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The Bumper Sticker

Tom Keck/Getty Images

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, smart phones, texting are taking over all forms of known communication. Yet, the lowly bumper sticker still remains. You’d think automakers would have built little TV screens into their bumpers by now so all kinds of creative messages could be displayed to the masses at every stoplight.

Bumper History

Bumper stickers have been with us almost as long as the automobile itself. The early Ford Model T didn’t have bumpers because there were no other cars to run into. However, in 1927 the Model A had bumpers just waiting for the invention of the historic sticker. The invention of the bumper sticker is commonly credited to a silkscreen printer from Kansas City,  — one Forest P. Gill.

Before Gill thought of putting adhesive on the stickers the predecessors were fabric attached to the bumpers by wires. So over the years, FDR, “I like Ike,” and other catchy sayings have adorned bumpers of very brand of vehicle.

Bumper Sticker Topics

By far, political stickers are the most popular. It’s almost impossible to take a drive through town without seeing some political message. It might be Obama/Biden or it might go back as far as McCain/Palin. Some fun political stickers:

  • You can’t fix stupid but you can vote it out.
  • Honk if I’m paying your mortgage.
  • Please don’t tell Obama what comes after a trillion.
  • This Year I Listed The Federal Government As a Dependent On My Tax Return
  • Mitt Happens! Romney for President

Honk If…

There are a ton of funny stickers that ask the reader to hit the horn. Here are some of my favorites

  • If you believe in telepathy, think about honking.
  • Horn broken… watch for finger.
  • Don’t bother honking or flashing your lights, I’m deaf and blind.
  • Keep honking…I’m reloading.
  • Honk if you have never seen an Uzi fired from a car window.

If You Can Read This …

Many bumper stickers provide very useful information, such as …

  • If you can read this, I can hit my brakes and sue you.
  • If you can read this, I’ve lost my trailer.
  • If you can read this, please flip me back over…[Seen upside down, on a Jeep]
  • If you can read this, thank a teacher…. and, since it’s in English, thank a soldier!!

Some Final Thoughts

I have to confess that I’ve never felt the need to attach a sign to any vehicle I’ve ever owned. I’ve never felt the need to display my political choices or some cutesy slogan or saying. I did think about putting an Obama sign on one side of the bumper and a Romney on the other just to confuse everyone. Maybe in the next election I’ll buck the trend. Until then, “Hang UP And DRIVE!!”

Tom Egelhoff is an Amazon best selling author of three business books. His 400+ page web site www.smalltownmarketing.com is one of the oldest continuous sites on the Internet. He has been featured on MSNBC’s “Your Business” and quoted in business publications in China, Turkey, India and the UK. He hosts “Open for Business” each week, 11-2 PM Mountain Time on http://kmmsam.com

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