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

From about 1956 to 1964, New Jersey specified white-on-green cutout highway shields. US Routes were badge-shaped and state routes were circles – both types displaying the route number inside a wide border, with no other wording. I don’t recall ever seeing any of these green shields in service, but I assume a few were probably still around when I was very young. I have wanted to find a shield from this period for a while, but they just aren’t easy to come by. So, when a green 23″ x 23″ US Route 46 shield with its matching 19″ x 8″ Junction banner came my way in early 2020, I was delighted to nab them for my collection. A shout-out goes to Jake Bear for making these signs available through Facebook and working out an agreeable trade/purchase deal with me.

Besides having value as a rarely-found green NJ shield, this 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 this road, and I drove on it my very first time behind the wheel.

US Route 46, formerly NJ Route 6, spans northern New Jersey west to east from the Delaware River to the Hudson River at the George Washington Bridge. I have no way of knowing exactly where my shield served, but there is a remote chance it came from Clifton. The photo on the right is a recent Google image of the apparently old signage at the western terminus of NJ Route 3 and Valley Road, not far from my old neighborhood.

The character font used on my shield is known as Series C. Most of the green New Jersey shields I have seen photos of used the taller Series B font, as seen in the US 46 shield photographed by Michael Summa on the left.