A brief history of the gas discharge tube, and the first public demonstration of the neon discharge tube 102 years ago today.
Claude’s associate, Jacques Fonseque, sold the first neon-advertising sign to a Paris barber in 1912. The next year saw a breakthrough, as boulevardiers gazed upon 3.5-foot neon letters spelling “CINZANO.”
Claude had applied for a U.S. patent Nov. 9, 1911, and Patent 1,125,476 was awarded Jan. 9, 1915. Claude then sold licenses to the new invention in other countries.