Lovett Signs – A Short History

When the Guelph Mercury ceased operation in 2016, the building that housed the newspaper’s headquarters was closed, and the iconic dimensional globe sign that proclaimed the Mercury site was donated to Guelph Museum’s collection. Lovett Signs moved the globe, the single largest artifact to survive the Mercury’s 149-year history, and stored it on their premises for more than three years, until installing it at the Civic Museum in May.

Black and white photograph of the first Lovett Signs building and trucks, circa 1935. The image features Harry and Fred Lovett along the left side standing next to a pick-up truck with "Guelph, Signs, Lovett, Signman" printed on the driver's side door. There is another car parked in the foreground with "Guelph" printed along the hood and "I'll Sign Anything" on the driver's side door. The vehicles are parked in front of a long white building with a pitched roof and windows and a door visible along the front. Above the door attached to the roof is a sign that reads "Lovett Signs".

First Lovett Signs Building on Wyndham Street, c.1936 | 2017.11.1

Such is the community spirit of the company that got its start in 1936, when sign writer Albert (Bert) Lovett hung out his own shingle as Bert Lovett Signs, at 164 Wyndham Street. By 1949, the business was called the Lovett Sign Shop and Bert’s son Harry was on the team as a sign writer. Four years later, Bert’s grandson Fred also joined the company.

From 1957 to 1964, the shop was located at 134 Bristol Street. It then moved to 35 Municipal Street, where it was known as F. and H. Lovett Signs. When the company moved to 28 Industrial Street in 1969, it became Lovett Signs Ltd.

Fred and Harry Lovett sold the business in 1992 and the current owners based the operation at 525 Southgate Drive. Lovett Signs has grown to become a sign solutions company servicing Canada and the United States from their Guelph-based offices.

For the ‘B&W and Read All Over’ exhibition at the Civic Museum, the good folks at Lovett Signs cleaned, delivered and installed the iconic signifier of the Guelph Mercury at the Museum. Without Lovett, the Mercury’s emblematic sign might have been destroyed or lost to history.

Removal of the Mercury sign following the closure of the newspaper, 2016.

Removal of the Mercury sign following the closure of the newspaper, 2016.

Guelph Mercury sign with globe originally from building. Large black metal letters "Guelph Mercury". The silver metal half of a globe sits to the left of the text and has an open cage design with flat textured metal pieces for the land masses.

Guelph Mercury sign currently on view in the ‘B&W And Read All Over’ exhibit until September 1, Guelph Civic Museum.

Posted by Dawn Owen on June 27, 2019

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