The Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Neon Billboard

The Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer billboard located at the entrance of Chicago's South Water Street Freight Terminal in 1943. (Jack Delano/Library of Congress)
The Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer billboard located at the entrance of Chicago’s South Water Street Freight Terminal in 1943. (Jack Delano/Library of Congress)

 

Anyone riding the freight train through Chicago’s South Water Street Freight Terminal at night during the World War II years could expect to be welcomed to the city by a giant neon billboard advertising Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and a clock showing the local time.

Apparently this sign was originally a Chevy billboard that was converted into the Blue Ribbon sign. At the bottom of the sign was Pabst’s “Blended 33 to 1” slogan, which was one of their key slogans of the war years. Sometime during the mid-1940s, the slogan on the sign changed to “Full Flavor Blended”and this can be seen in at least one picture from 1946.

Today the Prudential Building is located where the billboard once stood, but there are probably countless people who lived, worked, and served in and around Chicago who have fond memories of this billboard!

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