A Century Aglow

Do you know what tomorrow (December 3rd) is? It is a happy anniversary—the centennial of the introduction of neon signage. Whoooo! Happy birthday, neon! I am trying not to think that neon’s life span might be drawing to an end—I’ve seen for myself that there are still amazing and beautiful neon signs to be found all over New York, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and other big cities and small towns across the country. Well, maybe not all over, but enough places that I don’t despair of living in an LED world. At least not yet. But neon signs are expensive to instal, to run, and to repair, so I fear for the future as more and more of the largest and most amazing signs fall into disrepair or are replaced by (shudder) LEDs.

Tomorrow evening after the sun goes down (oh so early these days!), I’m going to stop and admire the glow of electrified neon (there are a couple of good signs near my new work!), sometimes lurid and sometimes cheerful, that promises all kinds of things from frozen custard to fresh fish. And I realize looking through my Flickr photos that I have done a poor job of documenting New York’s neon. That needs to change, starting tomorrow.

I hope neon signs are around to light up the night a hundred years in the future.



This entry was posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 and is filed under architecture, design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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