November 9th is Neon Sign Day! Today we celebrate those hard-working forces of marketing beckoning us to patronize quick stops, mini marts, fast food restaurants and other establishments.
• The French gave us neon lights! They were invented by French chemist George Claude and presented at the Paris Exposition of 1910.
• In 1912, a Paris barber was the first to use a neon sign to advertising business.
• In 1923, the Packard car company was the first US business to use neon lights. They purchased two signs from George Claude for $12,000 each. The signs spelled out “Packard.”
• The original six story neon Coca-Cola bottle in Times Square was created from over a mile of neon tubing.
• Las Vegas retires its neon signs at a museum called “The Boneyard.” They have neon signs from everything from dry cleaners to wedding chapels to casinos.
• All neon signs are made by hand.
• The only solid material that can be used to create a neon sign is glass. Plastic and other materials have been tried and have failed.
• Neon signs are gassy! They use not only neon gas, but argon, phosphor, xenon, helium and mercy as well. The other gasses are used to create over 150 colors.
• Neon signs are very popular all over the world. Including Hong Kong and China, where neon displays can give Las Vegas and Times Square a run for their money!
Quote of the Day:
“There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” ~ James Thurber