January 20, 2013

1940 Census

1940 Census 

Searching For A Sign From 'Clem'

Researching the 1940 Sixteenth Census of the United States of America I was able to find some interesting facts. In 1940 Walter L. Clements was 31 years old and living at #293 Nelson Ave., Saratoga Springs, New York with his parents Frank and Elizabeth Clements. At the time he is listed as owning his own sign painting business. He worked 4o hours a week and 50 weeks per year. 

(Last Line)
Walter L. Clements - Sign Painting

The Census indicates Clem received three years of high school education. He was still listed as a sign painter in the 1954 phone directory. I wrote about that in a previous post. Knowing that he was still painting signs into the 1980's is a sign in itself. It's a sign that Clem was a career sign painter who had mastered his craft. I have always felt Clem possessed a vein of frustrated artist as many of us do. Growing up through the Depression he knew the value of a dollar and the importance of an honest days work. The fact that I can remember his red signature, "Clem Signs" scattered throughout the city of Saratoga lays testament to his talent being sought after and wide spread. My goal is to find a remnant, a gold nugget, a signed sign somewhere in this historic city. I will track down any lead to find one of those signs; those signs from 'Clem'.

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