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

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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

Sweden Spots a Russian Submarine, 99 Years Late
New York Times, July 29th

The unusual “subsurface sonar system” is a box with a neon sign of a gyrating sailor in white underwear and a cap. The group submerged the box, which sends out the message, “This way if you are gay” in Morse code through the water in what the group...Read more

Neon signs being refurbished under city program
Arizona Daily Star, July 26th

The code, created in 1966, deemed many signs to be too tall, too big or too close to the highway, said Carlos Lozano, a neon sign enthusiast and chairman of the historic landmark sign subcommittee of the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission...Read more

Neon Knights: Long-time lights are making a hip comeback
Chattanooga Times Free Press, July 19th

Last week, Ortwein finished a red-and-white neon sign for Puckett's Grocery restaurant near the Tennessee Aquarium. Other Ortwein signs that bloom when dusk falls around Chattanooga: May Brothers Auto on Brainerd Road, Big River Grille at Hamilton ...Read more

Watch new neon signs light up the night sky in Old Town Saginaw, July 19th

Watch time lapse of neon sign installation in Saginaw Watch crews from Barrett Sign Company install a large neon sign that once hung outside Aubry's Cleaners in downtown Saginaw. The sign joins several others in Old Town Saginaw's "neon sign park," ...Read more

Neon tango sign getting some TLC
WGRZ-TV, July 15th

BUFFALO, NY-- 2 On Your Side received calls from some concerned Elmwood Village residents when they saw workers taking down a well-known neon sign. We're talking about the neon sign at Elmwood and Bidwell showing two dancers doing the tango...Read more

OR neon sign to be refurbished
Observer-Reporter, July 14th

O-R neon sign to be refurbished. Photo of Barbara Miller. By Barbara Miller. Staff Writer. Image description. Katie Roupe/Observer-Reporter. Brian Price lays the letters on chicken wire netting while Park Patterson hands letters to Anthony Sibert to...Read more

Jail chief: 'We should have a neon sign out back that says: No Vacancy'
KVAL, July 8th

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Commanders at the Benton County Jail have a problem that won't go away. For too many nights every month, there's no room at the inn. "We have joked in the past that we should have a neon sign out back that says: No Vacancy," said ...Read more

New York's disappearing neon signs: the city flips the switch on its colorful ...
The Guardian, July 6th

When Earle C Anthony installed his luminous Packard neon sign – the very first in the United States – outside his Los Angeles car dealership in 1923, “liquid fire”, as neon was then dubbed, had already spread across Europe but not quite grabbed New...Read more