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In the old days there was a type of sign/light you would find in bars and restaurants which was animated.

It would be a lit scene usually of water, like a lake with a waterfall, and by some means it would animate and look like the water was flowing.

They would be used to advertise cigarettes or beer.

What was this technology called? How did it work?

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  • $\begingroup$ A different thing that I like is the bubble-tubes seen on some jukeboxes and other ad-displays. Those actually used air bubbles thru fluid so far as i know. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Feb 6 '17 at 15:58
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After some more research, I found it: Scene-o-rama!

These animated water motion signs from the 1950s and 1960s work by a plastic overlayer and roll film on the underside that constantly rotates in a loop.

Scene-o-Rama was first widely used by Hamm's beer, but many other manufacturers adopted them as an advertising methodology. I remember seeing Michelob scene-o-ramas myself.

If you watch one on YouTube you can see how cool it is.

Scene-o-Rama

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At least some of such signs were animated using polarized light. The water or whatever would be made as a mosaic of little pieces of polarizing plastic, and the whole thing would be illuminated from behind by a lamp shining through a rotating polarizer. This causes different segments to brighten and dim at different times.

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I think you may be referring to Kinegrams: windmill Here are some links: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinegram

http://thinkzone.wlonk.com/Kinegram/MakingKinegrams.htm

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  • $\begingroup$ nope . Cool but different thing. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Feb 6 '17 at 14:02

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