Monday, May 13, 2019

Directs Advertisement to Aviators -- May 13, 2019

Moving Picture World, 17-May-1919
Painting signs on the roofs of large buildings for the benefit of aviators was popular after the war.

Moving Picture World, 17-May-1919
CREDIT Ralph Ruffner with being the first to advertise his theatre to the birdmen. He is the first to make a direct and exclusive appeal to the airmen. For years it has been customary for tradesmen in the cities to letter the tops of their delivery wagons to advertise to those on the upper floors of tall buildings, but Ruffner seems to be entitled to the credit of being the first to paint a sign on the roof inviting the patronage of the flyers, as the accompanying illustration shows.

The Flying Circus, which has been touring the country in the interest of the Victory Loan, gave an exhibition at Butte, Mont., on Sunday, April 27, and early that morning Ruffner spread on the roof of his theatre white sign cloth letters nine feet high. He had just fastened them down to his satisfaction when the first of the planes appeared, an hour or more ahead of schedule, and Ruff congratulated himself that he was just in time.

Brings Passes to Flying Field.

He hustled out to the flying field with some passes in his pocket to look up the man who was to make photographs for the local Loan Committee and found Lt. Miller, who laughed when Ruff begged him to be sure to get the Rialto sign into the picture he was making. The lieutenant laughed and explained that it was he who formed the advance guard, coming in ahead of the others that the committee could get an early start on the plates.

"I could not overlook your sign," he said. "It was the most conspicuous thing in sight and I wondered who was advertising to get our business."

When the photographs came out the shots showed the theatre very clearly in some of the low altitude exposures and was to be seen even in those taken a mile above the town. Of course the local papers gave the house a triple column display and Ruff made the sign do double duty in appealing not only to the airmen, but to the rest of the town. The idea came too late to be done in permanent form, but it is now duplicated in paint and will be kept freshly whitened to serve as a guide to cross-country fliers.

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