Posts Tagged ‘Roman Chariot display Herald Square’

The chariot race sign in a young Herald Square

April 24, 2011

This enchanting postcard features a moonlit Herald Square looking up Broadway, with the elevated tracks and tall office buildings and stores glowing from within.

And then there’s an image of a Roman Chariot race in the background, all lit up majestically in the night.

A gigantic display of light that went up in 1910, it was used by a variety of advertisers over the years, according to the American Sign Museum:

“In 1910, the great chariot race sign in New York City was one of the most famous electrical displays in the world. Erected on the roof of a seven-story building overlooking Herald Square, it featured a Roman chariot race and the sign was composed of 20,000 bulbs of different colors, 70,000 connections and 2,750 switches.

“The simulated movement of horses, drivers and whips was accomplished by 2,500 flashes per minute and the sign attracted crowds every night for years. The erection of an intervening building ended its period of use by a series of advertisers.”