The Story Of Neon Signs
The Story Of Neon Signs
Among all the signage technologies available today, many business owners prefer neon signs due to the range of customization they offer. With these signs, businesses can get the logos, names and figures displayed on their signage, using the bright colours of their own choice. But have you ever wondered how the story of neon signs began?
The story began on May 25, 1676 when a noted scientist of that time, Jean Felix Picard was conducting some experiments with mercury barometer. During the experiment, he observed a slight glow inside the tube and later on, led the world towards the discovery of neon. The credit for the discovery of neon gas goes to Sir William Ramsay and Morris William Travers, two chemists who were of the view that the inert gases family mentioned in the periodic table is not complete. They kept trying to find out the missing inert gas until in 1898, they observed that the fractional distillation of liquid air forms a mixture of gases later named as helium and neon. This was the official discovery of neon gas and ever since then, the scientists and researchers have been trying to effectively use neon in the lighting and signage technologies.
It took a further 234 years to produce electric neon lamps. Georges Claude, for the first time on December 11, 1910, publicly displayed a neon gas filled lamp. The lamp used electric discharge which was applied to the neon-filled glass tube to produce light. Later, Claude formed a company called ‘Claude Neon’ which offered neon lamps and neon tubes which were capable of getting molded into virtually any shape.
The very same company of Georges Claude holds the credit for introducing first neon signs as well. In 1932, Claude Neon sold two neon signs to a Los Angeles based Packard car dealership. This was the foundation of neon signage industry, which
revolutionized the global marketing and advertisement business. Initially, only red, the natural colour of neon light, could be used in the neon signs. However, as the technology evolved, almost all shapes, sizes and colours became available and within no time, all types of business, ranging from restaurants to corporate consultancies, started using neon signs as the face of their business.
The mid twentieth century witnessed the peak of the neon signs. Later, due to the introduction of illuminated plastic signs and LED signs, the market share got divided. Nonetheless, the neon signs sustained in the competition and are still popular among the business owners.