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The Neon Nativity Isaiah 7:10-16

The Neon Nativity

The 100th anniversary of the neon bulb may help us shed some light on Jesus’ Incarnation.

With the year and the first decade of the 21st century winding down (or the second decade winding up, depending on your perspective), it’s time to think about some significant anniversaries and past accomplishments. Amid all the retrospectives, however, there’s one anniversary most people will miss … and you read about it here first.

This December marks the 100th anniversary of the invention of the neon light by French engineer Georges Claude. Claude didn’t discover neon; that was the work of a couple of British scientists in 1898, when they liquefied air to isolate its various parts. They called their invention “neon” after the Greek word for “new.” In 1910, Claude, however, was the first to fashion a lamp from an electrified tube filled with neon. In 1923, Claude and his French company, Claude Neon, introduced neon gas signs to the United States, selling two to a Packard car dealership in Los Angeles. Earle C. Anthony purchased the two signs reading “Packard” for $24,000.

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