Miami's Vintage Coppertone sign

Get the story on the fate of Miami's 1959 vintage Coppertone sign

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The little blonde girl whose dog tugs at her bathing suit is synonymous with the Coppertone name and the famous neon Coppertone sign has become synonymous with the city of Miami in the nearly six decades since it was installed on Biscayne Boulevard.

"Schering-Plough, owners of the Coppertone trademark, donated the sign to the citizens of Miami in 1991 and placed it in the care of the Dade Heritage Trust, a nonprofit preservation organization. The Trust has taken loving care of its adopted daughter ever since. After refurbishing the critical parts that could be salvaged then light boxes containing the girl, her dog, and the letters that spell out Coppertone the group ceremoniously placed the sign on the east side of the Concord Building at 66 W. Flagler St., not too far from her old home. Sadly, now this second locale is no longer able to host the popular image."  PDF of full articles by Margaret Griffis Photos

Rescue efforts have resulted in the removal of the sign from its current home on the Concord Building across from the courthouse.

"The Miami icon will be gently transported to Hialeah, to the Tropical Signs of Florida shop, whose part-owner, Jerry Bengis, is the son of the man who made her in 1959. There she will be evaluated and -- if Coppertone owner Schering-Plough finds the bill palatable -- restored to her full, flashing neon glory.

'It looks very promising,' Bengis said. 'I hope we can make this work. That sign is a part of Miami. It should be up there in this town forever.'" Full text of May 17, 2008 Miami Herald article.

Watch the sign come down on YouTube.

photo courtesy of Margaret Griffis

More Coppertone sign stories...

Miami Herald, February 6, 1995
Miami Herald, June 12, 2008

Search Google for more about the 1959 Coppertone sign.

View the layout for the Coppertone sign as it will look when installed in December 2008 at 7300 Biscayne Blvd.

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