Featured Collection of the Month

 Neon Signs


     was first invented in 1910 by Georges Claude, in Paris.  It took about 20 years for it to catch on and become popular.  It was not until 1923 that neon was introduced to the United States.  "In the thirties, neon was regarded as the epitome of glamour and progress, and it rapidly achieved the status of a popular art form."  This popularity was however, short lived.  By the fifties, neon had lost much of its ground, to "new lighting techniques, rising costs, and a general decline in the standards of craftsmanship."  "Poor maintenance and a popular association with bars and strip joints further lowered its reputation."  

     Despite the publics loss of interest, neon has steadily gained its ground back.  Today neon is quite popular and due to its versatility is used in a wide variety of applications.  There are several steps in the actual neon tube production.  First, glass tubes are heated by flame and bent by hand to the specifications needed.  According to Michael Webb in his book The Magic of Neon:

     "Electrodes are then fused to either end of the tube, and the air is partly evacuated through a tiny vent.  The tube is cleansed by bombarding it with up to 30,000 volts.  The loosened impurities are then removed by a vacuum pump.  An inert gas - usually neon, or argon mixed with a little mercury - is introduced, and the tube is sealed.  A transformer feeds about 15,000 volts to the electrodes, and this causes the gas to ionize and hence to glow brightly with a steady light." 

     Today, there are over 150 colors available with the use of phosphor coated tubing (coated inside the tube) and a number of different gasses.  The Antique Warehouse Collection features over 25 neon signs.  Many of which are also porcelain.  Currently we have 20 of these signs categorized on this web site.  The signs range in size from a small 24" circle sign, to a enormous drive in movie theater sign, with neon, florescent and incandescent lighting.

     Many of the signs in our collection have been restored by our in house restoration team.  Our team only restores the actual sign itself, and the neon is made by specialist offsite.  Click on any of the images below to view our collection page, featuring many of the signs in our collection.

Michael Webb.  The Magic of Neon, 1984.

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