This terrific sign is from the New York State Conservation Department. We believe it dates from the 1950s-1960s, during the later years of that agency's existence between 1926 and 1963. Signs like this were ordered for posting along roadsides and trails in the woods, warning passersby that state law protected wildlife in the area, and hunting, fishing and trapping were prohibited. The maker name SCIOTO SIGNS, KENTON, O.[hio] name appears at the very bottom.
This is a "coated aluminum" panel. It is not tin (a magnet does not stick). The front's base color is a mustard yellow with deliberately added wavy lines through it. IMPORTANT: this is NOT crazing or damage, it is deliberate use of color. The back is gray. The green and white colors are applied over the yellow. The "Wildlife Management Area" and "NO TRESPASSING" letters are raised for attention. There is a mounting hole in each corner.
SIZE: Approximately 12 inches tall and 11 inches wide.
CONDITION: "New Old Stock" - an original sign that escaped being put up. Perfectly flat ! This sign would have been tacked to a back board, and it is obvious that the mounting holes have never been used. There is NO discoloration, NO warping, NO splits, NO chipping or paint loss on the front -- there is some extremely minimal EDGE chipping and light stains but NOTHING WORSE and this is only on the very edges! The gray back does show some surface-only scuffing and color loss - unimportant to display. (No rust, of course, this is aluminum.)
Outdoor signs for conservation and wildlife control are incredibly hard to find in this condition. Most are survivors from being nailed up on trees and are damaged from that and exposure to the elements. This one is a beauty and would be a fine addition to any collection of sportsman signs.
NOTE: The "Albany 1, N.Y." address also helps date this piece. The "1" refers to the postal zone within the city of Albany. These Postal Zones were replaced in 1963, when the 5-digit ZIP code was introduced by the U.S. Postal Service to improve effectiveness and efficiency of mail delivery.
BACKGROUND: The New York State Conservation Department existed between 1926 and 1970. In 1885, the New York State Legislature established the Forest Preserve of New York State, setting aside land in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains to be protected as "forever wild" and establishing regulations and guidelines governing the use of these lands. The year 1885 also marked the beginning of the forest ranger service in New York State.
In 1895, the Fisheries, Game and Forest Commission was formed to take on functions related to fish and game regulations, hunting seasons, and poaching. This and several other small commissions were combined in 1911 to become the Conservation Commission, which then became the Conservation Department in 1926. The Conservation Department ceased to exist in 1970, when it was combined with several other state interests to become the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which is in existence today.
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