“Neon glass”, huh? I’d never heard that particular term before, but I can’t really think of a better one.
To be fair, “neon glass” does kind of suggest a kind of glass made out of neon, which I guess is why it sounds odd to my ears. But the same is arguably true of “neon sign” - although there, at least, the sign itself is arguably made of neon (even if contained within glass).
Of course, “neon” is an epithet anyway, since most “neon signs” don’t actually employ neon, as it only produces a reddish orange light - you need other gases to get different colors. But this actually gives us insight into the origins of the usage, via the phrase “neon lighting” - which unlike “neon glass” and “neon sign”, is a perfectly apt descriptor, in that it is actually light created from neon gas.
Curious that of all the potential names we could have applied to these types of devices, we went with “neon signs” and “neon glass” and the like. Why not “CC Lights” or “GD Lamps” (cold cathode and gas-discharge respectively)? Or why not “Geissler Lights” or “Moore Lights”, borrowing from the direct technological precursors to this kind of light? Why not name these after their own inventor / popularizer?
What drove the adoption of “neon lights” I wonder? Was is the temporal proximity between the discovery of neon itself and it’s usage in lighting? The same sort of thing occured with terms like “nuclear” when society at large first started becoming aware of the then-new technology.
Oh, and neat… sculpture(?)… too.
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