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HUDSON, Ohio -- On the eve of its 63rd birthday, Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc. was surprised with a historical discovery - a Lawson?s billboard uncovered from the early 1940s.
The billboard advertisement features a loaf of bread for 9 cents, a quart of ice cream for 22 cents and a gallon of milk for 44 cents, while encouraging people to keep their war bonds.
Uncovered by workers removing asbestos siding from an 87-year-old building in Akron, Ohio's industrial district, the billboard is a remnant of Lawson?s stores that were owned by Lawson Milk Co. The building was previously home to a Lawson?s neighborhood store.
The Lawson Co., founded in 1939, was acquired by Dairy Mart in 1985. All Lawson stores were later converted to Dairy Mart stores.
"This is an amazing discovery at a special time. Lawson/Dairy Mart is an institution in the convenience industry and as we celebrate 63 years in business, few retailers can boast of such longevity. The old prices reinforce just how long we?ve been a part of people?s lives," said Gregory Landry, Dairy Mart president and CEO.
The full-color billboard is hand-painted and depicts a black-and-white dairy cow standing on green grass with blue sky. The cost to have the same sign hand-painted today would be astronomical, Landry said. Restoration of the billboard has begun and once complete, the billboard will be turned over to the Summit County Historical Society.
Dairy Mart operates approximately 500 convenience stores in seven states.