Evolution of a Neon Sign display board


The salesmen at Wallace Neon Ltd. may have used this display board to woo new customers. The display illustrates the step-by-step process of making a neon sign, using as its example the sign for the Ovaltine Café which was made in 1942. The Ovaltine is one of Vancouver’s best-loved signs. It still hangs in front of the café at 251 East Hasting, which has also survived intact with its popular coffee counter, booths, mirrors, and varnished woodwork. The display boards details the process of first creating a full-colour scale drawing, then making a full-scale pattern with the technical information about wiring and glass placement, fabricating the sheet metal can, painting the can, bending the glass tubing and fitting it to the can, and finally hoisting the sign into place.

Date Range 
c. 1942 - 1950
Place of Manufacture 
Wallace Neon Ltd., Vancouver
68 cm high, 77 cm wide
Museum Location 
Catalog Number 
Museum purchase