The Bricklayer (MIDWAY)

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Midway Bricklayer , 1950s, (top portion: 4’x15’x1’), Gift of Albertson’s, 2002

Originally part of a larger sign, this bricklayer was donated to the Museum of Neon Art after 45 years of service as a neighborhood landmark. The animation and design are rudimentary but make the double-sided bricklayer all the more adorable. “Midway founder Ric Pearson commissioned the sign in 1952 as an eye-grabber for his fledgling business, so named because it was midway between Ontario and Pomona– this being several years before Montclair’s founding. Perhaps it was too eye-grabbing: A drunken driver plowed into the sign in the early 1980s, wrecking it. The sign couldn’t be removed for repair because it didn’t conform to modern regulations on size and style. If it was gone for 24 hours, it was gone for good, Pearson’s son, Doug, said. In an ingenious solution, Ontario Neon was hired to build a replica off-site. The wrecked sign was hauled down and the new one put in place in a half-day, well within the 24 hour window.” (from article in Daily Bulletin by David Allen).