The Lone Star brewery acquired WWI Army surplus propellers from Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas. These were repurposed and distributed by the brewery from 1941-1942 with a clock or shield. The porcelain shield was produced in 2 sizes. There were a few variations with neon or painted letters on the blades. The propellers were originally used on the Army Air Corp. training plane Curtiss JN4-H and later JN4-J (Jenny). Over the years peopled removed the signs and kept the props.
According to a letter written to all Lone Star Distributors by Harry Jersig, Vice-President In Charge of Sales on March 19, 1941, these signs were 23 years old (at that time) and originally cost the United States government $125.00 each. They were in the shape of a propeller and measured eight feet, three inches long and made of wood with an enamel sign and a special type of electric globe with flasher attached.
Charlie Staats August 12, 2018
Lone Star Beer Propeller Signs Installed in Retail Outlets
These Lone Star Beer propeller signs were highly finished in oak or mahogany and were in absolutely new condition. These propeller signs were installed in the retail outlets by means of a chain hanging from each end of the blade and attached to the ceiling or wall.
According to the letter, these propeller signs were limited to a small number of outlets and only in outlets opposed to putting up any other Lone Star point of purchase material and had stucco or a similar type of finished walls.
The propeller signs were sold to the outlets for $35 with a deposit of $3 required to be paid by the outlet to the distributor before shipment was made. These propeller signs were considered to be the property of the brewery at all times and were subject to being returned to the distributor on demand. The $3 deposit was refunded if the propeller sign was returned to the brewery for any reason.
How to Spot a Lone Star Beer Propeller without Sign
Look for the hanging screw holes on the edge of the blades. The holes will be about half way between the hub and the bottom of the prop.
For more Texas Brewery history see https://texasvintageshopper.com/blog/2018/05/22/shinerbeershow/
Owner and publisher of Texas Vintage Shopper, a comprehensive vintage/antiques shop and events directory for the state of Texas.