx/xxx" signs in the window of a Chinese restaurant. I wonder,........... :)

hajario
08-19-2005, 11:39 AM
Well, samclem, I respect the points you brought up, but refuse to believe that the United States is filled with older African Americans and their children all of whom are the victims of mass hysterical hallucination.


Do you have a clue at all? Did you read the last post that I addressed to you? Where, anywhere in this thread, is someone disputing what you claim they are disputing? Jesus.

elmwood
08-19-2005, 01:02 PM
If, OTOH, every image presented in the various cites I provided can all be proven to be PhotoShop crapola, and there is copious proof that such signs never existed despite the recountings of literally millions of African Americans- and white folk- in the South who had to grow up facing such signs then yes, by all means, I stand corrected and will admit I was snookered. By all the cites I provided. Each and ever one of 'em.

Read the posts again, please.

Like I said before, along with pulykamell, samclem and others, we don't doubt the existence of signs simply identifying separate public accomodations. We've got firsthand sightings in this thread, plenty of photos, plenty of media accounts - more than enough evidence. There's the physical evidence of where the signs used to be displayed in older public buildings in the South. Doubting the existence of such signs really didn't even come into our minds.

However, we're ONLY talking about the "NO DOGS OR [ETHNIC GROUP(S)]" signs. Not the regretful "whites this way, blacks that way" or "[ethnic group] only" type signage that is typical of the Jim Crow era. Not crass homemade (http://latinamericanstudies.org/immigration/hollywood.jpg) signs (http://latinamericanstudies.org/immigration/whites-only.gif) that express a similar sentiment. We're talking about mass-produced or professionally custom made signs that say "NO DOGS OR [ETHNIC GROUP(S)]" being commonplace. All I see are botched "reproductions," second-hand accounts, FOAF tales, and "it could have happened", but no physical proof.

Show me an actual newspaper article from the era that noted the firsthand sighting of a "NO DOGS OR [ETHNIC GROUP(S)]" sign. Show me a photo from a reliable source such as LOC American Memory, a local historic society, a stock photo archive or a newspaper morgue. Show me evidence of the sign from historic ephemera, such as a stock sign catalog. It's all there for the "WHITES ONLY" and "NO MEXICANS"-type signs. If mass-produced or professionally-made "NO DOGS OR ..." signs were real and common, there should be similar evidence. "It could have happened" and "well, my dead grandmother said that there were signs like that" won't cut it, at least by Jan Harold Brunvand's standards, and possibly Cecil's too.

On a related note, an article in Journal of Social History (http://tigger.uic.edu/~rjensen/no-irish.htm) disproves the existence of "NO IRISH NEED APPLY" signs, and found only ONE newspaper ad with the phrase. Here's an excerpt from the article:

The fact that Irish vividly "remember" NINA signs is a curious historical puzzle. There are no contemporary or retrospective accounts of a specific sign at a specific location. No particular business enterprise is named as a culprit. No historian, 2 archivist, or museum curator has ever located one 3 ; no photograph or drawing exists. 4 No other ethnic group complained about being singled out by comparable signs. Only Irish Catholics have reported seeing the sign in AmericaŚno Protestant, no Jew, no non-Irish Catholic has reported seeing one.

ivylass
08-19-2005, 01:03 PM
My father was a big antique collector. He used to have a sign saying "Colored Only Water Fountain." I'm pretty sure it was real.

pulykamell
08-19-2005, 01:26 PM
My father was a big antique collector. He used to have a sign saying "Colored Only Water Fountain." I'm pretty sure it was real.


ahem...

However, we're ONLY talking about the "NO DOGS OR [ETHNIC GROUP(S)]" signs. Not the regretful "whites this way, blacks that way" or "[ethnic group] only" type signage that is typical of the Jim Crow era

ElvisL1ves
08-19-2005, 01:29 PM
FWIW, the pre-revolution sign in Shanghai declaring "No dogs or Chinese" appears to be no more factual than NINA (http://ihr.org/jhr/v15/v15n5p31_Weber.html).

Acsenray
08-19-2005, 01:37 PM
Hm. Maybe there was no sign that said "long-haired freaky people need not apply"?

Seriously, though. Are there accounts of long-haired hippie types being the target of such signs?

Future days
08-19-2005, 01:46 PM
Show us a picture.

There's a very similar story here in Toronto that was very popular a few years back, that public beaches had signs reading "No Dogs or Jews." This story flared to life in the 80s and you still see it repeated now and then, but to my knowledge, nobody has ever been able to find a photograph of such a sign.

The amazing similarity between these tales - the signs are always "No dogs or (insent group" - suggest they're mostly baloney.


They arent. Not in UK anyway:

http://citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/lib_pages_pdf/0322.pdf

Paul in Qatar
08-19-2005, 01:52 PM
In my hometown, Frederick, Maryland we have the county fairgrounds. Lots of open space and few permanent buildings, like restrooms and stuff. Over the entrance to one restroom is a huge sign that says (unimaginatively) RESTROOMS.

Below it, covered with the world's cheapest, faded, washed-out paint are the words COLORED ONLY.

I hope they never fix the sign. I hope when they rebuild the place they spend some money and recreate the sign. I hope kids see that sign for a hundred years and maybe some of them will think about it.

We White Southerners have a lot to be proud of and a lot to be ashamed of. Sometime we just have trouble one from the other.

pulykamell
08-19-2005, 01:55 PM
They arent. Not in UK anyway:

http://citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/lib_pages_pdf/0322.pdf

Is anyone actually reading the thread?


It's not hard to believe that there were individuals who would make up a homemade sign and post it in their restaurant, bar, whatever. I'm sure this happened in the UK with the "no dogs, Irish" too.

But there were almost certainly no government-made or institutionalized signs which lumped dogs and [x-ethnic group] together, preventing them from entering the premises.

samclem
08-19-2005, 01:59 PM
They arent. Not in UK anyway:

http://citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/lib_pages_pdf/0322.pdf

Notice that the sign was in the window of a bed and breakfast.

So, we're back to the same old story--everyone agrees that these signs appeared in random rooming situations.

hajario
08-19-2005, 02:10 PM
My father was a big antique collector. He used to have a sign saying "Colored Only Water Fountain." I'm pretty sure it was real.

...and what the hell does this have to do with the discussion that we're trying to have? This is getting ridiculous.

The Weird One
08-19-2005, 02:16 PM
Is anyone actually reading the thread?

I am!

We are specifically discussing whether signs excluding both dogs and ethnic groups were mass-produced during the first half of the 20th century.

OTOH, evidence that such homemade signs existed does reconcile the anecdotal evidence with the lack of any empirical evidence. Yes, people did see these signs posted, but it doesn't appear that they were mass-produced until quite recently as "memorabilia."

Cartooniverse
08-19-2005, 08:00 PM
Talking only about signs with the "dog" usage:

It's not hard to believe that there were individuals who would make up a homemade sign and post it in their restaurant, bar, whatever. I'm sure this happened in the UK with the "no dogs, Irish" too.

But there were almost certainly no government-made or institutionalized signs which lumped dogs and [x-ethnic group] together, preventing them from entering the premises.


<------ Scratches chin quietly.

Oh. Agreed. Sorry for the confusion.

Hilarity N. Suze
08-20-2005, 03:11 AM
All right, there were no mass produced signs, agreed?

But how about ads in the newspapers? This would be a very easy thing to check as they're on microfiche and not likely to have been been tampered with.

(Yes, I know it's not the same thing.)

Hilarity N. Suze
08-20-2005, 03:19 AM
Hm. Maybe there was no sign that said "long-haired freaky people need not apply"?

Seriously, though. Are there accounts of long-haired hippie types being the target of such signs?

You want an account? I once moved into an apartment whose ad said, "No hippies, no children, no pets."

This was for an apartment a block and a half from my college campus, in the early 1970s, and she wanted "no hippies"?

So I wore contact lenses instead of my hippie specs, and dressed sorta preppy. (Of course once I moved in, with the black light and the beads and the anti-war posters and all, the jig was up.)

I talked the landlady into letting my cat live there, too.

samclem
08-20-2005, 07:52 AM
All right, there were no mass produced signs, agreed?

But how about ads in the newspapers? This would be a very easy thing to check as they're on microfiche and not likely to have been been tampered with.

(Yes, I know it's not the same thing.)

I've spent hours searching my electronic newspaper databases. Not just this last few days, but in the past. And I'm sure other researchers have also.

There were the occasional "No Irish need apply" domestic ads in US papers from the turn of the century, but only occasional. Most ads were desparate for help.

The "NO dogs/Mexicans/Negroes" appeared only in a 1968 article about discrimination of minorities. It suggested that many minorities remember signs such as this. It wasn't long on info about whether they were in relationship to housing/rooming, or bars, restaurants, places of commerce.

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