US Route 46 Shield with Junction Banner (ca. 1960)

From 1956 to about 1963, New Jersey used cutout aluminum highway shields – green badges for US routes, and green circles (see image on right) for state routes. Both displayed the route number inside a thick border, with no other text. I don’t recall ever seeing any of the green shields in service, but I assume a few may have still been hanging around when I was very young.

After years of keeping my eyes peeled, an opportunity to buy a 23″ US Route 46 shield with its matching 19″ Junction banner came up in early 2020. A shout-out goes to Jake Bear for working out an agreeable trade/purchase deal with me.

US Route 46 spans northern New Jersey from the Delaware River eastward to the Hudson River at the George Washington Bridge. Besides having value for the period it comes from, this shield has extra sentimental value for me, as Route 46 passes through the middle of my old hometown of Clifton. I have many good memories associated with Route 46, and I drove on it my very first time behind the wheel.

During the green shield period, there was apparently a transition from the narrower Series B font, (seen on the right) with the wider Series C font that my sign has.