Old McDonald’s sign on the National Road in Richmond, Indiana

My friend Dawn and I recently took our annual road trip. Our 2009 trip along the old National Road, aka US 40, from Ohio to Indianapolis several years ago, was cut short by a family emergency. So we tried again. And we both love the National Road, so it was no hardship to see some of the same sights.

One of them was this great vintage McDonald’s sign, still serving in Richmond.

Old McDonald's sign

I’ve seen a few of these in my travels. There’s one on the south side of Indianapolis, or at least there was several years ago when I was last down there. These were the most common style of McDonald’s sign at the beginning of my 1970s kidhood, but they were already starting to be replaced by the next style of McD’s sign.

Old McDonald's sign

Remember how these signs used to say “Over x Billion Sold,” and then they got to 99 and ran out of room on the sign? And then, slowly, the signs started saying “Billions and Billions Served,” like this one. But this one is old enough that surely it once read 99 Billion.

By the way, I think three of the sweetest words in the English language are “breakfast all day.”

Old McDonald's sign

There’s a little damage on the sign’s west-facing side. Here’s hoping that this isn’t the beginning of creeping rot, and that this great old sign continues to serve for decades to come.

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

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9 responses to “Old McDonald’s sign on the National Road in Richmond, Indiana”

  1. Carole Grey Avatar
    Carole Grey

    Great shots of an iconic image of recent American history. Nice. Thanks.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The colors of the day really make this sign pop in the photos. Just right!

  2. brickthomas Avatar

    Thanks for the story and photos. I drove past that sign a hundred times when I lived in Richmond and barely noticed it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      When I’m on a road trip, I’m looking for stuff like this. I wonder what I drive by on my daily commute that I never notice.

  3. pesoto74 Avatar

    I remember when the numbers served was only in the millions.

  4. Dawn Avatar

    My fav thing about this post is that you have a friend in ‘real’ life named Dawn.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      :-) Dawn and I have gone on annual road trips for 9 years now!

  5. Scott Avatar

    We had one in Bangor, ME since I was a kid. Gone since I took this photo in ’08. There was a Kentucky Fried Chicken next door with the rotating bucket of chicken and the chaser lights on the arrow on the sign’s front and top sides. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14735708

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Great sign. The McDonald’s lettering looks like the logo after the one in the sign I’ve photographed. Perhaps that’s a replacement panel?

      I haven’t seen a KFC bucket sign in 10 years or more!

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