Photo essay: Ghost Signs of CLE

In virtually every town in America, on rural roads, and big cities, old, hand-painted advertisements promoting everything from Coca Cola and Paramount Vodka to Mail Pouch Tobacco still exist. While they may be faded, or even illegible, they grab our attention.

These signs are relics of 19th and early 20th Centuries—in a time before modern billboards and neon lights—painted by walldogs who are long gone.

FreshWater managing photographer Bob Perkoski shared some of his favorite ghost murals he’s found in Cleveland, as we launch this new series, Ghost Signs of CLE.

Have your own collection of local ghost signs you’d like to share? Let us know!

Bob Perkoski
Bob Perkoski

About the Author: Bob Perkoski

In addition to his work for Fresh Water, Bob Perkoski is the official photographer for LAND studio and Cleveland Burlesque. He recently published a book of his photos Rust Belt Burlesque. He's had work published in other books like LGBTQ Cleveland by Ken Schneck, Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland AnthologyRust Belt Chic: The Pittsburgh Anthology and Moon Cleveland by Douglas Trattner. Previously he was co-founder/art director for Balanced Living Magazine. His substantial portfolio includes news coverage, portraiture, commercial imagery and fine art. Perkoski's first solo show, These Walks of Life premiered in December 2016 in Negative Space Gallery. Visit Perkoski Photography for complete profile information.
Originally from Conneaut, Ohio, Perkoski now lives close to the city in Parma. He has been Fresh Water's managing photographer since the publication's September 2010 inception.