All Across America, Meat Billboards Ruled The Road

  • These Pioneer hot dogs look like they are going to jump off of this 1965 billboard and into your mouth.
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    These Pioneer hot dogs look like they are going to jump off of this 1965 billboard and into your mouth.
    Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., via Duke University
  • A sandwich close-up featuring Fischer's deli meats, circa 1983.
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    A sandwich close-up featuring Fischer's deli meats, circa 1983.
    Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., via Duke University
  • In 1985, this giant raw steak billboard for Hamady meat was designed to lure drivers to the meat department.
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    In 1985, this giant raw steak billboard for Hamady meat was designed to lure drivers to the meat department.
    Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., via Duke University
  • The Swift's Premium ham is front and center in the depiction of family holiday fun in this vintage billboard.
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    The Swift's Premium ham is front and center in the depiction of family holiday fun in this vintage billboard.
    Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., via Duke University
  • This undated Libby's Vienna Sausage billboard appeals to meat-eaters looking to lower the fat.
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    This undated Libby's Vienna Sausage billboard appeals to meat-eaters looking to lower the fat.
    Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., via Duke University

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With the birth of the Interstate Highway System in the mid-1950s, America was on its way to becoming a nation of long-distance drivers.

Add an emerging cattle industry, technological advances in truck refrigeration and the spread of meat packaging plants from major cities to rural areas, and you've got a recipe for getting more meat to more people. (See more meat facts in charts and graphs here.)

Although outdoor advertising has been around since ancient Egypt, it really took off after the highway system was built. And advertisers thought, what better way to get to the captive audience in a car to pull over than to tempt them with giant pictures of meat?

Today, some billboards emit the distinctive odor of grilled meat, and there are billboards depicting the potential health effects of meat consumption. But here's a collection of billboards that helped fuel America's love affair with meat way back in the 20th Century.

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