Denny’s Adventures in Allee Willis’ “Willis Wonderland” (Part 51 – August 2010)

Submitted by denny October 21st, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

Allee has the most incredible collection of african american beer and liquor signs! Some light up, some don’t, some are even made of cardboard. I flip over some of these signs as the hair and clothing are just stunning. For instance, the woman in this sign is absolutely gorgeous and is sporting a fab afro. This sign has a thermometer in the bottom right corner.

I love this one. I always play ping-pong when drinking beer from Philly, the place I grew up.

I’d love to know what indoor pool they are lounging by. I love the shape of this sign.

Bring on the afros! This one is hot. Look at her outfit!

Let’s sit by the fire and have a Schlitz. This pic is a tad blurry, sorry folks.

This is another sign that really works my nerves. The afro is killer!

3 Responses to “Denny’s Adventures in Allee Willis’ “Willis Wonderland” (Part 51 – August 2010)”

  1. Allee Willis

    I do love the Teacher’s Scotch thermometer but I’m most attached to my light up African-American beer signs, none of which I have up regularly but all of which I drag out and hang outside when I have parties. I have about 25 incredible vintage ones, mostly from the 50s 60s and 70s.

    Though the Schmidts sgn is made out of cardboard it’s still one of my favorites. You can’t tell from the photograph but the woman playing ping-pong’s sweater is so full of little balls from too much wear and too many washings it’s astounding. It’s also fairly easy to tell that the sweater was too big on her and was pinned in the back. That’s blocked out by the glare in the photo as the piece is covered in plastic.

    I have all of the plaques in the Schlitz series as far as I’m aware.

    The Schaefer Beer Sign is one of my favorites. I wish the guy pouring the beer had a larger Afro but anything whose slogan is ‚ÄúGuaranteed to Groove… Check It Out‚Äù Is fine by me! That one hangs right above the door into my recording studio.

  2. Douglas Wood

    These are all fantastic. The pool table one is my favorite– I wish I could be a fly on the wall when the woman in the photo (who’s probably now in her late sixties) showed these old ads to her children and/or grandchildren and how they must have laughed hysterically and razzed her about the size of her fro.

    I also love the adoring way the woman in the last one gazes upon her husband as he pours the beer as if it’s the most loving gesture imaginable.

    • Allee Willis

      Yeah, that was still the role of women in those days, to look on adoringly as the man takes on the big task of pouring a glass of beer. So many of the vintage beer signs I have have a similarly themed photo.