Are You From The Past?

Funny Signs - Are You From The Past?

Submitted by: dunno source via Oddly Specific

A scene from the lesser known film ‘Encino Man 2: Electric Boogaloo.”

This entry was posted in ...Seriously?, Crazy Places, For Tourists, Informational Signage, instructions, Just Plain Weird and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Are You From The Past?

  1. JRKS says:

    I know I have seen this, possibly around where I have worked. I just can’t place it right now.

  2. Jedit says:

    It’s called “history appreciation”. People really did put up these signs back when electric lighting was brand new.

    • Shiftkitty says:

      I was going to write it off to a company tired of lawsuit-happy people. You know the kind. They see the steaming hot coffee come freshly out of the urn, they feel the heat coming through the cup, then sue because they burned themselves when they tried to immediately gulp it down.

    • Not a commenter. says:

      Referring to the McDonalds case? That was a lady who spilled it in her lap.

    • Ford says:

      I heard of another case where a woman burned her mouth on some scalding hot coffee. Her husband sued the fast food restaurant for “loss of spousal services.”

    • Mellissa says:

      that actually happened. I worked at McD’s at the time (this was 10 years ago or so) and my boss posted the newspaper clipping. except it was a scalding pickle. now mcd’s policy is to not microwave burgers for that reason.

  3. Aron says:

    “Courier Cafe” in downtown Urbana, IL has this sign in the restrooms. I’m pretty sure it’s a commonly available sign sold for comedic purposes.

    • Mike says:

      It does have comedic value now, but in the 1890,s they where everywhere. At that period most lighting was with oil lamps and candles, and just like today the consumer is not always the brightest (hehe) when it comes to getting used to new technologies. Most places that have that sing up it is for the historical importance to America, and mankind as a hole.

    • Truth says:


      It’s an important distinction. 🙂

    • Starcat says:

      Actually…. Sometimes I think the original spelling (without the ‘w’) is more accurate.

    • bananoid says:

      “At that period most lighting was with oil lamps and candles”

      No, it wasn’t.

    • Siirenias says:

      …and, actually, it didn’t seem so unlikely that these signs needed to be in places like electrically lit hotels and other places of the sort.

      Just as fluorescent bulbs these days are doing their best to mimic phosphorescent (right term?) bulbs today, if only so they can share outlets/fixtures, the electric lighting was designed to blend in with/replace gas lighting. I still see the old style of street lights on (rare) occasion, and it would never have occurred to me that the style wasn’t borne out of electric lighting. So no. Please don’t shatter the bulb in an effort to light the filament directly aflame. Enjoy your electric lighting, but be mindful that it’s just as hard to sleep with it lit as with any light source…which is too bad, cause it’s now nearly dawn and I still need to sleep.

    • bananoid says:


      Another aspect might be that lightbulbs, if seen for the first time may be mistaken for the incandescent mantle of a gas lamp. In the episode “The Electric Light” of the British series “The Secret Life Of Machines”, the mantle shown is indeed reminiscent of a deformed pearl lightbulb, both off and lit.
      I included the time mark for the relevant segment in the YT link:

      Looking at that video, I’d imagine that many people would simply put a match or lighter up to the lightbulb while unsuccessfully feeling around for the nonexistent gas valve.

    • ToniS says:

      “mankind as a hole…” interesting concept.

    • maureen says:

      yay! i love the courier cafe! when i saw this on the site i wondered if it was possibly the same sign!

    • You Know Me says:

      The only explanation I can think of are Amish people.

  4. Ryuudoshi says:

    Kill it with FIRE!

  5. Miff says:

    FUD, a timeless art.

  6. Daemonmonkey says:

    Oh I see. That’s why the animal is called eel… Shocking!

  7. ‘Not harmful’, unless it’s alternating current, in which case Edison will claim it’s dangerous just because he hates Tesla.

  8. Missy says:

    I work at my city’s hydro company, and one of the men has one of these signs below his light switch. It looks more old fashioned and fancy than this one though, but the message is basically the same.

  9. user 6437378 says:

    It isn’t “a” sign, for those thinking they have seen “it”, it is one of many signs that seem to be in several countries. There’s thousands of these all over the world.

  10. Nick Wright says:

    Somebody watches The I.T. Crowd. 🙂

  11. ba12348 says:

    I disagree about its claim to not affect sleep, If it wernt for electricity I wouldnt be here on this bloody contraption 5 hours before I have to be at work. it may be worth pointing out that its 11:18 pm for me now.

  12. littleredridingwolf says:

    This was in my biology lab in highschool

  13. Seibee says:

    This room is lit by MAGIC.

  14. Seth says:

    Apparently Edison also invented the disclaimer.

  15. Mirror says:

    Props for MST3K reference in the mod comment.

  16. G. James says:

    I can imagine a similar sign for WiFi for those claiming sensitivity.

  17. Sarge says:

    Old sign is Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllllllldddddddddd

    • Sam says:

      Really? I thought electric light was only invented last tuesday.
      You sir, are a nincompoop.

  18. Daria says:

    “… nor does it affect soundness of sleep.”

    Unless you leave it on while trying to sleep. But if you’re that stupid, you don’t deserve sleep.

  19. Justin says:

    I dunno, I don’t trust them…

  20. Jerry says:

    Edison screwed Nikola Tesla over… A sign like that makes Edison an ass.

  21. Here’s the equivalent sign in Swedish, although I actually think this one’s a facsimile of the actual turn-of-century sign that was posted in hotels and the likes.

  22. that random guy says:

    we have this in heritage park, in the snooker hall

  23. Bob says:

    I’ve seen this at the Courier Cafe in Urbana, Illinois. They’re in the bathrooms. Historic building, worth a visit if you’re in the area. Try the Desert Dippers! (potato skins with chorizo & peppers)

  24. Palmer says:

    So I’m the fourth out of (now) 43 commenters who report having seen this sign at the Courier Cafe in Urbana. Try the sweet potato fries, too…

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