Mr. Therm Balcony Railings – Oxford, England - Atlas Obscura

Mr. Therm Balcony Railings

An obsolete, long-forgotten advertising character lingers on this Sainsbury’s balcony railings.  


In 1933, the Gas Light and Coke Company of London introduced a character called Mr. Therm for its advertisements. Designed by illustrator Eric Fraser, he was a whimsical entity with a paper-thin body and a head shaped like a blazing sun.

Though the company was nationalized in 1949 and went defunct, Mr Therm continued to be featured in many a poster and TV commercial until the 1950s, before falling into obscurity.

Even today, he can still be found in Oxford, lingering and hiding in plain sight. Currently a Sainsbury’s, this building at 117-119 St Aldate’s Street was built in 1938 for the Oxford & District Gas Company Offices and used as a showroom until the 1990s. There, on the balcony are railings in the shape of Mr Therm, a small detail of a ghost sign that is not quite noticeable and hard to recognize even if it catches your eye.

Know Before You Go

Note on edit: in British English “Mr” is used instead of “Mr.” – so the correct name of the character would be “Mr Therm” and not “Mr. Therm.”

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April 24, 2024

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