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We decided to take advantage of this and start a contest among our visitors for Burma Shave verses. Of several interesting and humorous verses received lately the best was that submitted by Brian Buckner. See if you can do better. The idea is: You send us your original verse. We will replace the one here with the best one we receive periodically based on originality and imagination. We don't care about the subject. It can be your pet cause, humor, politics, life, safety, or whatever.
If you are not familiar with Burma Shave signs, look at the few we have here or look at the complete list.
Burma Shave Verses are usually 5 or 6 short lines. They are written to be seen one at a time on red and white wooden signs as you drive along a winding country two lane road. Usually the last sign says "Burma Shave".
In Decatur, Indiana. there is a really good restaurant called "The Back 40". They have beam ceilings that have quite a lot of the old Burma Shave signs on them. I remember the signs quite well from my childhood here in Indiana.
Spring Has sprung The grass has riz Where last year's Careless drivers is Burma-Shave
Sender: Marilyn Smith
Never pass on a slope unless you have a periscope Burma Shave
There is another that unfortunately I can't remember the jingle correctly. I was something about driving too fast, the car was wizin', drivng hizin', funeral herin, or something like that. Any body know that one?
Sender: Joe Shaff Sr.
I discovered your directory of BS jingles after sending the last email. 'Had collected BS jingles on our way to the Seattle World's Fair--our one big family trip. Thanks for posting the directory. You have all the ones I was going to dig out of my notes from that trip from Missouri to Washington State and back. What great memories.
Sender: JUDITH KING
I remember sometime during the 1960's Mad Magazine did a parody of Burma Shave signs. I think it went:
Her guy's whiskers, Just don't faze her, He shaves with, Electric razor. Why bother with, Burma Shave?
Sender: Martin J. Grumet
My interest is in finding more people interested in the old original Burma-Shave products and signs.
I am linked to Burma-Shave through marriage in that my wifes grand-father was a higher level person with the original company and as a result, happen to have several interesting items & products they produced including numerous road signs, dirt and all, un-used products in the boxes, LP records with jingles with some I do not believe were used by the company, letters to the company from advertising venues and the like.
It is fascinating to speak with my wifes grand-father about the company and hear the stories about producing the products and the advertising behind them.
I would like to chat with anyone having an interest or knowledge about the products or the company
Maybe you and other Burma-Shave enthusiasts would be interested in a couple of nostalgic items I designed in '95 and have had in storage since. A hand towel, red design on white, that has the famous "Past Schoolehouse drive real Slow" artwork on it. A set of 6 yard or driveway signs with the signs: WELCOME FRIENDS TO OUR HOME NOW WE WON'T BE ALL ALONE BURMA-SHAVE On reverse, set says AS YOU LEAVE PLAY THIS GAME CONSTRUCT A JINGLE WITH THIS NAME BURMA-SHAVE 24 in. X 6 in. Foam board to mount on wire stakes. Only made 30 sets. Not more than 10 sets out there in US. Rest 4-sale. Towels also. PS - I'm looking for steve soeulburg ???? who is a B-S collector I used to write in the san diego area. Know him, his address or email?
Sender: Jack Hayslett
At lunch the other day, my boss mentioned that he'd like to put
up some Burma shave-type signs along the road he drives to work, telling
motorists NOT TO DUMP TRASH. We came up with a few suggestions, but would
like to hear from other "Shavers" with some catchy verse along these
The weather's warm,
The grass is green.
Your trash is spoiling
This beautiful scene.
Sender: Connie Sellitto
Our church is having a silent auction and while brainstorming on ways to advertise I suggested a series of Burma Shave signs in the front lawn of the church. Everyone howled at the recollection of these wonderful roadside ditties. I hope to come up with a few clever ideas but if anyone has a suggestion I would love to hear it. I'm not too creative! visiting your website was such a pleasure! As a child I remember passing the time on visits to my grandparents in northern Wisconsin by reading the Burma Shave signs - we loved them!! Thanks!
I enjoyed your Burma shave verses. So many people don't even remember them anymore.
Around 1969, this one was posted near our firebase in Viet Nam, to be read as patrols left. Of course, Burma Shave didn't post it, but we all liked it anyway, and it may have saved a few of us.
Don't bunch up As you patrol about Or you'll be pickin' The shrapnel out. Burma Shave
Sender: Tom Buck
Back when the speed limit was 55 mph, the Pa. Turnpike Commission used a set of burma type signs to remind motorists of the speed limit. Of course, the limit is now 65 mph, so I don't know if the signs are still standing. I can't remember exactly where they were located. Probably somewhere between Breezewood and Harrisburg, as that's the stretch I travelled when I was going to college.
You can do A mile a minute But there is No future in it
While goining out on search and destroy in Vietnam we passed a sign that read:
Don't bunch up.......... As you move about.......... Or you will be picking............... The Shrpanel out............. Burma Shave
Sender: James Palestra
There was a Burma Shave verse on hwy. 67 in the small town of Keene, Texas where I grew up. I looked for it on the complete list but didn't find it. Probably just missed it. It read:
A man who Drives when He is drunk Should haul His coffin In his trunk Burma ShaveEnjoyed your page.
Sender: Renae Frase
If she could cook he had his doubts until she creamed his brussells sprouts Burma Shave
As a kid, I recalled the slogan as "...sprouts / with Burma Shave!", but my parents said the "with" wasn't there. Do you know who was right? I didn't see this particular slogan on your list. The timeframe had to have beensome time between 1956 and 1962.
Sender: Nancy Canadian
Reply from Duane
Actually the 4th line is:
"his bristle sprouts with"
We use the Burma Shave type signs to see as you leave our plant.... some examples:
Here lies Dave Son of Dick He didn't make His seat belt click! If your wife says those belts Push her clothes helter skelter Do her a favor Reach over and belt her! Don't stick your elbow Out too far It may go home In another car
Sender: Bill Vanover
For some reason, Carnegie Mellon University seems to have a Burma shave fetish. Lots of on-campus organizations use Burma-style signs to advertise their events.
We have a staircase overlooking an eight-story drop on campus; it's called Architect's Leap because legend has it that's where the architecture majors go to die when they realize their final project is going to have them awake for the next 4 months. One day a couple of years ago, a chalk outline was drawn at the bottom and the following words placed on the edges of the eight stories:
Go Ahead And Take The Leap Then you'll Finally Get Some SleepThe words "Burma Shave" were inscribed in the outline.
Sender: G. Sumner Hayes
Sender: Bob Hardy
I am looking for the dimensions of Burma Shave signs.
Sender: John Chilcote
If you don't know whose signs these are, you haven't driven very far. Burma Shave
Actually used in Arctic ocean on ice flows for U.S. and Soviet icebreakers to see. Signs were set by helicopter crew ahead of the ship (in secrecy, by pilot and his crewman.) Signs were in Russian. When first sighted, all science personnel on board rushed to bridge with binoculars. The pilot was also there after landing and giving Captain the direction of "open navigable water" (where the signs had been placed.) When first sign sighted many guesses as to Identification were forthcoming. Soviet ice station, polar bear research site, etc. until second sign sighted etc. All signs were white on red and placed several hundred yards apart along broken ice path. All hands could eventually read all signs which were picked up by the ship for souvenir. Photos available from helicopter pilot, ME.
The signs read: (in Russian)
1. Polar bears 2. Are Brave 3. But I'm in love 4. with BURMA SHAVE.
Sender: Joe Evette Tanguay.
This was one of the old ads, my favorite:
Riot at the drug store
Calling all cars
One hundred customers
Sender: John Young.
I am the great grandson of the founder of the Burma Vita Corporation, Clinton Odell. All of this renewed enthusiasm in Burma Shave is very exciting to me.
Sender: Clinton Odell Robinson.
Clinton sent us a couple of verses also.
Around the curve Lickety split It was a beautiful car wasnt it Burma-Shave
if daisies are your favorite flower just keep pushing up those miles per hour burma shave
i haven't seen a burma shave sign in ages out here. do they still do them in other states?
Sender: John F. Sorenson
This was a much anticipated landmark as our family traveled North on "Old Highway 99" in Oregon back in the early Fifties.
Ben met Anna made a hit neglected beard Ben Anna split Burma ShaveThanks for bringing back the memories.
I work for American Safety Razor in Staunton, VA. We re-introduced the Burma Shave line of products in 1995. The razors and replacement cartridges are available at all Wal-Mart stores. The mugs and soaps are available at selected retailers, I think Drug Emporiums has them. We did vintage Christmas Burma Shave Gift Tins with a mug, soap, and brush.
Burma Shave is alive and kicking and hopefully we'll get the message out. I'll try to figure an e-mail address for you to refer questions to us. Our phone number is (540) 248-8000.
Comment from Duane: It is interesting that the original Burma Shave was a brushless shaving cream and the advertising made fun of those who still used a brush and soap rather than getting a jar of Burma Shave. The product that these folks have put on the market as Burma Shave is a mug, soap and brush.
AN UPDATE: I have received word from the American Safety Razor people above that they are now selling a shaving cream as Burma Shave. They sent me a sample. It is a well designed can and seems to be a good product. They also have a matching can of after shave skin conditioner. I don't know what the original Burma Shave can looked like so I don't know if this one was patterned after it. If someone else does, please let us know. Now if they'll just resurrect the old Burma Shave Signs along the roadsides.
We have just re-introduced Burma Shave Shaving Cream and After Shave. Send me your address again and I'll send you samples. June 24, 1997.
Thank you Mr. Cochran.
Water heater Out of kilter Try the brushless Whisker Wilter Burma Shave Beneath this stone Lies Elmer Gush Tickled to death by his Shaving Brush Burma Shave Jonah took No brush to mop his face Where Jonah went he needed space Burma Shave Mug and Brush Old Adam had 'em Is your husband like Adam, Madam? Burma Shave The answer to a shaver's dream A greaseless No brush Shaving Cream Burma Shave 1880 A.D. Straight razor and Shaving soap 1930 A.D. Safety razor and Burma Shave Shaving Brushes You'll soon see 'em on the shelf in some Museum Burma Shave
Does anyone have the original Burma Shave script logo used on the final sign of each set? I would appreciate an e-mail if you do.
Sender: Jerry Arnold - email@example.com
Wild men pull Their whiskers out That's what makes them Wild, no doubt Burma Shave
I saw a Burma Shave sign for sale in or near Sherrard, Il. It was at an antique dealer several miles west of that town.
I also know of a complete set of Burma Shave signs still standing, in
Southern California. They are at the south east entrance to the
Ontario, CA airport Freight terminal area.
The locals claim they are originals, but I don't think Allen Odell and his bunch ever got this far west.
By the way, I'm looking for old Western Union stuff, so if you know where I can get one of their signs let me know.
Sender: Gary Covington III - firstname.lastname@example.org
Growing up in the midwest and driving to Minnesota and Wisconsin for vacations each year, I saw a lot of these signs as a child.. Looking back at the so called good old days, these signs brought a lot of pleasure to those who read them. I'm a barber by trade so I do shaving of faces a lot. Men who were around at the time always remember them in conversation.
Sender: micheal l douglas, sr. - email@example.com
Hi, I am astounded at finding Burma Shave on the Internet! what I'm trying to locate is the real company that made Burma Shaving products. Is it still in existence? Can Burma shaving products be purchased any place currently?
I am age 70 and those cute signs were along every highway in the old days.
Sender: Margaret Herrick - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Burma-Vita Company, makers of Burma Shave, was sold to Phillip Morris, Inc. on February 7, 1963. It became an operating division of a subsidiary, American Safety Razor Products.
during my childhood, we used to visit my mother's full sister and her family. my mother came from a family of 11 or 12 but only had one full blood sister and brother. my aunt lived at lake delavan, wisconsin, with her husband, two sons and a daughter. near lake geneva, before our turn off to get to delavan, was the jingle about "lit a match, to check the tank ...".
besides spending a week or two at our aunt's home on the lake, besides swimming about as often as we wanted, besides sleeping on couches on the front porch, besides playing parlor games so late we could hardly keep our eyes open, was the burma shave signs on the trip up there. we did see one other set but this one sticks out in my mind.
near where i work, someone had set up a typical burma shave set of signs to celebrate some lady's birthday. it brought back a flood of good memories.
Sender: Lar Hanley - email@example.com
Last revised December 21, 2002.
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