California (CSAA) Donner Pass summit elevation sign



Before the creation and posting of road signs became the responsibility of the various government institutions of the U.S., private organizations such as the California State Auto Association (CSAA) took the initiative to provide them in their areas. The CSAA operated in the northern part of California; the Auto Club of Southern California (ACSC) took care of the southern part of the state. Both did their best to ensure travelers in their part of the world didn’t get lost. One such sign along the historic Lincoln Highway informed visitors of Donner Pass’s summit location and elevation information.

We’ve recreated this classic Donner Pass summit sign following the exacting 1919 CSAA specifications for your viewing pleasure. The unique shape and style of this yellow diamond with blue text (representative of the state colors of California) is specific to the CSAA signs of the era. The sign denotes the location of the summit of Donner Pass, as well as the elevation measurement in feet. It also features the association’s name in the left and right corners, with the logo at the bottom corner and the name of the route in the space above the main body of text. Every component of this sign, from the layout to the fonts to the information showcased, has been painstakingly recreated from historic photographs of the original sign. It is practically indistinguishable from the inaugural porcelain sign!

Just like all of our other signs, this Donner Pass summit sign is flat printed on 14-gauge steel, with an exceptionally durable high-gloss finish to simulate the porcelain appearance of the original. The durable finish also means the sign will weather any environmental conditions you throw at it and still look fantastic. We offer the following sizes for your display needs. These figures are measured from corner to opposite corner:

  • 18 in. × 14 in. (a scaled-down version for efficient display)
  • 29 in. × 23 in. (the actual size of markers used in the field)

Would you like a CSAA-style sign like this one with a different geographical feature? Or possibly a design from the southern part of the state, where the Automobile Club of Southern California performed a similar civic duty? We’re happy to make these signs with any wording of your choice, and from any location! Just contact Jake to get started on your custom order.

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