Field Sign

This Dekalb sign shows a stylized ear of corn with wings. Intended to convince other farmers to switch to Dekalb hybrid seed, these signs were placed next to roads in fields planted with Dekalb seed transforming the field into a demonstration testimonial. The sign was collected from the Queen Anne Grain Company in Queen Anne, MD around 1980.
According to Dekalb historian Emerson Wells the sign was made in 1977 by Display Craft in Rockford IL. That is the year they bought out Arlie Pierce from Sycamore IL who had made all the signs up to that point. Arlie had always put the initials AP somewhere on signs. Display Craft continued that practice by putting DC under the letter A. That clearly shows. They continued making the signs until 1989. However after 1977 they also put a date with their initials. This sign has no date so it was made in '77.
Beginning in the 1930s Dekalb hybrid corn was advertised as the mortgage lifter (because of its productivity). Commercial hybrid seed was a dramatic change in farming practice as farmers moved away from open pollinated cultivars and seed saving to inbred genetic lines and purchased seed.
Object Name
Physical Description
red (overall color)
green (overall color)
white (overall color)
pressed board (overall material)
yellow (overall color)
overall: 16 1/4 in x 31 5/16 in x 3/8 in; 41.275 cm x 79.53375 cm x .9525 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
American Enterprise
See more items in
Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Peter Liebhold

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