French roadside history being lost, one sign at a time

Michelin road signs are a familiar part of France, so familiar people are not noticing their disappearance, but numbers are falling and with them goes part of France’s history.

Their UK equivalent could be the red phone box or the yellow AA box and, likewise, they are only being saved by local groups and associations campaigning to keep the remaining enamel on lava rock signs, often set in a standard reinforced concrete post.

Roadsign Virages A1c Arrabloy

First created as an advertising campaign by André Michelin, co-founder with brother Edouard of the tyre company, early signs had a Michelin logo on them to promote their tyres.

They were called ‘merci’ signs as many were sited at the entry to villages with a message Veuillez ...

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