Painted Designs

Pennsylvania barns are famous for painted decorations sometimes called "hex" signs. They appeared as early as 1819, but became more common in the later nineteenth century and are still popular today. Scholars agree that these were for decoration and did not signify belief in occult or magical properties, as popular literature sometimes claims.

Montgomery County barn dated 1852
Decorated Red Barn, Montgomery County, 1852

(Image from the Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress,
Prints and Photograph Division)