The Electrical Products Corporation (EPCO) was a major manufacturer of electric signs, including (after 1923) neon signs.
Some of the best known EPCO signs locally are:
- Paramount Theatre sign
- Fox Oakland Theatre original sign
- the large, animated Coca-Cola sign visible from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as you drive into San Francisco
The company was headquartered in Los Angeles; their northern California branch was in Oakland. The factory at 30th and Myrtle Streets near San Pablo Ave. was built in 1926, and is still standing. The modernistic building at 950 - 30th was built later as an entrance to the plant.
Locally, National Electric Sign Company was founded in 1923 by William Joost and Harold Owen. 5 It was acquired by EPCO a few years later in 1926. 3 Joost served as president of the combined company until he was killed in an auto accident in Germany. Owen was then elected president. Oddly enough, although the company was headquartered in Los Angeles, both Joost and Owen made their homes in Oakland, and traveled to Los Angeles as needed. 6
Zeon signs was a unit of EPCO. 2 In 1962, EPCO was acquired by Federal Sign, based in Chicago. 1
Links and References
- Electrical Products Corporation on Wikipedia
- Electrical Products Corp. (EPCO) album on Flickr
- The neon sign maker that lit up California Curbed LA February 15, 2019
- Electrical Products Co. Will Have New Plant Unit Oakland Tribune February 7, 1926
- Joost Named Head of Neon Oakland Tribune December 1, 1935
- Sign Company Elects Oakland Tribune December 3, 1936
- Electrical Firm Mirrors City Growth Oakland Tribune November 30, 1930 (photos)