Photo Friday: Occident Flour

My love for painted advertising signs on the sides of brick buildings is well documented here. It’s not unusual for me to yell “Stop the car!” or slow my family on a walk to capture one with a camera. More commonplace in earlier decades, they used blank brick canvasses to sell everything from mining equipment to toothpaste. I love coming upon them on country roadsides and in city alleyways. This bright one near St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was no doubt repainted and lovingly refurbished to its old-timey feel. I don’t think the site is a general store any longer.

I’ve since learned that Occident Flour was produced by the Russell-Miller Milling Company in the midwest from 1894-the early 1950s. It was sold to the Peavey Company in 1962 and acquired by ConAgra in 1982. That trajectory, along with newer advertising methods, partially explains the loss of painted signs for individual concerns.

Have you seen and photographed something unusual, whimsical, beautiful, or otherwise interesting in your travels? Has anything surprised you or caused you to pause? Or have you simply experienced a small, lovely moment that you wanted to capture? If so, I hope you’ll share with us by leaving a comment with a link to your photo. I look forward to seeing it!


Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman, Graphic from Occident Flour

You may also be interested in:

Photo Friday: Ghost Sign
Photo Friday: San Francisco Storefront
Photo Friday: Tamalpais Motel at Dusk

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5 responses to “Photo Friday: Occident Flour

  1. I am crazy about the old vintage building signs also. They are the best!

  2. I LOVE those “Occident Pantry Pals”!

  3. Hey there, Cowgirl and Lippy! Of course, I completely agree with you both! Cowgirl, I should have known we’d share a love of vintage signs. You probably see some good ones around your neck of the woods. And, yes, Lippy, aren’t those Pantry Pals cute? Just full of zest. Did you see they have names??

  4. Curious things happen when you take the time to research “family” memorabilia, such as small, now-framed ink blotter from the Occident Flour producer, Russell-Miller Milling Company. Story goes in *my* family that during the Depression, my grandfather (an engineer) had to work in the flour mill, toting flour bags in San Francisco. He had the blotter among his “souvenirs.” Circa probably 1934. This post to tell you how I enjoyed my wander thru your blog :), Signed, Judith in WA State.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your family history, Judith! I love this story! There are full tales in so many objects. Thanks again, too, for your nice comment.

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