Where do you go when you’re looking for a quick recharge? To the National Neon Sign Museum in The Dalles, Oregon, of course!
On the main floor, you’ll see a rainbow of neon colors. The signs on display are from the late 1800s through the 1960s.
Do you recognize any of these iconic signs?
How about this wall filled with Coca Cola signs?
You can see car dealerships and gas station signs here.
The flying horse from Mobile has always been one of my favorites.
The one from Cadillac is colorful and classy.
Some make you smile.
Even when not lit up, the artwork is impressive. I liked these three whimsical signs.
In another section of the main floor, there is a brief history of the process.
Signs from businesses line this room’s walls. I especially liked the 3-dimensional Regal cowboy boot.
French engineer and inventor Georges Claude is credited with inventing and commercializing neon lighting. He obtained a patent on his System of Illuminating by Luminescent Tubes on January 19, 1915. Claude held a monopoly on this type of product until the early 1930s.
The photo below, taken at the 1910 Paris Motor Show, shows the first public display of neon lights in the world.
The first picture below shows an early sign for the Claude Neon Sign business. The second shows the Claude Neon Float in the 1929 Shrine Electrical Pageant in Los Angeles, California.
National Neon Sign Museum Ballroom
Upstairs, there’s a large room, set up to look like an old town, called the Ballroom. As you may have guessed, you can rent it out for events.
You can see Medich’s BBQ restaurant and a shoe repair business below.
This picture shows Town Pride Frozen Custard restaurant.
Here’s a Philco store, complete with the iconic dog.
This shows a hat store, the BBQ restaurant, and the Vincent Hotel.
When we visited a week ago, they told us to stay tuned for big news. We just learned the National Neon Sign Museum was selected as the new home for the historic Jantzen Beach Carousel. Since the carousel uses more than 1,300 lightbulbs, it’s a good fit for the Museum.
Once restored, it will be placed on a lot next to the Museum. This large carousel measures 67 feet across and 28 feet high.
This carousel was located in Venice, California in 1921, then moved to Portland, Oregon in 1928. It operated at Jantzen Beach, and at another location nearby, until 2012. The carousel was donated to Restore Oregon in 2017. They will work in partnership with the Museum to repair and repaint the carousel’s 72 horses (and 10 spares).