Penny

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Penny in June 2010. Photo by Terry McCombs

Penny is the name of the canine mascot for the Gold Seal Dog Food company, depicted on an animated sign extending over the roof of their headquarters which was visible from the 1st Avenue North Viaduct until it was restored and moved to Regions Field in 2013.

Gold Seal manufactured two grades of dog food; a premium product with their Gold Seal label and a second grade, named "Penny Dog Food". At some point in the 1950s the company erected a two-sided sheet-metal sign depicting the cartoon dog with an animated "wagging" tail and tongue lapping at a full food dish reading "PENNY".

When Birmingham Hide and Tallow purchased the property in the 1980s. Employee Christy Crick convinced CEO Owen Vickers to refurbish the sign in 2005. Barry Crick, who also maintained Vulcan's neon lighting, performed the restoration work and added the company's name to the bottom panel. The restoration won a "Preservation Award" from the Birmingham Historical Society.

Birmingham Hide and Tallow moved its offices in 2010, but left the sign up. In 2013. Its corporate counsel, Micah Salsman, suggested to CEO Owen Vickers that they refurbish the sign and donate it to Regions Field. They hired Wide Open Signs to refinish the painted illustration and Mark Whiten of Whiten Signs n' Lighting to restore the mechanism.

References

  • "2005 Preservation Awards" (May 2005) Birmingham Historical Society Newsletter
  • Whitmire, Kyle (February 15, 2013) "Penny dog food sign will wag again at Regions Field." The Birmingham News