Like the double-acting baking powder that it promotes, large billboard promoting Terre Haute as the home of Clabber Girl Baking Powder is back to welcome visitors to the city for another century.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Clabber Girl Corporation worked since late last fall to restore the beloved Indiana landmark, and its clock, with the assistance of Wabash Valley professional artist Becky Hochhalter.
“The billboard, with its large clock on top, has been an important part of the community. People really missed it during the restoration process,” said Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons. “We wanted the billboard restored to its original glory.”
Landscaping around the base of the billboard is expected to be added soon, depending on weather conditions.
The forty-four-foot-long billboard along U.S. 40—the Old National Road—on the eastern edge of Terre Haute has welcomed visitors to the city for more than eighty years. It is believed to be the oldest billboard in existence in Indiana and, with its large clock, one of the first electric billboards in the country.
Setting the restored clock will now be able to be controlled by remote control, allowing for more ease in resetting the time during the change of daylight saving time each fall and spring.
Rose-Hulman took over ownership of the sign in the fall of 2017 as part of the institute’s purchase of more than 1,100 acres of property from the Hulman family, founders of Clabber Girl, including the southwest corner of U.S. 40 and Hunt Road on which the billboard sits.
“We appreciate our association with the Hulman family and the Clabber Girl Corporation. It seemed like a natural fit for us to continue the legacy of the Clabber Girl Baking Powder billboard,” said Coons.
Hochhalter repainted the sign with the same colors and images—the Clabber Girl Baking Powder logo, container and the words “Five Minutes to Terre Haute . . . The Home of Clabber Girl Baking Powder.”
Clabber Girl Baking Powder is the top-selling baking powder brand in the United States, according the Clabber Girl Corp., which has its headquarters in downtown Terre Haute. The private holding company has produced the baking powder since 1899. In the 1930s, Anton “Tony” Hulman Jr. developed a national sales campaign, including roadside billboards, in hopes of making the baking powder brand a household name.
About Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is dedicated to preparing its students with the world’s best undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics education in an environment infused with innovation, intellectual rigor and individualized attention. The institute is consistently recognized nationally as an elite STEM school for distinctions that include faculty excellence, return on investment, value added and career services. Career placement is near 100 percent year after year. Six of the college’s professors are listed in the Princeton Review’s Best 300 Professors book. Located in Terre Haute, Indiana, Rose-Hulman has an enrollment of approximately 2,100 undergraduate students and nearly 100 graduate students. Learn more at www.rose-hulman.edu.