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Mail Pouch Barns of West Virginia

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Mail Pouch Barns of West Virginia

Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco Treat Yourself to the Best. While I don’t actually advocate chewing tobacco, or using tobacco at all for that matter, I do love a good Mail Pouch outdoor advertisement. Between 1891 and 1992, West Virginia Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco, based in Wheeling, had its name painted on as many as 20,000 barns in 22 states. Barn owners were paid a nominal fee to use their barns, less than $50 a year in today’s money, but every few years they got their barns painted for free. If a side wasn’t visible from the road, Mail Pouch would paint it any color the owner wanted.

One barn painter, Harley Warrick, spent 55 years painting Mail Pouch advertisements. A barn would usually take him and a partner about 6 hours to finish and he never used a stencil but painted everything by hand. It is estimated that over the course of his career Warrick painted or retouched over 20,000 signs...

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