Introduction to Neon Signs

20th of October 2009 1

Introduction to Neon Signs

The first Neon sign was seen in 1910 at the Grand Palais exhibition in Paris. This was created by George Claude. In 1923, Earle C. Anthony came back to his hometown Los Angeles after a business trip from Paris. He purchased two Neon signs from Paris which he wanted to use it to advertise for Packard dealership at Wilshire and La Brea in Hollywood. This was the first neon commercial signs in the United States.

George Claude invented this method. He filled the glass tubes with Neon gas and illuminated them. Then glass tubes were bent with the help of a flame. Then electrodes were attached, air was removed by a vacuum and the tube was heated to remove any impurities before Claude pumped in the gas. Different colors are created with the help of different gases. Like neon gas gives red color; argon gas provides blue color; and any other gas can create any desired color. Many Neon training programs was established because of a sudden increase in the neon industry. But the only structured and organized training program was Egani Institute which was located on 125th street between Fifth and Madison Avenues in New York City. This institute was found by Edward Seise in 1930, and continued operations until 1971, when he retired. He taught this process to nearly 85% of all the glass benders in United States. Electricity is imperceptible but provides convenience and comfort to human life.

Neon has a special type of lighting known as gas discharge lighting. Fluorescent, mercury vapor, sodium vapor and neon lamps are examples of different types of gas discharging lighting. Neon is one of the six noble gases that are found in the atmosphere. Others include argon, helium, krypton, xenon and radon. Neon creates red light, argon with a trace of mercury added creates a blue light; helium creates pale yellow light; krypton generates a white light with a purplish tint, and xenon a white/blue light.

Neon and argon gases are not dangerous as they are inert gases and display great stability and extremely low reaction rates. If there are minute droplets of mercury in some colors they are safe as long as the tube is not broken. Improper handling may harm the environment and health. Because of this reason many neon shops do not repair broken argon-mercury tube.

To Summarize, neon and argon gas is mostly used in neon tubing. Most of the neon tubes are handmade, therefore each tube is considered unique.

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1 great comment(s) for this post

  1. carbyMotor 6:04 pm 21/10 of 2009

    great article! Yeah, neon signs have always been quite cool i think :)

    Reply

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