The History of Neon Signs

After invention by Georges Claude in the early 1900s, neon signs became popular business signs in Europe in 1920 and there after in the rest of the world. An Automobile dealer of Los Angeles first used a neon sign in 1923. They quickly became popular due to their effectiveness to highlight the contents on the signs during the night.

History note:

Before invention of neon signs in America, there were commercial signs that used a carbon dioxide fill. Neon gas was discovered in the year 1898 in London by William Ramsey and M.W.Travers. Presence of this rare gaseous element in the atmosphere is to the extent of 1 part in 65,000 of air, and is obtained by liquefaction and separated from other gases by fractional distillation.

Record reveals that the first commercial neon sign was sold by Jaques Fonseque, Claude’s associate, in 1912 to a Paris barber.

In 1923, Georges Claude’s introduced his neon signs to the United States. Neon Signs quickly became a popular sign in the U.S for advertisement purposes. Its brilliant red illumination fascinated the public and it was popularly known as “liquid fire”. Soon it became a symbol of America’s inventiveness and creativity.Read more on custom business signs at

The History of Neon Signs

Nature and size of neon signs:

Most of the neon signs were extremely large outdoor signs used to attract attention of the customers from distant place. Due to its large size, it was difficult for the collectors to transport, and as such window neon signs and neon clocks became popular among collectors.

Making a neon sign:

Usually, hollow glass tubes are used to make neon lamps of different lengths. The glass tubes are heated by lit gas and forced air to give a shape as per requisition. Several composition of glass is used depending on the country and supplier.

Special features of neon signs:

Neon gas produces red color. It glows with its characteristic red light even at atmospheric pressure. Now, there are more than 150 colors of neon available in the market and a good option as one of the good business signs.

They are used as a calling card of almost every dinner and motel that popped up along the most famous roads of America. They are business signs were visible by both day and night. Neon signs illuminated the night skies, lining the highways, and signing the businesses. At that time, the sign companies made their businesses to a great extent.

Incidentally in 1960 there was a steep declination in the use of neon in the cities resulting Municipal sign codes and public tastes changed. The neon as the choice for an electric sign was being replaced with cheaper alternatives.

Benefits of neon signs:

Apart from illumination, it has wide range of colors and the ability to make a tube that can last for years if not decades without replacement, and that makes this as an art. The long life time of this popular business signs has created a practical market for neon use for interior architectural lighting in a wide variety of uses including homes, where the tubes can be bent in any shape and perfectly fit as a business signs.

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