Where Wile E. Coyote Buys His Fire Extinguishers

Acme Fire Extinguisher Co.

This is on Fruitvale Avenue, near the BART station. I’m not the only person who likes this sign: a local artist made a painting of it as part of a whole series on Oakland signage.

6 Responses to “Where Wile E. Coyote Buys His Fire Extinguishers”

  1. Danielle says:

    I think I need to move to N. Cali. Although Seattle has it’s share of great neon, your posts (and a few other reasons) are making me want to live there. Got a spare bedroom? Like babies? and dogs?

  2. John A. Abel says:

    What are all the bolts or metal pieces or whatnot sticking out of that sign.Is it possible that maybe it was neon at one point though I’ve never really noticed if the glass is held in place at points or just free flowing on the old neon signs.About half a mile from here is the Apple Pan an old hamburger place still holding out and though they replaced the neon sign on the roof a few years ago the freestanding one out front is still neon.I’ll have to take a look.

  3. dc says:

    Danielle: I don’t technically have any bedrooms, never mind a spare one, but maybe you can all squeeze onto the couch and an air mattress on the floor? By the way, if you were already worried the other day about seeming like a stalker, then asking if you and your babies and your dogs can move into my apartment might not have been the best way to remedy that. I’m just saying. But by all means, you should move down here where it’s sunny all the time, at least until our water sources dry up for good, then we can all move back to wetter climates again.

    John: Yes, those big holes are where neon tubes once came out and then went back in. You’ll notice that they appear at the beginning and ends of words. The neon tube comes out of one hole, traces the outline of the letters, and then goes back into the sign at the other hole. If it doesn’t make a circuit, then the tube won’t illuminate. You can see a nice closeup of an intact neon sign here in someone else’s photo. If you look at a larger version of the “Acme” photo, you’ll also see some smaller, messier holes of different sizes scattered around the sign. I assume that at least some of them are bullet holes, because I can’t think of any other possibilities. Oakland has a lot of really crappy architecture, but cool old signs like this one help make up for it a bit.

  4. John A. Abel says:

    Cool.bullet holes in signs is something I only think of in rural areas like the deer crossing signs in the Finger Lakes shot full of holes.Never thought about city punks doing it before as they have so many other targets.

  5. dc says:

    Who said those bullets were aimed at the sign? Maybe they missed their targets and hit the sign instead.

  6. Gene says:

    Actually, I think a lot of those (though not all) are where clips were to help hold the glass tube in place.

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