Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Sex Maniac


Don't usually post posters, but this one has to be a cult classic from yesteryear

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Parkway Lanes Anthony Sacco--Third Place in Retro Blog Contest on Fine Art America


Blue Swallow Motel--Suzanne Wilkinson First Place Winner of Retro Sign Contest at Fine Art America


Suzanne Wilkinson is a photographer that loves to travel and enjoy life. Photography allows her to share her life's adventures, love for nature, and other cultures with others. As a retired teachers assistant, she now travels with her husband across the United States living life to the fullest and eating dessert first! While not traveling, she spends time with family and loved ones. 


Suzanne is rarely seen without a camera in hand. Photographs include a large variety of subjects, including floral, landscapes, portraits, and animals.

Suzanne's images have won numerous awards and Best of Shows in local contests. Local themed artworks were also sold in one of the gift shops near her home. Recently her images from Mesa Verde were selected to be in two National Park Gallery showings in Rochester, NY.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Cameo Theater in --Second Place in Retro Signs Contest at Fine Art America

'The original Cameo Theatre was built in 1925 at Bristol, Virginia. The seating capacity was 700, and the project cost $125,000. The theatre was said to be a theatre devoted to motion pictures, vaudeville and legitimate attractions. As of 2021, the newly restored Cameo Theatre is being opened as a venue for musical groups. The beautiful new sign for the Cameo Theatre as shown in this photograph was erected in 2021.'

Thursday, July 07, 2022

History of Neon Sign Development


Timeline of Neon Sign Development

The text and time line illustrates the rise and fall of modern neon signage from neon's inception to the 40s and 50s, when huge roadside theme signs  lured motorists and pedestrians to local businesses, with blinking lights spelling out a theme from fantasy tropical lands to trips to outer space.

Increasing laws prohibiting large signs in the '60s and '70s, peaking with Lady Bird Johnson’s highway beautification program, was an era where neon tubes and light bulbs being replaced with less visible plastic backlit signage.

New Inventions

1643 Evangelista Torricelli invented the barometer from using a liquid in a tube.
1671 French astronomer Jean Picard observes a glow in a mercury barometer tube.

1855 Heinrich Geissler, a German glassblower, get gas to glow at low pressure inside a tube with electric current running through it.
1878 Thomas Edison invents the light bulb.
1880's (late) First electric trolley cars

1891 First large electrical sign, "Manhattan Beach Swept By Ocean Breezes."
1898 William Ramsey and M. W. Travers discover neon gas in London. 1902 French inventor Georges Claude applies an electrical discharge to a sealed tube of neon gas to create a lamp.

1906 75,000 lit signs in the United States.
1909 First Model T, first mass-produced signs.
1910 Georges Claude displays the first neon lamp in Paris.
1911 First municipal sign ordinances.
1912 First commercial neon signs in Paris.
1916 Federal Roads Act brings many funds to United States highway construction.
1920s (early) First neon signs in United States for a Packard dealership in Los Angeles.

1926 Erich Koch invents fluorescent lamps.
1926 Route 66 officially dedicated, the first highway
in America to be uniformly signed from one state to the next.

The Golden Age of Neon

1932 President Franklin Roosevelt’s Road Improvement Act.
1936 Herbert's Drive-In, Los Angeles is the first drive-in to address the automobile.
1942 Metal signs banned because of World War II.
1946 Plastics manufacturers apply technology to sign applications by improving durability and color.
1946 Gangster Bugsy Siegel opens the Flamingo Hotel with it’s huge sign of fluttering neon feathers, the first in the area of the Las Vegas “Strip.” 1949 Soviet Union explodes first nuclear weapon, "Joe One."
1951 Internally lit signs outpace neon signs. November 1, 1952 America first tested a hydrogen bomb. Atomic and rocket themes become theme for sign makers.
Mid 1950's Synthetic plastic becomes the 4th largest basic industry in America behind steel, lumber and glass. Plastic backlit signs began to appear.
1959 Growth in number and size causes many municipalities to regulate signs.
1964 God’s Own Junkyard: The Planned Deterioration of America’s Landscape by Peter Blake published; derides America’s glut of signage.

Neon’s Demise

1965 Highway Beautification Act. Lady Bird Johnson addresses White House Conference On Natural Beauty, saying: "Pleasing vistas and attractive roadside scenes" to replace" endless corridors walled in neon, junk and ruined landscape." Text of address will be included in sidebar along with image of the former first lady.

1973 Sign codes become common across America.
1981 Museum of Neon Art opens in Los Angeles.
1982 Society for Commercial Archaeology saves Boston's Citgo sign. 1987 Las Vegas preservationists nab the 5th Street Liquor sign, then, using borrowed trucks and cranes to rescue a dozen more. 

2000s LED lighting use became widespread 


Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Texas Store


Texas Store was taken in 2003 in El Paso Texas with a Rebel 350d

This is a one-of-a-kind sign that no longer exists on the ground or on the Internet. It's 1960s neon from downtown El Paso Texas.