A sign on the side of an abandoned business caught my eye as my daughter and I drove away from the theatre where we had just seen Midnight in Paris. In the movie, the protagonist (the Woody Allen Would-Be) fantasizes about living in Paris in the 20’s. I realized as I sighed over this sign, that I too had a soft spot for another time… a time when the retailscapes weren’t papered with nondescript, uninviting mall signs… when even the florist envisioned his name popping up in lights.
Tom pointed me to a museum of abandoned neon signs in Las Vegas that is ingeniously curated junkyard-style so visitors can wind their way among the ruins of creativity in gaseous marketing. At one time these signs hung from great heights over and on interesting businesses. The neon technology (neon comes from the Greek word “neos” meaning new gas) was patented by a Frenchman named Georges Claude in 1923 and using this ability to make things glow, he created his sign company, Claude Neon. When Earle Anthony, an entrepreneur in the U.S. saw the light, he ordered two signs reading “Packard” for $24,000!
Here are some shots from Boneyard in Vegas.