B15 What’s Your Sign?

GPS: 45.523196° -122.670129°

White Satin was the brand of sugar produced by Amalgamated Sugar Company.  This sugar-beet refining company is a cooperative that was based out of Boise Idaho and owned a sugar-beet facility in Nyssa, OR.  Due to the success of the Nyssa plant, Amalgamated Sugar became interested in promoting White Satin Sugar in Oregon and Washington marketing it as “Oregon’s Own and Only.” In 1938 they opened an office in Portland.  Amalgamated Sugar bought space atop of the Hirsch-Weis building at the west end of the Burnside Bridge.   Nov 1940 the first version of the now classic sign was  installed. The sign, according to the Oregonian 11-3-1940, “told its story in five separate changes, the purport of which is White Satin Sugar, Oregon’s Own and Only, animated by a pouring sugar stack.”

White Satin Sign "Portland's Own and Only"

White Satin Sign “Portland’s Own and Only”

1940-11-3 Oregonian Huge Sign Sugar Ad (full page)

1940-11-3 Oregonian Huge Sign Sugar Ad (full page)

1940-11-3 Oregonian Huge Sign Sugar Ad

1940-11-3 Oregonian Huge Sign Sugar Ad

Another version of the White Satin Sugar sign By Ramsay Signs

Another version of the White Satin Sugar sign By Ramsay Signs (Photo courtesy of Don Nelson)

Roy Rodgers was Grande Marshal of the Rose Parade 1954.  White Satin Sign in the background

Roy Rodgers was Grande Marshal of the Rose Parade 1954. White Satin Sign in the background

In 1957 the sign was changed to White Stag after the business that occupied the building.

1957-4-29 Oregonian Latest Addition to Portland's Skyline (zoom)

1957-4-29 Oregonian Latest Addition to Portland’s Skyline (zoom)

1957-4-29 Oregonian IN THE NEWS  Latest Addition to Portland's Skyline

1957-4-29 Oregonian IN THE NEWS Latest Addition to Portland’s Skyline

The White Stag sign was in place from 1959 to 1996

The White Stag sign was in place from 1957 to 1996

1957 White Stag re-brands the sign with the stag.  The owner‘s wife suggests adding a red nose to it at Christmas, this tradition that has remained throughout the rest of the re-branding.  It was registered as a historic landmark in 1977.

Made in Oregon sign from 1996 to 2010

Made in Oregon sign from 1996 to 2010

Portland Oregon sign now paid for by the city but still maintained by Ramsay Signs

Portland Oregon sign now paid for by the city but still maintained by Ramsay Signs.  The cost of lighting the sign per month is $2000!

Portland Oregon Sign from Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Portland Oregon Sign from Tom McCall Waterfront Park

The City of Portland acquired the sign in September 2010 and began paying the monthly fee of $2,000 to maintain and power it. Now they would like to see some of that money return in the form of licensing agreements.

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