The Neon Boneyard, where old signs go to die.
Ever since I visited the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, I’ve been fascinated with old neon signs. So many of us are able to immediately elicit an image of neon signs in our mind when we hear the words, but we’re probably unaware of just how scarce neon signs are becoming in this digital LED age.
Take a look at this picture of the Las Vegas Strip:
There’s very little neon, if any, pictured here.
You start to realize that neon signs are a thing of the past. Luckily, it’s been preserved in places like the American Sign Museum and the Neon Boneyard. The background and artistry of neon signs is fascinating. Try to visit at least one of these archives, if not both.
While the American Sign Museum is mostly an indoor museum, the Neon Boneyard is outdoors. Visitors are warned to wear closed-toe shoes and stay on the path because there is broken glass and some jagged metal around the signs. At the Neon Boneyard, the signs are left to the elements and are deteriorating with time.
But the stories and inspiration behind the signs is kept intact. The Neon Boneyard holds tours day and night so that visitors can learn more about iconic signs such as my favorite, the STARDUST sign inspired by the almost daily views of atomic testing happening nearby, a year after Russia revealed Sputnik.
But all the signs have a story behind them.
Which sign(s) intrigue you?