It is always interesting to remember what triggered a collecting interest. Mine began in 1954 when my family took a road trip from Burbank, California to Frankfort, Kentucky to visit my grandparents. As a family, we made that trip every summer from 1954 to 1959 when we finally moved to Kentucky permanently.
Much of our road trip was on Route 66 and with 4 kids in the car we made frequent stops at gas stations, (my mother insisted that we stop only at ones that had a “clean restrooms” sign out front), diners for lunch and always an early stop for the night at a motel. It seemed at every stop there was a small gift shop and n every gift shop there was a rack of travel decals for sale for 10 to 15 cents. I guess it was natural for a boy of 10 to be attracted to the beautiful pinup decals and I began adding them to my collection each year as we traveled. Fortunately my parents didn’t want me putting them on the windows of the car so they survived over the years and unlike my baseball cards, they didn’t get thrown out.
Over the years they were stored away nicely as my life was filled with school and grown up things. In 1991, I picked up a copy of Coast to Coast, The Best of Travel Decal Art by Rod Dyer & Brad Benedict. Each page brought back a flood of memories of those road trips and the travel decals I collected.
With this renewed interest I got my decals out of their resting place and began determining what I had and what I would need to complete my collection. I quickly determined that there were 5 sets I wanted to collect. Here are the great series.
MISS AMERICA SERIES – This beautiful set begins with Alabama #MD-419 and ends with Wyoming #MD-466. In addition I have found one very rare decal marked as a Miss America Series for the Indianapolis 500 and reorder #MD-573.
I am missing 4 decals from completing my Miss American set: #1 Miss Connecticut (#MD-424); #2 Miss Delaware (#MD-425); #3 Miss New Hampshire (#MMD-445) and #4 Miss Rhode Island (#MD-455).
WILLIAM E. NOBLE SERIES
This set of pinup decals is equally as nice as the MD Series.
It also contains a picture of the state pinup along with a cute phrase.
This series starts with Alabama and ends with Wyoming. Back of each
Decal is a record #beginning with WN-7221 for Alabama.
ARMED SERVICE MORAL BUILDERS
This is a very rare set of pinup decals depicting various pinups in GI related poses.
Among the decals are: Flying High, G.I. Bundle, Fleets In and Semper Fidelis.
Each of the Armed Service Builders decals had on the back “Armed Services Moral Builders”
Along with instructions for applying as well as a reorder #. The reorder # for Semper Fideli Is #MD-589.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
This is also a very rare set of pinup decals depicting major league baseball teams of the time.
Each decal shows a pinup in a baseball uniform with the name of the team she represents.
Back of decal is (“Major League Baseball Cuties” and after the instructions for applying there is a
reorder#. Boston is reorder #MD-7201)
There are 16 decals in this set.
GLAMOUR GIRL SERIES
This is by far the largest set of pinup decals. There are really 3 different categories for these decals.
The first category contains road signs with beautiful pinup girls. The first one says “Danger Curves Ahead” and has a picture of a pinup girl. Each decal on the reverse says “Glamour Girl Series” and after application instructions, reorder # for this decal is MD-7000. There are 12 decals in this subset.
The second subset is a series of Glamour Girl decals that each pictures a pinup with a suggestive pose and comment. The first in this series if Girth Control. On the reverse side is “Glamour Girl Series” and after application instructions is reorder #Girth Control is MD-7025. There are 12 decals in this subset.
The third subset consists of only 6 decals and each features a pinup and the name of an adult beverage. Hot Toddy is an example. The back says (“Glamour Girl Series”) with application instructions and reorder # “Hot Toddy is reorder #MD- 7050.
Finally there is a Western subset consisting of 9 decals. Each of these decals has a Western theme such as the Go West Young Man decal. Again, on the reverse side is “Glamour Girls Series” and application instructions and reorder # The Go West decal is #MD-7155.
Lindgren-Tumer and others produced some wonderful pinup decals but the Miss America Series, William E. Noble, Moral Builders, Baseball Cuties and Glamour Girls decals are easy for collectors to identify and list because of the reorder numbers. These are fun to collect and perhaps you too, will have memories of them.
Always looking for travel decals – Contact me at: Bill Stone – Ston4100@bellsouth.net