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New Stuff and Inspiration

Neon Museum




For those among us who have a soft spot for vintage lettering, and Las Vegas lore, we can now wander among some of the classic neon signs that once lit up the strip. Neon Museum opened last week in Las Vegas. The new outdoor museum has a collection of 150 Las Vegas signs from as far back as the 1930’s.

Many of these come from what Young Electric Sign Company used to call ‘the boneyard.’ The boneyard was a place where old signs used to go, not to die, but to teach. YESCO sign designers would make a mecca to the boneyard to learn from the lumbering beasts whatever they could take away about engineering, graphic design and culture. And YESCO gave numerous private tours by appointment only. It was a place where signs were revered and the importance of the signage industry on American culture was easily understood. Now, they are on display for all to see.

Why so much love for these old signs? They were designed by “craftsman from a bygone era, when people drew with pencils, heated and bent glass tubes, filled the glass with neon and argon gas, cut and shaped metal and fiberglass, and then hoisted larger-than-life tableaus onto buildings and above roads filled with men and women who were falling in love with cars.” NYT

“Several fonts were created and became widely used, including Atomic Age letters from the early signs of the Stardust, which was demolished in 2007.” NYT