The Dawn of Neon: Tracing the First Neon Sign's Creation

When Was the First Neon Sign Made


Neon signs have become a ubiquitous part of urban landscapes, but their origin story is as colorful and fascinating as the lights themselves. This article explores the inception of the first neon sign, marking a significant moment in both technological and advertising history.

The Invention of Neon Lights

The story of neon signs begins with the discovery of neon gas in 1898 by Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers. However, it wasn't until the early 20th century that the potential of neon was realized for signage. The key breakthrough came with Georges Claude, a French engineer, who developed the first neon lamp.

Georges Claude: The Pioneer of Neon Lighting

Georges Claude, often hailed as the 'Edison of Neon,' played a pivotal role in bringing neon lighting to the world. He demonstrated the first neon lamp in December 1910 at the Paris Motor Show. His invention captured the attention of the public and set the stage for the widespread use of neon signs.

Historical Neon Sign Invented by Georges Claude in 1910

The First Neon Sign: A Landmark in Advertising

The first neon sign was reportedly made by Claude in 1912 for a barber shop in Paris. This sign marked the birth of neon as a tool for advertising, attracting passersby with its unprecedented brightness and color.

The Rise of Neon Signs in the 1920s and 1930s

Neon signs quickly gained popularity, especially in the United States. The first American neon sign was installed in 1923 at a Packard car dealership in Los Angeles. From there, neon signs began to light up the streets of major cities, symbolizing modernity and progress.

Impact on Urban Aesthetics and Culture

Neon signs transformed the urban nightscapes. They became synonymous with the energy and excitement of city life, finding their way into pop culture, cinema, and literature. Neon represented the glamour and allure of the modern age.

Pioneering Neon Sign: The First Ever Created in 1910

Neon's Legacy and Evolution

Despite the rise of LED technology, neon signs hold a special place in our cultural memory. They are revered not just for their aesthetic appeal but also for their historical significance. Today, neon signs are celebrated for their artistry and are often preserved as cultural artifacts.


The creation of the first neon sign was not just a technological feat; it was a milestone in the evolution of advertising and urban design. Neon signs, with their bright, alluring glow, continue to fascinate and inspire, remaining a symbol of innovation and artistic expression.


December 21, 2023 — MIMI

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