The word neon was coined from the Greek "neos", which means new gas. The inert gas Neon which gives the neon sign its distinct color and brightness was discovered in 1898 by Scottish chemist William Ramsay and the English scientist Morris Travers. It occurs naturally in the atmosphere, albeit in minute quantities.
The Geissler tube was the forerunner of modern-day neon light. Although this tube was not intended for commercial use it actually made it possible for scientists to study electrical glow discharge.
The year 1923 saw the crossing of the neon signs from Europe to America. However, it was during the 1950’s that the neon signs reached its pinnacle of popularity with places like Times Square and Las Vegas making use of it in every possible way.
What started as a simple way to study electrical glow discharge has grown into an important part of our business community. The next time you pass by a business with that familiar glow in the window, keep in mind that you are staring at something that has long been part of man’s history.