New York Brooklyn Bedford Avenue at Sullivan Place humpback street sign



Beginning in the 1910s, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn began using a type of street sign referred to as the “humpback” style, owing to its unique shape. Each sign bore the name of two streets: the larger text displayed the name of the street the sign was mounted to, so that it was facing the intersecting street. The smaller text in the hump was the name of the street that the sign faced. The signs used in Brooklyn used a hand-painted block font, unlike the more ornate serif lettering used in Manhattan and the Bronx. Humpback signs were used until the 1950s, when updated federal signage standards made them obsolete.

Among the many humpback signs that guided travelers through the streets of Brooklyn was one at the corner of Bedford Avenue and Sullivan Place. This particular intersection was notable being the one at the southeast corner of the legendary Ebbets Field. This baseball park was the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers until 1957, when they relocated to Los Angeles (just off of Lilac Terrace). Ebbets Field was demolished only a few years after the Dodgers moved out, and an apartment complex now occupies the site.

Our Bedford Avenue at Sullivan Place street sign is a precise replica of the sign that once appeared at this storied street corner. It bears a close resemblance to the porcelain enamel of the original; it’s printed on heavy steel with great gloss. The humpback signage on this corner was replaced with modern signage long ago. It’s unknown what happened to it, but if it turns up on the collector’s market, expect to pay a very hefty premium for it—an original sign from one of the other corners adjacent to Ebbets Field sold for $58,852.08 in 2014!

Our Bedford and Sullivan humpback sign is available in two sizes: the 22-inch-long size that the original was, and a scaled-down 16½-inch version, for those with space or budgetary limitations. You can also choose from right-facing (mounting holes on the left), left-facing version (mounting holes on the right) and a double-sided versions. All sizes include four predrilled mounting holes, making it easy to mount it either flush against a wall or from the edge, as was done in the traditional lamppost mounting.

Got another street you’d like a sign from, either in New York or any other city? We’d be happy to work with you on your custom order! Contact Jake today to get started!

Additional information

Weight N/A
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Spec year

ca. 1913


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