The Neon Museum Oral History Project

Many stories about our signs are known only to the people who were there. Eyewitness accounts offer unique context and insight unavailable from any other source. It is critical to record these recollections before they are lost. The Neon Museum Oral History Project preserves and makes available to the public personal narratives that increase our understanding of the Museum’s collection and the history of Las Vegas.

Kent Carmichael: Sign Man

Kent Carmichael came to Las Vegas from Southern California in 1957. Trained as an electrician, he performed almost every kind of job in the sign industry, from maintenance to sales to management. Kent’s projects include the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, the Frontier pylon, the Flamingo bullnose, and the Blue Angel Motel.

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Ina Macias: Neon Bender

Ina Macias knew nothing about neon signs or glass bending when she immigrated from Mexico to the United States as a teenager in the 1970s. Today, Ina and her family own Paul’s Neon Signs in Las Vegas. Ina’s work is displayed at The Neon Museum and has been featured in television commercials, films, and music videos.

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Oscar Gonzalez: Neon Bender

Oscar Gonzalez began his career sweeping the floor of a neon sign company in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He now bends glass for Hartlauer Signs in Las Vegas. Oscar crafted the neon tubing for many of the pieces on display at The Neon Museum, including the namesake tower from Tim Burton’s Lost Vegas exhibition and the restored Moulin Rouge sign.

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Jack Dubois: Designer

Jack Dubois grew up in Stockton, California. He planned to become a graphic designer until he took a summer job at AD ART, where he was astonished to see renderings of the signs the company was creating for Las Vegas casinos. Jack spent most of the next five decades as a designer and art director for AD ART, where he continues to work to this day. Jack has created iconic designs for many Las Vegas casinos, including the Dunes Oasis, the Holiday, the Mirage, the Tropicana, Foxy’s Firehouse, the Lady Luck, the Golden Nugget, La Bayou, Mermaids, and Vegas World

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This program is funded in part by Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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