January 19, 1915: The neon sign is born

Once you’ve made yourself dizzy with grand leaps about the inextinguishable energy of commerce or the beacon of the American dream or even the fiery sleep-robbing power of business or the loneliness of an OPEN sign on a dark, snowy night:

packard neon light

The first commercial neon sign, commissioned by an LA auto dealer, spelled out Packard.

Feel free to run with that one.

You can read a brief history of neon in New York Magazine, a lengthier history of neon at the website of the American Sign Museum, or just take a moment to appreciate the next few neon signs you see this evening. Especially if they symbolize collapsing industries or broken dreams.

#american sign museum#bad detroit metaphors#neon#packard