Neon is to Las Vegas as art deco is to Miami. They grew up together - (the flashing, multicolored bulbs hit the mass market just as Las Vegas was rising from the sand) and have since formed a symbiotic, nearly codependent relationship. You can have the neon without Vegas, but not Vegas without the neon. Neon is the town's trademark. The lights were the dreams on which this glittering town was built.
But not all dreams shine on ever-after. Some burn out, and when they do, they end up at Las Vegas' six-acre Neon Museum and Boneyard. The museum was kind enough to share these images for those of us who can't make it out there. And, for those who are heading to Sin City, hopefully these will inspire a pilgrimage to see this collection of Vegas' glittering history.
Above, the museum's own signage.
Not everyone is a winner in Las Vegas.
A piece of the legendary Sahara Hotel saw its luck run out.
A view of the Boneyard's West Aisle.
The museum has plenty of memorabilia from the defunct La Concha motel, including its actual lobby.
The La Concha sign still burns bright, like a Las Vegas version of Madame Rosa.
A remnant from Binion's Horseshoe Casino, now called Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel.
This H wall didn't make the cut during renovations, but still has visual appeal to share.
Known for its quickie weddings, Nevada still won't give the same right to same-sex couples, but the Neon Museum will happily host any and all commitment ceremonies.
And, who knows, maybe marriage equality will be legal in Las Vegas in the very near future.
The Yucca sign embodies the 50s aesthetic that dominates in Vegas.