The first neon advertising sign was used for a Parisian barber in 1912. Since then, neon has been used to add color highlights to porcelain signs and advertising clocks, and to create highly ornate and even 'animated' neon signs for a wide variety of brands and retail establishments.

Some of the most collectible neon signs were custom-made or produced in small quantities in the 1940s and 50s for restaurants, shops, clubs, bars, hotels, burger joints, ice cream parlors, auto dealerships, gas stations, you name it. Then there are the more recent mass-produced neon signs, both outdoor and indoor, often representing beverage companies like Budweiser, Coca Cola, Pepsi, and other beer and soda brands.

As with all signs, condition is key, but especially with neon, since replacing it can be an expensive custom job, don't forget to find out if the neon still works!

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Advertising Antiques

Advertising Antiques

This classy looking British site features hundreds of high resolution photos of antique porcelain pre-war (enamel) … [read review or visit site]

Historical Marker Database

Historical Marker Database

If you're the type who pulls over when you see a 'historic marker ahead' sign, you'll love this site. Orchestrated … [read review or visit site]

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Ralph and Carol Falvo's excellent collection of automobiles, petroliana, jukeboxes, soda, and general store items. … [read review or visit site]

Other Great Reference Sites

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Recent News: Neon Signs

Source: Google News

'Bad scientist' creates neon noodles - but would you eat them for your dinner?, August 26th

But a neon sign-like version of Japanese noodles is believed to be a first. Many online users want to know what they tasted like after they were posted online by Japanese Twitter user Reraku, a self-proclaimed "bad scientist". He used the pictures to...Read more

A New Book Documents San Francisco's Disappearing Neon Signs
Co.Design, August 25th

San Francisco Neon captures a city nostalgic for what it once was, documenting places like the Castro Theater, whose flashing neon sign was designed by Timothy Pflueger and restored by Neon Works for the filming of Milk, the 2008 biopic on Harvey Milk...Read more

Broken neon sign a Route 66 eyesore
KOAT Albuquerque, August 23rd


An Ode to the Disappearing Neon Signs That Light Up the Streets of San Francisco
Slate Magazine (blog), August 23rd

After World War II, Barna said, neon became more affordable, and “even small business owners and corner stores could boast a neon sign and see their name in lights.” Compared to the neon behemoths of Times Square or Las Vegas, San Francisco's neon ...Read more

Photos: The dying art of the neon sign
PBS NewsHour (blog), August 21st

A man stands in the light of the neon sign at Paris Cotton Singlets Co. Ltd, 15 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay. “We've been here since 1971, and our neon sign has been with us the whole time. Now the sign is getting old; no one is willing to fix it. But we...Read more

Albuquerque Route 66 neon sign goes dark, city looks to renovate
KRQE News 13, August 19th

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A big, bright sign that is supposed to spruce up Central in Albuquerque and draw tourists to the old Route 66 is going dark. A portion of the neon-lit archway doesn't light up anymore. “It's something that the tourists first see...Read more

New neon sign to grace Downtown Memphis skyline
Memphis Business Journal, August 6th

A purple and red neon sign for 5 Spot, a restaurant behind Earnestine & Hazel's, was also approved with conditions. The design of a second-story sign, shaped like an arrow pointing toward the front door, was approved, but the DRB made a condition to...Read more

Relight the Night effort restores Greyhound neon sign
Idaho State Journal, August 6th

Relight the Night committee Chairman Randy Dixon said funds raised by last year's event helped provide the money to bring the Greyhound neon sign back to life. “The sign is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to that Greyhound building,” Dixon said...Read more