Between 1750 and 1850, there were more than 50,000 inn and tavern signs produced by American painters, creating a distinct visual language and offering a glimpse into tavern life, travel, and patriotic ideals in early America. Only a fraction of these signs survive. The Connecticut Historical Society’s collection numbering more than 60 signs is by far the largest and most spectacular in the country. Learn more about the sign for Carter’s Inn in the Collection Highlights gallery. A book about our inn and tavern sign collection is also available on-site.
This exhibition is on permanent display at the CHS.
This virtual tour was funded by generous support from Connecticut Humanities.