Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Paris Street Signs

Before 1728 there were no street signs in Paris (or very few). From this date onward, however, it became compulsory for the owners of the first and last house of each street to engrave the street name onto their buildings. In 1806 Napoleon passed a law saying that street names should not be engraved, but painted. By 1847 the paint was gone (and so was Napoleon), and the local authorities turned to a well proven technique: porcelain enamel. This is the method used to this day, even for new streets.

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