Standard Equipment Company, 1958
“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign:” lyrics from a well-remembered music hit from 1971 (if you remember 1971)… and it also fits this 2-page spread from the middle of the 1958 Standard Equipment catalog.
Perhaps signs like these were the inspiration for that song. Certainly if enlarged, this pair of pages would themselves be inspiring. Most of the messages are a bit prosaic, but as a group, they're kinda dazzling. And actually, a few individual do rise above, offering advice and wisdom that out of context seems almost Zen-like:
“The Best Safety Device is a Careful Man”
“Do Not Watch Arc Welder at Work:
The Light Could Blind You”
“All Employees Should Wash Their Hands
Before Leaving Toilets”
“If You Get Acid on your Body or Eyes,
Wash Thoroughly with Plenty of Cold Water”
“Do Not Stand Here”
“Do Not Touch Switches”
“Stay on Job Until the Whistle Blows”
“Think Accidents Are Avoidable? Forget the Alibi”
Hmmm. Maybe I could be misreading that last one.
Standard Equipment carried…a lot of standard equipment. Shelves, tanks, mixing equipment, dollies — steel stuff that shops and labs might need, back in 1958 when this country had a lot more shops, and a lot more men (and few women) in them. This particular catalog was mailed to Goshen Labs in New Jersey, which evidently was involved for decades in industrial veterinary supplies.
“Please Turn Out the Lights When Not In Use”
OK. Follow the sign. “Hey, Siri –“