Since Fall 2016 the Neon Museum staff has been scanning and cataloging signs, photographs, postcards, casino ephemera, and other items as part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant funded project to digitize the Neon Museum collection. This will allow the Neon Museum to create a database and eventually provide public access to the museum’s collection online. This blog chronicles our efforts and highlights some of the most interesting discoveries uncovered along the way.
Greetings from America
July 26, 2017
This is one of the most wonderful photos from the Federal Heath collection. It shows two very important people in the Las Vegas sign design world: Betty Willis and Brian “Buzz” Leming.
What is that round/sphere sign?
June 23, 2017
Visitors to our North Gallery often ask “what is that round/sphere sign?” Some guests even refer to it as “the golf ball.” It is not a golf ball, but rather a portion of a Denny’s restaurant sign. We have both the Denny’s logo and the sphere in the North Gallery. The Denny’s logo is set behind a Binion’s Horseshoe sign in the North Gallery, whereas the sphere is more visible.
June 17, 2017
These pictures from a Sign Systems Inc. (now known as Federal Heath) installation show a beautiful view of the Las Vegas Valley and the steady nerves of the people who regularly maintained and installed the signs. We’re digging the 80s hair, too! These pictures were taken on the top of the Hilton in 1982.
May 23, 2017
We have seen a lot while going through the Federal Heath photos, but this one of the Aladdin sign (installed in 1976) is by far is one of our favorites.
SSI employee welding
April 26, 2017
Two very fun things about this photo: it shows a Sign Systems Inc. employee welding what is to be part of the Excalibur pylon sign sometime in Spring/Summer 1990.
Hiding in the background
March 3, 2017
Federal Heath photos often have lots of little things going on in them. Here, on the left, we can see little bits of the Flamingo and Bally’s. Also in this photo, to the right, one can see a tiny portion of the Caesars Palace sign, which is now in our collection (the top part of it is in the Neon Boneyard and the rest are in the North Gallery). We even have some of the columns and pillars.
Behind the scenes
February 14, 2017
In this photo of the shop from Sign Systems Incorporated (now known as Federal Heath) we get to see what happens behind the scenes when these signs are being created.
Quick science lesson
January 23, 2017
A PSA and a quick science lesson:
January 17, 2017
The Riviera had a good run -- it was open just over 60 years, closing in May 2015.
Two notable signs in Vegas collapsed
December 8, 2016
Back in the 1990s, two major signs in Las Vegas collapsed and Federal Heath managed to document the damage. Below are two pictures, one from each property, but there are many more photographs in their collection detailing the destruction.
Sam Boyd’s Signs
November 10, 2016
During the summer of 2016 the Neon Museum had a chance to go to Federal Heath’s local branch to look at their blueprint archives.