Scenic USA - Ohio
Each day Scenic USA presents a different and interesting photo feature from somewhere in
the United States of America. Chosen from a wide variety of historic sites, city scenes, back-
byways, points of interest and America's popular parklands, this site offers the viewer
hundreds of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each photo is coupled
with a brief explanation. For further detailed information, web links to other sites are provided,
however these links should not be considered any type of endorsement.
Mail Pouch Bridge
This privately owned Mail Pouch covered bridge may not be all that historic, but certainly the mail pouch advertisement is. Banned by congress in 1965 by the Highway Beautification Act, billboard advertisement was forbidden on federally funded highways. There was such an outcry over the loss of the beloved Mail Pouch barns, a 1974 amendment exempted heritage barns.
Although attractions, restaurants and other tobacco companies used barn billboards in their advertisement campaigns, none surpassed the quantity of Mail Pouch signs. At their peak, during the initial phase of the Beautification Act, estimates placed over 20,000 Mail Pouch barns in 22 states. Barn owners were more than happy to have the entire barn painted in exchange for ad space for the chewing tobacco advertiser, the Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company. Other barn owners received monthly payments, magazine subscriptions, or a generous supply of chew tobacco.
Barns were not the only place you would find the Mail Pouch slogan, many stores and service stations still retain the faded and chipped slogans. Because so many of these billboard signs have disappeared, hobbyists take pleasure in collecting photos of any Mail Pouch signs they find. This Guernsey County covered bridge is quite unusual. The scene not only offers a nostalgic looking covered bridge, but also the old Mail Pouch advertisement. Just over 30 years old, the bridge stretches 42 feet across Miller Creek and is found just west of Cumberland on Route 146.
Copyright © Benjamin Prepelka
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