15 July 2008

Where the neon lights are pretty....

Ok, this is an ecclectic post centering on the Neon Museum, an outdoor collection around Freemont Street of old neon signs from former casinos and other businesses. The museum began in 1996 by the Young Electric Sign Compnay, which had collected the signs in its sign "boneyard". From a nearby sign:"Neon lighting, introduced in Paris in 1910, offered a brilliant, and efficient, alternative to the incandescent light bulb. In the US, neon's popularity soared, used to advertise motels, restaurants, theatres, and even appeared on the Goodyear Blimp. The spectacular signs on Broadway's "Great White Way" became the ultimate neon display. Then just as quickly, its popularity faded. After WW2, skilled neon craftsmen retired and were not replaced. Less expensive, mass produced plastic signs became common. As the use of neon declined around the country, it found a new, unexpected life in Las Vegas. The first neon sign in Las Vegas was built in 1929, probably for the Oasis Cafe at 123 Freemont Street. The 1940s and 50s saw the birth of the Strip and "Glitter Gulch" downtown. The hotels raced each other for the biggest, tallest, and brightest casino sign. Las Vegas wanted to project an image of lights, glamour and excitement, and neon played a large role in creating that image. The signs dwarf the very buildings they are advertising." Above is the Aladdin's Lamp, installed at the Aladdin Hotel on Las Vegas Blvd in 1966. Installed in the museum on July 8, 1997.
This is the Museum's first sign, the Hacienda Horse and Rider, installed in 1967 at the Hacienda Hotel, and installed in the museum on November 15, 1996.
Andy Anderson, the Anderson Dairy mascot was installed in 1956 at the dairy on Las vegas Blvd. It became a part of the museum on July 8, 1997.

The Chief Hotel Court sign, installed around 1940 at the hotel on Freemont Street, joined the museum on July 3, 1997.


No comments: