Remember when times were simpler, when stupid behavior seemed so right? Four thousand pound cars, bedecked in chrome and sporting outrageous fins, were perfect for cruising country roads while having a chaw or smoke of tobacco! And seat belts were not even an option! The 1960 Thunderbird was a styling leader in its day when fins and chrome ruled; the Mail Pouch Barn was a barn with one or more sides painted from 1890 to 1992 with a barn advertisement for the West Virginia Mail Pouch chewing tobacco company. At the height of the program in the early 1960s, there were about 20,000 Mail Pouch barns spread across 22 states. Initially, barn owners were paid between $1 and $2 a year for the advertisement, equivalent in 1913 dollars to about $20�$40 today. But more importantly, they received a much desired fresh coat of paint to preserve the integrity of the wood. Mail Pouch painted their message on one or two sides of the barn (depending on viewability from the roadway) and painted the other sides of the barn any color the owner wished. Many of the barns were repainted every few years to maintain the sharp colors of the lettering. After World War II, many of the barns were painted by Harley Warrick of Belmont County, Ohio. He once estimated that he had painted 20,000 barns in his life, spending an average of six hours on each. Warrick claimed that he always began each barn with the "E" in the word "Chew". B&W version.
November 30th, 2012
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