I mean they couldn't have foreseen the issues we have today with fake signs. Just wondering what purpose it served to put the month & year on a sign was produced 50 to 60 years ago?
Just thinking that maybe it made things clearer for corporate directives. For an imaginary example: Standard advertising exec sends a memo saying, "Remove White Crown plate dated 1-49 and replace with White Crown pump plate 4-54. Shipment to follow."
I would imagine dating a sign was not related to this hobby at all. Maybe to know how long to display it? Dating it for defects or replacements? I'm just really glad they did!
The dates are the equivalent of a "form number" and date on something like a government form. In most cases they indicate when the sign layout was last changed/last stencils made as opposed to an actual manufacturing date. When Texaco called their sign manufacturers and ordered a quantity of Fire Chief pump plates, the order would include something along the lines of "Revision 3-47" to indicate first off that there was no new version unknown to the sign manufacturer and as a reference not to use an older design/stencil in error. Most revisable printed or screened products use a similar system - many oil cans are dated, too, some with open dating, some with a code, indicating which form design was used.
Although I have seen "form #" and dates on some..