Pair of Brass Pictograph Men's and Women's Room Door Signs
Mid 20th Century
Pair of Brass Pictograph Restroom Door Plates
Pictograph Men's and Women's Room Door Signs
American or European: Mid 20th Century
Incised sheet brass
8 x 8 inches each
Red Tag Price: $250
Red tag

A pair of pictograph door plates, one a man, the other a woman.  The stylized figure symbols are each incised into a substantial brass plate.  These are likely a relatively early and high quality example of pictograph locker room or rest room signs.  Now commonplace, pictograph rest room signs were innovative in 1967, when graphic designer Paul Arthur (1924-2001) designed symbols for use in the Expo 67 World's Fair in response to fair organizers' concerns that international visitors would not understand language-based signs.  However, at the time a Canadian newspaper reported some confusion among visitors on how to interpret the male and female symbols on the signs.

Condition: Generally good with the usual light wear, abrasions, oxidation, bending.  Mathematical calculation faintly scratched into one, unobtrusive.

Reference:

Plumptre, Timothy.  Toronto Globe and Mail.  30 May 1967.  Online at Expo 67: 40th Anniversary Celebrations Edition (part 4).  http://expo67.ncf.ca/expo_67_40th_anniversary_edition_p4.html (31 August 2011).