Philadelphia: save the Solari boards

#savethesign: citizens, social media and news papers are defending the made-in-italy icon
split-flap display

Save the Solari boards. The US are defending the made-in-italy history. The citizens of Philadelphia are saying NO to the dismantling of the old split-flap display that stands into the 30th Street Station: the old analogic display have to make way to his newly digital version.


The departure boards, worldwide symbols of stations, were developed and produced by Solari Udine: Company specialized in Public Information systems. Solari patented during the 60s the split-flap system; In a few years this system became the actual icon of traveling and was adopted and used in every airport and train station, thanks to his unique and unmistakable sound. 


The technology changes quickly, and with it the Solari’s Innovation that like 50 years ago is projected to the future: but the Company remain faithful to his history and to the authenticity of his core. In the last years Solari has reproduced the sound and the perfect visualization of the letter that “flips” during the updating of the informations. One of the old split-flap display of Penn Station in New York is already been replaced by a digital one. 


The Solari boards are becoming a national case in the US, as much that the biggest newspapers and magazines such Wired, Smithsonian, The Washington Time and CBS wrote about it. Meanwhile was been created even an online petition on and the citizens are tweeting and creating Facebook groups to complain against Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, with an hashtag in common: #savethesign. 


One of the US journalists wrote about the Solari’s Displays that “Sounds can take us back in time, into kind of memory time travel”. 

“That’s exactly the great power of Solari Udine - said Massimo Paniccia, CEO of Solari - to have created a technology and a unmistakable design that, after 50 years, can still evoke emotions to people worldwide. I think that is the best recognition that a Company can receive. 

Indeed, Solari re-launched in production his historical clocks, in order to enter the houses of every passenger, bringing them a little bit of that emotion.”



Still today, indeed, Cifra 3 - the flip clock designed by Gino Valle and worldwide recognized as design icon of the 900s - is part of the permanent collection of MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York, and of the Design Museum of London. It is still entirely produced in a fully artisanal way, without assembly line. From December will be available in Europe, USA, Russia and Japan even onto the online store:


Many Magazine and Journalists wrote about the news; following, the list of Articles and the links to in-depth:


Italian Press / La FollaSemi e IdeeAgi.itOggiarteil FriuliveneziagiuliaMessaggero VenetoUdine TodayDiario di UdineFriuli etc. 
Worldwide Press / Times LedgerInhabitatElleDecorArchinectTapIntoAtlasobscuraRunwayGirlNew York TimesWiredSmithsonianMetroPhillyPhilly BlogCityLabCBS PhillyPhillyVoiceWITFThe Washington TimesPRI etc. 

15 DECEMBER 2016

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