Who Invented Neon Lights?

invented-neon-lights Credit: Milestoned/CC-BY-2.0

At the beginning of the 20th century, French engineer, chemist and inventor Georges Claude invented the neon lamp. He sent electricity into a tube of neon gas, which had been discovered by William Ramsey and M. Travers in 1898.

In 1910, Claude exhibited two 38-foot-long neon lamps at the Paris Exposition. The first neon business sign advertised a Parisian barber. By 1919, the entrance to the Paris Opera House was lit by blue and red neon.

Claude was awarded a U.S. patent for the lamp in 1915. Within eight years he was selling neon signs in America. A Los Angeles Packard car dealership purchased the first ones in America.