Way Back When: The Largest Sign in Santa Barbara

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Way Back When: The Largest Sign in Santa Barbara
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(Image: Camera, September 13, 1919)

By Betsy J. Green

Imagine this – “Letters of White 18 Feet High and 12 Feet Broad.” And most folks in Santa Barbara would have to use their imagination to see it. The gigantic sign was painted on the black roof of the “Flying A” studio at Mission and Chapala streets 100 years ago.

“According to experienced flying men who have seen the sign, it can be seen by flyers passing over the city at an elevation of two miles. The American Film Company has painted the great sign to let the passing aviators know that Santa Barbara welcomes aviators.”


Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1918 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the fifth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at betsyjgreen.com

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bjgreen Jun 02, 2019 12:21 PM
Way Back When: The Largest Sign in Santa Barbara

That's a good question, Deeker. I suspect that it was not painted over, but was just left to fade away after "Flying A" stopped filming here in 1920. It's too bad that the "Flying A" company is not still here. It must have been fun watching actors and film crews pop up here and there around the city without warning. No permits? No problem! Those were the days, eh?

Flicka Jun 01, 2019 10:06 AM
Way Back When: The Largest Sign in Santa Barbara

I wonder what the sign ordinance of today would have done about it. Fascinating idea of painting this on their roof . Thanks, Betsy, for another interesting historical article.

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