Welcome to the new/updated site! The Archives and search function may look a bit different, but it is still the same good time. Since 2002, your old-school website for all things stencils. Please consider donating what you can to support the much-needed upgrade. Photo submissions always welcome. Enjoy and stay curious.

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Construction Demo Reveals Two 1930s Tags

1939 SF tag

Nearly century-old mural uncovered in S.F.’s Mission District

By Megan Fan Munce
Dec 06, 2023

Nate Halverson was up on his building’s roof taking in the sunrise last Wednesday when some early morning construction caught his eye. At a parking lot near the intersection of Valencia and Cesar Chavez streets, a worker in an excavator was taking down a vacant building to make way for new construction. Halverson watched as the debris peeled away, revealing behind it a 1930s Chevrolet dealership mural.

The mural itself isn’t dated, but a light bulb-shaped graffiti tag dated July 17, 1939, places the mural somewhere during or before the 1930s. Another tag, painted below the mural, is dated 1935.

Capturing Ancient Graffiti with Photogrammetry, Laser Scanning, and 3D Imaging

History From Scratch
Cutting-edge tools are rescuing ancient graffiti from obscurity—and preserving them forever

by Amy Crawford for Smithsonian Magazine

BEGINNING WITH ITS construction in the fourth century B.C. and continuing for more than 800 years, the Temple of Isis on the small island of Philae, set where the Nile flowed out of Nubia, was visited by a stream of pilgrims. Coming from all parts of the Egyptian empire, and even as far away as Cyprus and Rome, they passed between 60-foot towers to attend elaborate seasonal ceremonies that celebrated Isis’ miraculous resurrection of her husband, the god Osiris, and the birth of their son, Horus. They beseeched Isis, the queen of the Egyptian pantheon, for aid and thanked her for interceding in their affairs.

Before heading home, many also etched their marks—a carving of their footprints on sacred ground, a picture of the deity, a name, a date or perhaps a short prayer—into the temple’s massive sandstone blocks. Some testified to the difficulty of their journey: “Isis, you are the Mistress of the Road,” wrote a third-century A.D. Nubian envoy named Sasan, beside a crude self-portrait. “Our hearts are entrusted to you upon the way.” Others were likely carved on pilgrims’ behalf by the priests who worked at the temple: “His name endures forever: Nesmety, the banker of Isis....As for the one who will erase these writings, his name will be erased forever.”

Just Updated the Submit FAQ

Been a while since we have looked over our Submit page, complete with fun FAQs to get you all hyped up to submit photos to us. Some of the details needed to be updated for sure, and here are a few:

  • We are now posting photos that are about 8-9 inches (20-23 cm) at widest side.
  • 72 or 96 PPI preferred density.
  • Changed language to make it more obvious that we'll take any size image and reformat it if needed. However, .png files least preferred format.
  • Who burns CDs anymore? :P It's all about the cloud.
  • Fixed some grammar and formatting, etc.

While social media sites pull all the great images in larger heaps than we'd ever imagine, we got curious about how their Terms of Use are worded with regards to the images on their site. Instagram is the current go-to for uploading stencil art photos. We even have our own small stream, which is very selective precisely because of Meta's terms of use.