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Neon Lights Pics

Are neon signs ready to be museum pieces or part of somebody’s collection? Have they outlived their usefulness? Can business and the American buying public get along without them? Our country’s businesses have proved this not to be so. They make up the major use of neon in this country. They also make up a majority of all the retail signs used in the U.S. They are the most widely used method for businesses to get their messages across. Illuminated signs are bright, colorful, and attract attention easily wherever they are placed. Designs are virtually limitless as each one tries to capture the public’s attention and pat also provide a source of brilliant illumination for places like Times Square and the Las Vegas Strip. These two places are often referred to as this country’s neon showcases. With their thousands of neon lights they both attract millions of visitors each year. In fact, this also holds true for many of the large cities in the world, for example, London has its Piccadilly Circus. However, all of the neon signage there amounts to 10 signs of world-known corporations which are on one building.. Tokyo has its Ginza, a section of the city that is ablaze with the lights from them. Neon of multi-national corporations can be found in cities worldwide, their logos need no translation. Although their display in larger cities is common they can be found in even small towns anywhere. They are also commonplace inside of businesses.

They are produced in three common types. The exposed type sticks out from the surface with block letters, which are sometimes individually supported. The box type neon sign with its 3D format has proven to be very effective. It is made by cutting each letter normally in a flat acrylic format. However, in this process an acrylic side or shading is bonded around the letter, and this creates a dramatic 3D effect. Those made by this method have a noteworthy main feature, and that is it can be used on logos as well as letters. The last type of neon signs is the channel letter. This is made up of illuminated letters and graphics and these are placed on the outside of buildings. There are two types of channel letters. Standard channel letters that are made up of a U-channel with colored Plexiglas faces, and.reverse channel letters which have metal faces and sides and a clear plastic backing. They are designed to be mounted an inch or two away from the wall. The last format of the channel format neon sign is the open-face channel letter. In this case the letters are clear plastic instead of color plastic.

Whether they are the exposed, boxed, or channel type they have been in use for 100 years. They have established their place in the advertising world. When speaking of commercial lighting systems many in the field consider neon signs to be the best, with reference to such factors as brightness, energy-efficiency, durability, and impact on the environment. The fact that neon signs have been in use for 100 years speaks well of the efficiency, reliability, and value. They require very little maintenance or replacement. There are cases where neon tubing has outlasted its metal housing in signs that are between 60-70 years old.

Some neon signs around today are considered icons, and since Times Square has ones that are frequently changing this leaves little chance for their longevity. Casinos have been in Las Vegas since the middle of the 1940′s complete with illuminated signs, The best known one is ” WELCOME TO Fabulous LAS VEGAS NEVADA” iconic neon sign, designed in 1959, and is known worldwide today. Iconic ones that have left the scene are the Pioneer’s Club cowboy neon sign in 1961 which featured talking and arm movement. Other iconic neon signs are The Silver Slipper Hotel and Casino(which was designed in 1961 and lasted until 1988), the Stardust Hotel and Casino sign(which lasted from 1958-2007), and The Golden Nugget Club neon sign(which lasted to about 1991 in its original format. The Golden Nugget Casino still exists and has been used in five films, including “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Casino”, plus a TV series. Another still existing iconic sign is “THE BIGGEST LITTLE CITY IN THE WORLD” neon sign in Reno. It received neon lighting in 1939. The giant iconic “Route 66″ neon sign can be found in the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma.

Las Vegas is home to the world’s largest neon sign which is over 77,000 square feet. It is the property of the Hilton Hotel Corporation. At a price tag of almost $9 million it could also easily be called the world’s most expensive neon sign. Las Vegas and Times Square easily qualify as America’s only neon showcases due to their amounts of neon signage and the millions of visitors they get yearly.

Neon sign technology was developed in 1675 in France which was even before electricity was discovered. Georges Claude made the first neon sign in Paris in 1910. However, it wasn’t until 1912 when the first neon sign appeared in a Paris barbershop. In 1923, Anthony Earle, a Los Angeles auto dealer, brought two of them with the name Packard. According to some sources the prices paid were $2,500., $5,000., or $24,000. Times Square got its first one, Willys-Overland in 1924, but Las Vegas didn’t get its first neon sign, Caf Oasis Home, until 1929. Moscow’s Puskin Square received Russia’s illuminated sign, in 1989 which advertised a popular soft drink.

By Joseph Tedesco

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