The lights of the city … always noticeable. We’re so used to neon signs that we can’t imagine the streets without them. December 3rd marks the 110th anniversary of the first public use of neon lights. It was the work of French chemist Georges Claude during the celebration of the Paris Motor Show in 1910. The appearance of neon lights would change the urban look forever.
Claude was the first. He gave a sealed tube of neon gas with an electric shock the idea of making a lamp. Neon was discovered by William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers in 1898. They studied the lighting properties in vacuum tubes. Colored light is created by passing electrical current through inert gases in the tube.
This effect occurred after decades of experimentation; They wanted to create a practical alternative to the incandescent lamp.
Immediately after the discovery of neon, neon tubes began to be used in scientific instruments and innovations. However, the lack of pure neon gas precluded its application for electric discharge lighting. This was consistent with Moore’s pipe, which normally worked with nitrogen or carbon dioxide as the gases. They had had some commercial success in the United States by the early 1900s.
After 1902, Georges Claude’s French company Air Liquide began producing industrial quantities of neon. Basically, they did it as a by-product of their air liquefaction business.
From December 3 to 10, 1910, Claude exhibited two bright red neon tubes, each 12 meters in length, at the Paris Motor Show. The appearance of the neon lights left behind a flash that would not fade.