A Scoreboard Restoration For the Times

This vintage scoreboard restoration project was completed as a part of the restoration of Atlanta’s David T. Howard school. This school is reported to have been opened in 1923, coincidentally, the same year Ortwein Sign Company opened in Chattanooga, TN. The contractor working on the renovation of the school, Parrish Construction, contacted Ortwein Sign about restoring the scoreboard.

Scoreboard Restoration Details

This scoreboard was built by the Fred Medart Company in St. Louis in the 1940’s. The restoration of this scoreboard included restoration of electrical contacts, upgrading electrical safety devices and manufacturing a replacement control panel, inspired by the original. See the scoreboard operating our Ortwein Sign’s Youtube Channel link below.

There were a number of maintenance related issues that had to be addressed on the scoreboard. Each number and the period lights are lit by a rotary switch that is activated by a solenoid. The contacts on the rotary switches were a particularly difficult cleaning project. There was 80 years of dust and grime clogging up the works. When it arrived our shop, the clock did not work.  The drive shaft on the motor had broken, so a new motor had to be sourced and installed. Additionally some metal work and refinishing of the face and replacement of screw in fuses with circuit breakers will make the unit electrically safe.

This school is quite famous in that a number of very high profile, local and nationally recognized people were educated in this school. Below, please see a list of these leaders…..

Marin luther king sign

From Wikipedia…..The school was named for David T. Howard, a former slave who owned Atlanta’s largest black-owned undertaking business and founded its first African American owned bank. He was a noted philanthropist, particularly focused on educating children. He donated thousands of dollars to poor children to be educated, to Tuskeegee University, and donated the 7.5 acre campus for the elementary school which was named after him.[2]

Martin Luther King Jr. attended the school from 1936 until 1940.[4]

The school building is brick.[4] It closed in 1976.[2]

As of 2019, the former school is being rebuilt for a fall 2020 opening as a new middle school feeding into Henry W. Grady High School. The school will retain the Howard name, being called David T. Howard Middle School.[5] The school renovations will cost an estimated $52 million.[6]

Gymnasium Under Construction in approx 1940’s

Davit T Howard School

David T Howard High School Gymnasium in foreground and School in Background.

gym where restored scoreboard is located.