The History and the evolution of Neons
Neon Signage has come a long way since the early 1900’s and seen a fair few highs and lows during its lifetime, but with a vast proportion of homes and business’s bringing the glow back, we take a look at the history, style and current availability of the Neon Sign.
The First Neons In France
Invented by Frenchman Georges Claude – who had taken inspiration from the earlier Geissler and Moore Tubes – Claude first showcased two lengths of twelve metre bright red Neon tubes at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. What a sight that must have been for the Parisians!
Realising the Neon’s popularity, Claude soon opened Claude Neon and by 1919 the likes of Italian brand Cizano and the Palais Garnier Opera House were both displaying Neon signage.
Fast forward a few years to 1923, and Neon had made it across the pond thanks to forward-thinking auto businessman Earle C Anthony who commissioned two red giant Neon signs spelling out Packard. Anthony placed the two signs on the top of a downtown hotel on the corner of 7th and Flowers Street, Los Angeles, in an attempt to promote his auto business like never before. So bright was the glow, it stopped people in their tracks and was even visible during daylight hours.
What month do you normally buy your Christmas Gifts? As material shortages get worse world-wide, and price hikes go crazy, its time to buy your Neon Lights well before October this year…. – Nick Smith
The Golden Age of Neon was born, and it would continue through many decades to come. The Neon was the ultimate way to advertise. Hotdog stands, nightclubs, car dealerships and everything else in between jumped on the illuminated bandwagon. Vegas and Times Square are very much seen as the home of Neon, with the “Welcome to Las Vegas” still being one of the most famous signs to date.
The 1950’s proved ever popular, and the slump in the Neon sales wasn’t witnessed until the end of the 60’s, when the LED – a cheaper alternative – was invented and growing in popularity. A small revival was experienced during the eighties thanks to the likes of exotic TV Shows like Miami Vice and Magnum PI promoting the Neon, but this was short lived with the affordable LED’ continuing to grow in popularity during the 90’s and 00’s.
The Lifespan of a Neon Light?
Despite the ups and downs over the years, there is no denying the huge growth in popularity of Neons during the last few years. No longer is the Neon seen as an advertising trick for businesses alone – these gas-filled illuminations have made it into the majority of homes across the world! And why not? Whilst the components have always proved expensive, the flooded Neon market means there’s an affordable piece for most households nowadays. The quality or lifespan (most Neon’s last between eight to fifteen years) may be somewhat questionable, but the effect is still achievable for most.
To add to this, Neon signs guarantee to add a pop of colour to any space, whilst the gentle glow is a lot easier on the eye than some other lighting options. Then there’s the nostalgic aspect. Neon signs never fail to remind of us days gone by – a time when the world was a better place – no mobile phones, no internet, communication and good manners. What’s not to love?!
Get Custom Signs Made?
Neon signs are still a popular choice for many, with businesses or couples seeing it as a way to express themselves and add a personal touch to their space. Whatever your Neon choice, there’s no denying there really is something for everyone. Or is there?
Slow supply chains because of Covid or Brexit?
Difficulties in the supply of many products and materials has been seen worldwide since the Coronavirus pandemic struck back in 2020. The initial hit wasn’t felt immediately but as we progress towards the latter end of 2021, its clear to see the shortages in full swing and unfortunately Neon signs have proved part of the issue. Add Brexit’s extra paperwork, port delays and transport issues into the mix, and you can begin to understand why your order might not be with you when you had anticipated.
With areas of the world still being stuck in lockdowns or manufacturers working under strict new guidelines, the lack of materials and man-hours has very much caused a delay in the supply chain of Neons. As we head towards the most wonderful time of the year, also known as Christmas, the advice from Neon retailers is to be organised and order in advance.
September may only just be upon us but if you want that festive wrapped Neon Sign under the tree this Christmas, the only option is to order sooner rather than later. With manufacturers stating “Order now, receive in 2022”, there really is no time to lose. Thankfully there is one reputable Neon Sign retailer who has their stock levels in check, having anticipated the usual demand in advance. Smithers showcases a fantastic collection of Neon signs which cover a wide range of choice and affordability for all.
To summarise, it stands clear Neon Signs are here to stay. As the nation becomes braver in their interior styles, gone are the highs and lows of the 20th century for the Neon. Choice, style and individuality all come as standard for the Neon purchasers today – you just need to be organised to ensure you actually receive your golden glow!!
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