- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A “Sputnik”-style advertising ball from the heyday of Route 66 will be preserved in a Springfield museum.

Ace Sign Co. installed the blinking satellite at the former Bel-Aire Motel along the fabled highway in the early 1960s.

The Springfield motel will be razed. Its owners donated the Sputnik to Ace for its museum.

The fiberglass balls - on the higher end, they rotated - were popular marketing tools in the days after the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of the first satellite, Sputnik 1.

Ace president Dennis Bringuet (brihn-GHET’) says the Bel-Aire ball has antique wiring and its obsolete flasher mechanism will pose a challenge for company technicians.

Bringuet’s grandparents - Franklin and Alvina Horn - started Ace in 1940.

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Online: Ace Sign Co. museum: https://www.acesignco.com/

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