McDonald's Restaurant Sign for the Japanese Market, 1975


By 2013, McDonald’s signs could be found in all 50 states as well as approximately 120 countries. This sign was made in the U.S.A. for use in Japan. While the writing is in Japanese, the sign remains instantly recognizable due to its color scheme and signature golden arches. Not only the look of the restaurant remains standardized, but also the menu, making only a few concessions to local tastes. Such as using kosher meats in Israel, halal meat in Muslim countries and serving a Teriyaki McBurger in Japan.

In 1940, Richard (Dick) and Maurice (Mac) McDonald opened the first McDonald’s Bar-B-Q drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California. In 1948, the brothers redesigned their menu, centering on the 15 cent hamburger. In 1954, Ray Kroc, a Multimixer (milkshake machine) salesman, became interested in the McDonalds brothers’ high volume restaurant. He worked out a deal with the brothers to be their franchising agent and opened the first franchise location in Illinois the following year. Under Kroc’s direction, the company grew to become the giant we know today.

Date Made: 1975

Associated Institution: McDonald's CorporationMaker: McDonald's International

Associated Place: Japan

See more items in: Work and Industry: Retail and Marketing, Advertising, American Enterprise

Exhibition: American Enterprise

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1983.0020.01Accession Number: 1983.0020Catalog Number: 1983.0020.01

Object Name: sign, restaurant

Physical Description: metal (overall material)plastic (overall material)Measurements: overall: 12 ft x 6 ft x 18 in; 3.6576 m x 1.8288 m x 45.72 cmbase: 33 in; 83.82 cm


Record Id: nmah_679427

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