Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Neon: A Light History

October 11, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Is it possible that (once again) everything we know is wrong? Well, in regards to the history of neon, this may well be the case. Dydia DeLyser and Paul Greenstein have penned a brief, but concise history of the neon sign beginning at the beginning, and covering scandals, murder, fascists, and forgotten inventors. A full-color, lavishly illustrated electrical bodice ripper, aficionados of neon will find this an indispensable “bible” to the history of their favorite collision of art and commerce.

Revealing neon signs as active agents in sweeping cultural, economic, and political changes nationwide, DeLyser and Greenstein introduce readers to a compelling cast of characters, many of whom, they show, continue to keep neon vibrant today. Taking readers inside the signs themselves, the authors show how each sign, whether historic or contemporary, is made by skilled hands—today just as they were over one hundred years ago.

Drawing from over a decade of in-depth archival and ethnographic research as well as more than four decades of experience in the sign industry, DeLyser and Greenstein use Los Angeles—not New York or Las Vegas—as focal point, showing how neon signs have catalyzed urban change, and how they continue to hold appeal for our changing communities—developing with the automobile and car-and-consumer culture in the twentieth century, expanding from cities to towns, and along highways to remote roadside outposts. From the earliest luminous tubing in the 1890s to the artistic creations of today, from community-funded restorations of historic signs to ordinary-seeming business signs that have become community icons, DeLyser and Greenstein show how, just as neon signs lit our past, they can now light our shared future.

An in-person presentation by Dydia DeLyser, author and Associate Professor of Geography at California State University, Fullerton, and Paul Greenstein, author and neon light professional


October 11, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:


the blinn house
160 N Oakland Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101 United States