19 June 2013

Vintage red dot, dot, dot store

Meeting St., Charleston, S.C.
It looks like a vintage shot doesn't it? I took it over the weekend. When I took my camera out of the cool car into the heat and humidity it ages the picture nicely. People are endlessly fascinated by the red dots on liqueur stores in South Carolina.

Red Dot Stores AKA Liquor Stores

Ever wonder why in South Carolina liquor stores have red dots as their sign? It started with Jesse Fabian a liquor store owner from Charleston and his sign man Alford "Doc" Wamsley. In 1945 the legislature enacted the requirement that sign lettering for a liquor store sign could not be any large than six inches high and four inched wide. After painting the correct size lettering on Jesse's store, they thought the letters were too small to be seen. Inspired by a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes, Doc painted a red dot around the lettering. It spread all across the state. The reason you see a lot of stores using three dots with the letter A, B and C (one letter on each dot) is it stands for Alcohol Bureau of Control, the agency that oversee liquor stores. If you ask a local for a red dot store or a ABC store, chances are they will know what you need.
Wow, we had a thunderstorm this afternoon! I didn't miss having to navigate the rushing rivers of the streets of downtown Charleston. I understand people were stuck in traffic for hours. I do however miss being the one with the best action flooded street photos. Oh well. It is nice to be safe and dry.