California (CSAA) Cromberg directional sign



In the days before the United States highway system had numbers, automobiles traveled on auto trails that criss-crossed the country. The routes of these roads were privately organized, and often so was maintenance; the states did not participate in their upkeep, not even furnishing signage. Instead, travelers from Northern California clear to central Kansas were guided by signage supplied by the California State Automobile Association. In the early days of the automobile, CSAA signage could be found all over the northern half of the state, easily identified by its unique flattened diamond shape and blue-on-yellow color scheme. Although the signs’ appearance changed over time, CSAA continued to be the sole poster of road signs in Northern California until the 1940s, at which point the state government took on the job.

This Cromberg, State Highway directional sign is a replica of one of CSAA’s signs from the 1920s or so. It pointed travelers toward the small town of Cromberg in Plumas County. In the other direction, it directed them to a state highway—which one is not specified; there were so few at the time there was no need! Our replica follows the CSAA’s 1919 specification, which used a sharp-cornered diamond blank (to prevent injury upon installation or a crash, later standards specified rounded corners). The likewise diamond-shaped California State Auto Association logo appears at the bottom of the sign. The original sign is happily owned by a private collector who is not likely to let it go anytime soon. With our replica, you can still enjoy this classic sign in the comfort of your own home (or wherever else you might want to display it).

Our Cromberg directional sign is flat printed in the United States on heavy 14-gauge steel. It has a finish with great gloss and durability, making it almost entirely indistinguishable from the porcelain enamel the originals were made with. This sign will serve you well for years, even exposed to the elements, just as the original did. And to make installation easy, we’ve included convenient mounting holes. Choose from one of these sizes

  • 11-inch sides (about 18 in. across from point to point and 14 in. high)
  • 18½-inch sides (about 29 in. across from point to point and 23 in. high)

We can make a replica of any classic CSAA sign you’d like! We also make replicas of signs from the Automobile Club of Southern California, which served the same role in the southern half of the state. And, of course, we can also make just about any road sign in the world, from California or anywhere else! Placing a custom order—just contact Jake to get started!

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