The neon sign is the epitome of retro chic and a true icon of American culture. It is a popular decoration for restaurants, stores, bars and other commercial establishments as well as homes and private collections. These electric, luminous tube signs contain rarefied neon or other gases and are powered by transformers running at voltages up to 15 kV.
Neon offers an extensive range of colors and effects, making it a perfect choice for eye-catching, attention grabbing signage that aligns with a business’ brand identity. LEDs, on the other hand, struggle to replicate this wide color palette and often look drab and lifeless by comparison.
Porcelain neon signs are among the most desirable of all vintage neon signs and fetch a premium price with collectors. They were custom-made in small quantities in the 1940s and 50s and displayed above a variety of businesses, including shops, clubs, hotels, diners, ice cream parlors, auto dealerships and gas stations. Some of these signs still have the original neon tubes intact and are fully functional.
While it is occasionally possible to re-use existing neon tubing in a porcelain sign (provided there is no mercury present), NHPC prefers to completely restore all of the components of an inoperable sign. This involves reconditioning the metal cabinet, re-making the neon tubing and replacing the internal electrical components.
Unlike modern mass-produced neon, which uses clear glass tubing coated with translucent paint to produce colored light, antique porcelain signs were originally fabricated using pure glass and a high quality of workmanship that holds up over time. Unfortunately, over time elevated temperatures, thermal cycling and exposure to the elements cause these paints to flake and the tubing to change color. This is why many original signs that came into NHPC’s possession were not restored with historical accuracy and why the majority of the signs currently at NHPC are non-functional.
A well-done sign is a thing of beauty, but a poorly executed one is an eyesore. The best way to achieve a beautiful sign is to use a skilled professional to fabricate and install it. This will ensure the sign is a quality product that will stand the test of time and provide years of enjoyment.
These signs are a beautiful addition to any business or home porcelain neon signs, and they can be used in an infinite number of ways. They can be hung from the ceiling, placed on shelves, or even used as backlighting for art. No matter where you decide to display your sign, it is sure to be the center of attention and a conversation piece for all who visit. Adding an authentic touch to your space has never been easier. Porcelain neon signs are a great option for those who want to make a statement with their decor. Contact a sign expert today to learn more about these unique and versatile signs. They can help you choose the right size, font and design that will complement your space.