Neon is an excellent option to make your sign be noticed, particularly in the evening. The type of sign that you choose to use is instantly recognizable and can be seen across Route 66 up to Las Vegas. It is deeply grounded in Americana and its iconic design is appropriate for any street in the city. Neon signs are an intriguing combination of art and science. Let’s take a close review of the process and discover the steps to create these signs.
The neon sign is made up of a tube made of glass that is filled with gas. The tube lights when an electric current flows through it. The gas that glows is typically neon, however, it could be created by combining other gasses. Heinrich Geissler, a scientist in the 19th century, discovered that an alternating voltage of high voltage could be transmitted through a gas of low pressure contained in a glass tube to produce an energy source. Most gasses can carry this current, and most will generate light. However, they are not all capable of holding the light. Common gases such as carbon dioxide can interfere with the effectiveness of the electrodes, causing the light to fade rapidly.
Sir William Ramsay, Morris William Travers, and Morris William Travers discovered neon, argon, and krypton in the year 1898. They could use these gases inside sealed glass tubes to create different colored lighting sources. The tubes did not affect the efficiency of the electrodes. While neon gas creates bright reddish-orange colors while argon gas produces violet or grayish-blue.
The process of distilling neon and argon was costly and difficult to obtain for a time, in 1907, Georges Claude of France, Karl von Linde from Germany, and Karl von Linde from Germany were working on a method to distill oxygen for hospitals. They realized that the rare gases were produced as a byproduct. Claude began looking for ways to make use of the gasses. He was inspired by the work of Ramsay and Travers and pushed for lighted neon signs. One of them was displayed at an exhibition in Paris exhibition in 1910. He had already created the first commercial display in 1912. In 1915, he could establish a company and even offer franchises.
Earle C. Anthony, a Los Angeles car dealer, bought two of the custom neon signs Claude made to use in his Packard dealership. Then, he introduced custom neon signs to America. The custom neon signs gained traction slowly, but they did so. They first appeared in casinos in Las Vegas in the 1940s. But neon signs gained a lot of popularity during the 1960s and 1950s when fluorescent tubes were utilized to light the interior of the sign. But, neon has made an impressive return in recent years and is now in more locations.
What is the process of making it?
Tubing is the initial stage in the production of neon signs. The long glass tubes are cleaned before being placed into a machine that blows the liquid phosphor suspension inside the tubes. Then, it will let it run down and then cover the tubes. The tubes are then dried in an oven. The tubes are dried in the oven. It is possible to leave the tubes that are blue or red uncoated since the neon gas and other argon gases can create these colors on their own.
Then, the tubing has to be bent to form. A large-scale template is made using asbestos. The tube is carefully heated and softened by the burners. Tubes are individually bent by hand, following the design. Tube benders do not require protective gloves since they have to be able to feel the heat and softness to bend the tube at the correct time. A hose that is flexible known as a blowhole is connected to one end of the tube. The bender of the tube is gentle in blowing into it to bring the tubing back to its original dimensions.
To eliminate contaminants, the tube must be bombarded. The tube is then heated before being vacuumed to remove the air. The tube won’t hold its light when this step is not completed. After the tubes have been cooled and cooled, they are filled with gas purified, and sealed. To boost the power of the gas argon it is added a small amount typically added.
When the tube is filled with the gas intended to be the tube must undergo an aging process, also known as “burning within the tubes.” This lets the gas stabilize and function properly. The electrode is attached to a transformer which can run a current through it. The current is typically slightly more than that shown on the label. The tube is then allowed to shine for some time. The tube is supposed to be lit for about 15 minutes using neon gas. But, argon may be used and can last for up to several hours. If there is any issue during the procedure (e.g. a flickering or hot spot) then the tube needs to be opened, bombarded, and filled.
The sign is ready to be erected after this stage is completed. It is contingent on the size of the sign. Large signs may require a long time to put up. But, the bright light and vibrant neon colors of the classic neon signs are worth the wait!