THE LARGEST PUBLIC SIGN MUSEUM IN AMERICA

OUR STORY

The American Sign Museum promotes sign preservation and restoration by displaying nearly 100 years of signage. We preserve and protect American history and pay homage to the artistry and craftsmanship of days gone by. Our collection honors an often overlooked part of our culture that hides in plain sight as part of our daily lives. 

 

OUR HISTORY

Tod Swormstedt spent 26 years on the staff of Signs of the Times magazine, and he became the fourth-generation editor of the "bible of the sign industry," which was founded in 1906. He parlayed all of his knowledge and contacts into a self-proclaimed “mid-life crisis project.” Here was Tod's chance to preserve the 3-D craftsmanship of multi-generational sign companies, to tell their stories and bring these signs to life before they were lost forever. 

Thus, in 1999, he founded the National Signs of the Times Museum. With accelerating support, the museum was renamed and re-opened as the American Sign Museum in May 2005. Its temporary home within an arts center sufficed for several years, but growing pains ensued. The magnificent McDonald's and Holiday Inn signs couldn't be displayed to their full heights.

Tod began searching for a more permanent home for the ever-growing collection. He needed to fulfill his vision for an interactive museum experience.  He found ASM's new home in Camp Washington, an appropriately historic area of Cincinnati. The century-old Oesterlein Machine Company-Fashion Frocks, Inc. Complex became ASM's new home. Its doors opened in June 2012.

ASM's expansion has continued unabated. New acquisitions arrive weekly, and the 20,000 square feet of museum space quickly filled. In October 2016, the roof in the annex of the building was replaced, which allows for a future doubling of the museum's size.

American Sign Museum and Xavier University


OUR MISSION

To celebrate the rich history of American signage through preservation and education.

OUR VISION

The American Sign Museum is the premier institution for preserving historic signs and promoting the contributions the sign industry makes to commerce, culture, and the American landscape. 


MEET THE TEAM

Tod Swormstedt - Founder 
513-701-2183
tswormstedt@americansignmuseum.org

Brad Huberman - Managing Director
513-701-2181
bhuberman@americansignmuseum.org

Sarah Gagnon - Events Manager
513-701-2184
sgagnon@americansignmuseum.org

Kevin Wallace - Guest Services Manager
513-701-2186
kwallace@americansignmuseum.org

Terri Ballman - Database Administrator
513-701-2185
tballman@americansignmuseum.org

Katrina Dienno - Guest Services
​513-701-2191
kdienno@americansignmuseum.org

 

THE COLLECTION

Our entire collection lives online in the archive.  Access isn't yet currently available, but it will be soon.  By presenting the collection online, we assist scholars, and the public, with their research and study.  Information, including the age of a sign, location, and other details will accompany photos of each entry.  Check back soon so you can explore the collection online!

 

FRIENDS OF THE MUSEUM  

 

Neonworks

Neonworks of Cincinnati is Cincinnati's only full-time neon sign shop, that creates custom signs for commercial and residential use, right inside of our building! Come watch one of the skilled craftsman create or repair neon signs during one of our weekday tours. It's one of the few crafts that can't be replicated with automation! Interested in getting a custom sign for commercial or residential use? They do that, too! Contact them at 513-771-8559 to find out more. Our weekday guided tours typically end with a demonstration from Neonworks!