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April 23, 2010

I’ve been spending a fair bit of time on the Acela Express this week going back and forth to the Godforsaken town of Wilmington, Delaware.

I swear, there isn’t a single damn redeeming feature of Wilmington.

Look, just putting it on a sign doesn’t make it so.  The place is full of bankruptcy lawyers and quite a number of people who, well, frankly, I can’t tell what the hell they are doing.  It’s the kind of place where nothing in particular seems to be open at 9:30 a.m., and everything is definitely closed by 4:00 p.m.

Why is this post called “Trenton”?  Because riding bored out of my mind in a train up and down the Eastern seaboard puts into my mind what has to be the best municipal signage on Earth:

No, seriously, what the fuck does that mean?  And what the fuck does Trenton make?  I really haven’t the foggiest idea, and I’m pretty sure nobody else does either.  (And I also have no idea who Ken Ficara is, but I stole his picture because it was the best one I could find.)  But you know what?  The sign also lights up:

According to these people, it relates to this:  “The slogan was adopted by the Trenton Chamber of Commerce in 1910 to represent Trenton’s leading position in the manufacturing of a multitude of goods, most notably steel, rubber, wire rope, linoleum and ceramics.”

Really, wire rope. And you know what? I have to go back to Wilmington on Monday.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2010 1:27 am

    It’s just so angry and resentful; really, it has got to be the best sign out there. With just a few exceptions, the entire state of New Jersey has always kind of skeeved me out.

    • jco permalink
      April 23, 2010 10:40 am

      So much for the Anonymous 271 Memorial Bathroom.

  2. April 23, 2010 12:32 pm

    Yours is one of the exceptions.

  3. Ken Ficara permalink
    April 23, 2010 9:00 pm

    I’m Ken Ficara. Among other things, Trenton made the cables that support the Brooklyn Bridge.

    • Fat Al permalink*
      April 23, 2010 10:46 pm

      Thanks for checking in Ken, and thanks for the use of your photo (I hope you’re not too mad). It’s a great sign and thanks for documenting it for us.

  4. jco permalink
    April 23, 2010 10:46 pm

    Hi Ken. I’m thankful for those cables.

  5. Judy permalink
    May 16, 2011 7:06 pm

    You have been to Wilmington, haven’t you? I’ve suggested that our city’s motto be something like: “Wilmington: A Place That’s Only an Hour or Two, Maybe Three, From a Whole Lot of Other Places That Are a Lot More Interesting and Actually Have Things for You to do” but my proposed motto has not gotten a very warm reception.


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