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. 

behind the Scenes Spectaculars

callahan-213September 29, 2017

We recently revisited a collection that came to us during the summer of 2015.


Closing Sign

September 7, 2017 

2016.008.817Back in 2011 and 2015, a donor took photographs of the closings of both the Sahara.


Signs with Multiple Lives

2015.021.003August 23, 2017

As the Collections department continued with organizing and cataloging the collection, another photo stood out.


Stardust Sign

stardust636August 3, 2017

After finally processing and returning the Federal Heath collection, we moved on to scanning a collection donated to us by sign designer Charles Barnard. 


Greetings from America

greetingsfromamericaJuly 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?

thegolfballJune 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.


SSI install

ssi-install-1June 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.



aladdinMay 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

weldingApril 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

hidingMarch 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

behindthescenesFebruary 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:


The Riviera

the-riveriaJanuary 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

signs-collapsed-1December 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.