Neon signs are not as common as they once were and are now classified as collectors items or antiques. Those businesses that still have neon signs from an era when they were all the rage work to keep them preserved and in good condition because they are basically an art form! Neon signs first made their debut in 1910 at the Paris Motor Show when the bright signage was used by Georges Claude. The signs were such a hit, especially in the United States, and were used practically for every business and the like from 1920-1960. In fact by 1940 there were 2,000 plus businesses dedicated to making these electrifying signs! How are these signs actually set aglow? They are generally made up of long & luminous gas discharge tubes that contain rarefied neon and other types of gases to create the eccentric colors and bright, well neon lighting emitted from them!
Douglas Leigh designed many famous neon signs including ones that were installed in Times Square and that are still there today. After the decline of neon sign usage over the past few decades many big cities like New York are doing what they can to help preserve their signage as best as possible. After all the signs are relics and part of the cities they are found in history!