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Hundreds of hand-painted signs endure in parts of the U.K. capital, marking the city’s 19th century boom. But many of these advertising artifacts are fading fast.

Study the buildings flanking London’s older streets closely and you’ll see one soon enough: an old painted sign that, once bright and eye-catching, is now faded into the masonry, the name of the business or product it promoted flaking and faint.

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London United Kingdom Europe