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View Full Version : Kezar Stadium 49ers Sign Original?


baylife
05-16-2015, 03:23 PM
Hi,

Long time lucker here. I recently came into possession of this sign. I was told that it is an original sign from Kezar Stadium where the SF 49ers used to play. At the bottom it says 1954 Stevens Enterprises, Kezar Stadium. I was hoping that somebody here could possibly give me some more info on this.
Does anybody know if this is an original sign, possible value or if anyone knows if there's more signs on the market?

Thanks in advance

Andy Sandler
05-16-2015, 03:40 PM
Yes, it is from Kezar Stadium. I have had many signs from Kezar and still have a few. Yours is the most colorful I have seen.
Andy Sandler (845) 331-8610

ooo-ribay
05-16-2015, 06:19 PM
I love it!!! :D

wcsportscards
05-17-2015, 12:10 AM
Looks legit to me, from the ones I have seen

baylife
05-17-2015, 12:29 AM
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the info and compliments! Is there any place I can look to try to photo match it from inside Kezar? I have been looking and haven't had any luck finding any photo's from inside the stadium. I would be interested to see more photo's from that time period.

jerseygary
05-17-2015, 11:40 AM
That's a neat looking sign, but a few things jump out that make me think it may not be original. Some of these things can be explained away but there are enough that would make me think twice about its originality, or at the least it being from the mid 1950's.

The copyright symbol with the "C" in the circle was the first thing that caught my attention. The copyright line on the bottom is what really bothers me. I just don't see a concession company paying to copyright a simple menu board. Besides, it looks huge on the board. When was the last time you saw a copyright slug that big? Usually they are smaller, almost a footnote. (I originally wrote that the circle "C" was used from 1955 but I was mistaken).

The second thing is the typeface used for "CONCESSION STAND" and other headlines. I believe this is Helvetica, a Swiss-designed family of typefaces that was released in 1957. This looks like the "Helvetica Black Extended" version of the typeface. While very hip designers in the States were using Helvetica by late 1957, I don't think that sign shops that would do concession signs like this would have used Helvetica that early. Buying type back then wasn't as simple as downloading a font to your computer. It was very expensive and quite an investment. A simple sign company that made concession signs would have used an older typeface like Franklin Gothic if they wanted a san-serif look.

While I can't tell for sure what the other more condensed typeface used for the items on the board is without close inspection, I wouldn't be suprized if it is another Helvetica style called "Medium Condensed".

There have been many different "cuts" of Helvetica since 1957, all with tiny differences which would make it easier to narrow down at least the earliest time period a piece using them could have been made.

The Coca-Cola logo looks to be modern. If I were buying this I'd check a Coke collectors guide book and see what was the common Coca-Cola logo in use at the time, paying close attention to the type style used for the words "ENJOY" and "ICE COLD".

The one big thing that bothers me is the hand-painted looking 49ers guy and script name combined with the printed text. Back in 1954 it would have been more common for a sign company to either hand paint and letter a sign or have one mechanically printed. Each of these employ two separate skilled workers - you would either job it out to a sign painter or a printer. A sign painter would have done the top portion like this is but the text below would have been also hand painted. A printer would have set the type as seen in the lower part of the piece but if there was graphics they would have been limited to the blue, black and red used in the rest of the letters, not full 4-color process like it is here. It would have been too expensive to produce unless you were printing many of them. For a stadium I wouldn't think there would be more than 10, right?

Now like I said, many of these things could be explained away. Maybe it is a more recent sign than 1954 and the copyright symbol is on there with the 1954 date for some legal reason and does not reflect the actual date of manufacture. That would explain the 1957 typeface used if it is indeed a later piece. The Coca-Cola logo could check out as accurate to that time period. The mixture of sign painting and printing techniques could be explained away with the concession company had money to burn so splurged on more expensive 4-color printing for a handful of signs.

Did you research "STEVENS ENTERPRISES"? "Enterprises" seems like a more modern name, more 1970's than 1950's. I'd check out when that became a commonly used word for corporations.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents. It's still a neat looking piece, real or fantasy.

pologrounds
05-17-2015, 02:38 PM
michaelmays24@comcast.net

ooo-ribay
05-17-2015, 03:36 PM
^^^^ It's good to have guys like Gary around. They might not always say what you want to hear put these are all valid concerns. Kind of like how Paul M. can critique a pinback.

ooo-ribay
05-17-2015, 03:56 PM
A question for baylife: is your sign cardboard on plywood?

bgar3
05-17-2015, 04:12 PM
Can't comment on original or not, but Stevens could be a reference to Harry M Stevens company, the famous stadium/racetrack concessionaires. However, the Enterprises portion is something I do not remember seeing before.

baylife
05-17-2015, 10:27 PM
Hi again everyone,

All the replies have been great and informative! Gary did bring up some valid points and I am trying to research further but its been hard to find out a lot of info. I appreciate all the comments and concerns.

The sign is on plywood with 2 metal hangers at the top which I believe have rusted or something and sent streaks down from near the hangers. It is a little less than half an inch thick and is 22 inches long by 48 inches high. There is also damage on all 4 sides and the bottom which I can take closer pictures of. I kinda like the damage as I think it adds something to the piece.

As of now this piece is not for sale.

ooo-ribay
05-18-2015, 01:47 PM
Hi again everyone,

All the replies have been great and informative! Gary did bring up some valid points and I am trying to research further but its been hard to find out a lot of info. I appreciate all the comments and concerns.

The sign is on plywood with 2 metal hangers at the top which I believe have rusted or something and sent streaks down from near the hangers. It is a little less than half an inch thick and is 22 inches long by 48 inches high. There is also damage on all 4 sides and the bottom which I can take closer pictures of. I kinda like the damage as I think it adds something to the piece.

As of now this piece is not for sale.

Is it painted directly on the plywood?

A buddy of mine who is a big 49ers collector says he has seen these before and feels it is legit. He values it at $1000-1500.

baylife
05-18-2015, 11:40 PM
Yes it is painted directly onto the wood. I also hope its legit. I really like the piece and his estimated value is also nice!