Originally Posted by Wenders
Can't recall my source right now ( I have hundreds of books) but supposedly La Brea Packard dealer's neon sign wasn't only the first neon sign in L.A, but first in U.S.
Somebody visited France, saw a neon sign, and brought the idea to America.
Something like that.
Feel free to correct me if your sources are better than mine.
Originally Posted by CityBoyDoug
According to wiki [below], although this is still not a settled issue:
In 1923, Georges Claude and his French company Claude Neon introduced neon gas signs to the United States by selling two to a Packard car dealership in Los Angeles. Earle C. Anthony purchased the two signs reading "Packard" for $1,250 apiece. Neon lighting quickly became a popular fixture in outdoor advertising. Visible even in daylight, people would stop and stare at the first neon signs for hours, dubbed "liquid fire."
W: Please see if you can dust off the publications discussing the first neon and any
Earle C. Anthony -affiliated Packard dealership located at La Brea and Wilshire in the '20s or '30s.
I think the point of the post http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...ostcount=22397
was that much of what is assumed to be bedrock-entombed fact is unsubstantiated rumor. Rumor that sounds true, begets more rumor and, as someone else suggested, is similar to the benign game of telephone.
There is no doubt Earle Anthony was a 20th century pioneer. http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...ostcount=22408
He was “the” LA Packard dealer who, it seems safe to say, acquired neon signs for his LA and San Francisco dealerships in the mid-20's. The cited LA Times article explains that there is scant photographic or other contemporaneous evidence establishing exactly where and when the first sign or signs were placed. (Watch this video by the two researchers of this subject> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zE03azLgks
) There may have been other LA neons that preceded Anthony’s neon/s, but it is just that no one seemed to memorialize this fact when it occurred or the evidence is hidden in the LA Times underground car park.
As I understand it, part of the reason for the Anthony neon debate is a ‘50s commemorative event where casual assertions were made - but without any challenge to historic accuracy. The post suggests, despite popular belief, neon signs (including “Packard” signs) were “evidently” available for commercial use in other parts of the US - at least ten years earlier according to Jan 1914 publication “Signs of the Times.” (One assumes the publication date to be accurate, but one never knows . . . ) ("Evidently
," since the ad does not make clear it was offering neon versus traditional incandescent lighting.
Setting aside the notion of who installed, or was responsible for, LA’s first neon sign and the date of any installation, there is the location of any such signage. Per the LA Times article, if it was a Packard sign or a sign for a Packard dealership, the most likely place would have been downtown LA. Other than unsupported assertions, there does not seem to be any evidence of a Packard dealership at or even near the intersection of Wilshire and La Brea in the relevant ‘20s or ‘30s and it is anyone’s guess how this assumption started. La Brea once had a large conglomeration of auto sales lots and repair shops, some of which undoubtedly included Packard ( http://www.packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/dealer/
) but that does not establish the existence of an Anthony Packard dealership there or the first neon, except for maybe the first neon on La Brea). Big wattage signs were evident at the La Brea-Wilshire location, e.g., Fox Ritz, but it is not certain that these signs started as neon or naturally transitioned to the electrified gas. We tend to overlook the fact that there were big bright incandescent signs well before neon’s proliferation (see below). Parenthetically, I distinctly recall a discussion in this thread concerning the illumination of an 1876 pistol or shooting gallery sign that probably started out as being gas or candle powered.
What happened to that old palm tree in front of the train station? http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...ostcount=14577
Interesting and colorful discussion of NY neons> http://nyneon.blogspot.com/2012_09_01_archive.html
Although it does not seem to be illuminated, the sign above the entrances (bottom right hand corner) looks like it could be neon and maybe
it was one of "the two" Packard signs with which Anthony decorated his dealership.
"The" sign generally touted as being the first in LA. (Address and date??)
Pre neon heavy wattage incandescents?
If these dates are to be believed, e.g., 1915 - this would predate the generally accepted idea of neon's first (widespread) use in LA by several years.
1915 - Tally's on Broadway