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, which was founded in 1906. He became the fourth-generation editor of the "bible of the sign industry," following in his family's footsteps. Tod parlayed all of his knowledge and contacts into a self-proclaimed “mid-life crisis project" that would eventually become the American Sign Museum. This 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. 

In 1999, Tod 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, and the collection was growing rapidly.

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

The American Sign Museum's expansion has continued unabated. New acquisitions arrived 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 allowed 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 - Executive Director
513-701-2181
bhuberman@americansignmuseum.org

Sarah Gagnon - Director of Events 
sgagnon@americansignmuseum.org

Katie Brass - Development Director
513-701-2198
kbrass@americansignmuseum.org

Sarah Evans - Private Events Coordinator
sevans@americansignmuseum.org

Melissa Mitchell - Public Events Coordinator 
513-701-2194
mmitchell@americansignmuseum.org

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

Jesse Sandman - Visitor Services
​513-701-2191

jsandman@americansignmuseum.org

 

FRIENDS OF THE MUSEUM  

 

Neon Works of Cincinnati

Neonworks of Cincinnati is Cincinnati's only full-time neon sign shop! They create custom signs for commercial and residential use, and are located right inside of our building! Come watch one of the skilled craftsman create or repair neon signs during one of our weekday tours. Neon tube bending is 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 15-20 minute demonstration inside of Neonworks!