Friday, July 03, 2020

Neon's Glow

Neon’s kinetic radiance turned the great sign of the mid-century into a symbol of American
optimism that spread throughout the world. Imagine
how a reddish orange glow was achieved in a vacuum discharge tube and
how the signs are molded and assembled.

Craftsmanship is the primary attribute in sign construction. Neon
signs are made by displacing air in tubes with neon. First, the sign maker
bends the tubes, a tricky, yet artistic task as each letter must conform to
the other and like letters must be bent in exactly the same shape.

To make the neon glow, an electric current must flow thorough the
tube. The colors depend on the mixture of gasses inside the tube, usually
neon, argon and mercury.

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