Famous Electric Signs

By on October 24, 2013

Some of the most famous signs are scattered around the world, congregating in some areas that are particularly known for flashy things. These electric signs are important fixtures in the communities they are in. Everybody from tourists to those living near loves the look of these signs.

One of the main features of the electric sign is to attract people. From flashing lights to just a simple indication of where things are located. Get familiar with some of the most famous electric signs. Many of them have a historical significance hidden behind them.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas

The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is one of the most recognized signs in the world. It has a vast history, and is seen by many people every day. It was funded in May of 1959, and since that point has been a fixture on the southern end of the Strip.

The sign is classified as a classic roadside pole design set 25 feet high. It is mounted on two flat poles, which join at the top. The sign is a diamond shape that has been stretched horizontally. It is lit internally with a border of flashing lights roaming around the outline. There are also neon circles across the top of the sign, and white neon circles which each has a painted letter spelling out Welcome.

The original intent for the sign was to create something that looked unique, and spelled out something completely different than any other city sign. Because the designer Betty Willis considered the sign her gift to the city, she never copyrighted, allowing the image to be reproduced by many.

The sign hasn’t stayed lit throughout its entire history. In October of 1999 the sign was dark for a while when another company purchased the company that had paid the power bill previously. This new company realized the mistake and paid part of the overdue balance, bringing the sign back to life.

Multiple replicas of the sign have been made, the first in 2002. It was brought about by the Las Vegas City Council and placed inside the city limits. In 2008, a small parking lot was built to accommodate the thousands of visitors that came to see the sign every day. In 2012, plans to add more spaces to the spot became necessary, tripling the amount of spaces.

The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is so popular it has made its way into many of the souvenirs of Vegas. These souvenirs span everything from tee shirts to small collectable replicas. Some of the sales go towards good causes, such as the Nevada Cancer Institute. In 2005 the sign was used on the Nevada license plate that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the city.

Chicago Theater sign

Chicago Theater

The sign designating the Chicago Theater is one the most famous signs in the United States. The theater was built in 1921, and from 1925 to 1945 was prevalent in the movie industry. The theater itself cost four million dollars to build, designed by the Rapp brothers. It is the oldest theater of this style still standing in Chicago.

The theater saw a decline, and although it didn’t look good for a while, was revitalized, bringing to life the music that people had loved for so long, as well as more current acts. In 1986, the building was renovated, costing more than the original price to build. This helped to bring people back to enjoy as they had in the past.

The famous sign is almost six stories high, spelling Chicago vertically. It is one of the few of these signs that are still in existence today. Because the theater is right on State Street in Chicago, it is one of the most viewed sights in the city, directing everybody towards the theater. Today the red sign coupled with the red and yellow marquee are a must see for any visit to the area. Electric signs don’t get any better than this.

There are many different electric signs around the world. Some of the most famous are right here around the country. These sights are worth seeing if you are ever in the area. Enjoy the view, as well as the historic value of each sign on your next vacation.

Featured images:

License: Creative Commons

image source

License: Creative Commons

image source

By +Cassie Costner

Cassie Costner writes on the historic sights that are worth seeing around the world. She has previously worked with electric companies, such as JP Electric, learning the process behind designing and maintaining these signs.

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