Burma-Shave
 

I have often wondered about the ages of viewers who visit this site. The only thing I have to go on is a small sampling of people who volunteered to give their ages on a post several months ago on another UNC message board Now I realize there are many imperfections is using the figures generated there but its all I have. The figures from that sampling revealed that the average age was 33 with the youngest viewer being 12 and the oldest 80.
 

Why, you say, does the age of viewers matter and I answer that, at times, I try to write my articles to the audience involved. If people are too young to remember what I am writing about, I might, for example, want to give a little history. Maybe the safe thing to do in this instance is to do just that.
 

In the late 20's a small brushless shaving cream manufacturer was experiencing difficulty in achieving the desired level of sales. One of the owners came up with the idea of placing small red and white sign posts on the side of the road with short four line messages that always ended with the words Burma-Shave. The first one posted in 1927 extolled the virtues of the Burma-Shave product but later ones were philosophical, safety and / or comical in nature. The signs were placed about 50 yards apart and one of the pleasant diversions of the time while traveling was to be alert for a Burma-Shave set of signs. When they were spotted, everyone in the automobile would read them aloud and each person always tried to be the first one to read the signs as they were approached. The very first Burma-Shave set of signs read as follows:
 

Shave the modern way

No brush

No lather

No rub in

Big tube 35 cents drug stores

Burma-Shave
 

This one had more than 4 lines but they later became standardized in style and consisted of 4 message signs plus the Burma-Shave sign.
 

The last set of signs was erected in 1963 when the Burma-Shave Company was bought out by Phillip Morris but the company still exists today under the American Safety Razor Company with headquarters in Staunton, Va. At one time, before the emergence of billboards and interstate highways, there were 8 traveling crews working the highways erecting and repairing Burma-Shave signs. Usually the gift of a case of the product was all that was paid to the farmer who owned the land being used.
 

The product is still being produced today but most drug stores do not carry them and orders are generally filled through the internet. Electric shavers gradually replaced razors but there is nothing like a refreshing razor shave in the morning to get you ready for the day.
 

A set of the signs are in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and they read as follows:
 

Shaving brushes

You'll soon see 'em

On the shelf

In some museum

Burma-Shave
 

I thought you might like to see some samples of the catchy little poems that we old timers used to enjoy so much when we were younger. Some of us still enjoy thoughts of them.
 

Don't lose your head

To gain a minute

You need your head

Your brains are in it

Burma-Shave
 

Drove too long

Driver snoozing

What happened next

Is not amusing

Burma-Shave
 

Brother speeders

Let's rehearse

All together

Good morning nurse

Burma-Shave
 

Cautious rider

To her reckless dear

Let's have less bull

And lot's more steer

Burma-Shave

 

The midnight ride

Of Paul for beer

Led to a warmer

Hemisphere

Burma-Shave
 

Speed was high

Weather was not

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

Burma-Shave
 

Around the curve

Lickety split

It's a beautiful car

Wasn't it?

Burma-Shave
 

Passing cars

When you can't see

Might get you a glimpse

Of eternity

Burma-Shave
 

A guy who drives

A car wide open

Is not thinking

He's just hopin'

Burma Shave
 

There is a complete list of all the signs on the internet by year.