I suppose my interest in civil defense originally came about as a result of seeing fallout shelter signs in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. As a high school student, I was left wondering about their origins. Granted, it wasn't until years later that my curiosity returned in the form of graduate school research.
Anyhow, thanks to ebay, I have begun to amass a collection of fallout shelter and civil defense signs from across the country. Regarding North Carolina, the only public shelter signs I have encountered are the yellow and black Department of Defense National Fallout Shelter Survey (NFSS) signs that can be found nationwide. I have both an exterior and interior sign in my collection.
The rarest signs are the "S" signs. These signs used to mark shelters were used in the 1950s but removed when the NFSS program began in 1961. Part of this program removed all previous shelter signs and standardized marking with DoD signs. I have seen many variations on the "S" sign, and have never seen the same style for sale before.
Even earlier signs are my two Air Warden signs. I believe both of these date to World War II, but this is only a suspicion of mine. They are hand painted on masonite.
The largest sign (and my first actually) is a Civil Defense Emergency Operating Center sign. This sign is four feet long and two feet wide. Unfortunately, it is also in very poor condition having been mounted outside for who knows how long.
I will try to post better photos but in the meantime enjoy!
World War II era
S Signs from the 1950s
National Fallout Shelter Survey, 1960s
Emergency Operating Center (EOC) Sign, 1950s-1970s?