The golden age of neon advertising marked with a new Australian stamp issue

September 8th, 2015 hurries to inform that Australia Post has unveiled three new stamp designs in a nostalgic nod to the advertising of yesteryear. 'Signs of the Times' is a new stamp issue immortalizing iconic billboards from Victoria and Queensland popular during the 1930s to 1960s.

The items were put into circulation on the 1st of September.

Australia Post philatelic manager, Michael Zsolt said: "Today we are more conscious of the visual value of our historic neon signs". Zsolt said that the bright designs are sure to rouse the interest of collectors and the public alike.
Neon signs are intensely coloured electric signs lighted by long, luminous gas-discharge tubes that contain rarefied neon or other gases. Neon tubes were first demonstrated in 1910 by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show, and were reportedly first used to advertise a barber's shop. Neon signage and advertising subsequently became popular throughout the world.

Designed by John White of the Australia Post Design Studio, the issue comprises two domestic base rate (70c) stamps and one large letter rate ($1.40) stamp which feature:

  • Skipping Girl, Abbotsford, Victoria, known as Little Audrey, is possibly Australia's best known neon sign. The original Skipping Girl was erected in 1936 as an animated advertisement for Skipping Girl Vinegar. In 2008 the National Trust ran a successful campaign to have the sign (a near-replica made in 1970) illuminated again, and in 2009 she was restored. Today Little Audrey continues to skip in full illuminated neon.

  • Pink Poodle, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, was a popular honeymoon motel built in 1967. The motel was demolished in 2004 but the famous sign (which was rebuilt in 1987) was saved, and in 2005 was nominated as a Queensland Heritage Icon by the National Trust. The illuminated Pink Poodle neon sign now stands in Fern Street near its original location.

  • Dandy Pig, Dandenong, Victoria, was first erected in the 1950s for the Gippsland Co-operative Bacon Curing Company. The landmark neon Pig doffed his top hat for many years until 1983 before being restored and re-erected in 1993. In August 2013 the City of Greater Dandenong officially celebrated the re-instatement of the Dandy Pig at the Dandenong Market as an acknowledgement of the sign's social, cultural and historical significance to the community.

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