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Commercial Archeology, Publicite Murale, Faded Ads, Ghost Ads: all these terms have been used to describe these bits of history. Often the ads and signs say as much about our history as the buldings they are painted on.

Ghost Ads are the faded signs painted on old buildings. You’ve seen these billboards of the past. I’ll leave the metaphors to the more literarily gifted. Look here for old, endangered, or distinctive signage as well.

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