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A Century in Lights

“…People used to come in on trams. You’d see them come into town on the trams just to look at that and the children would be amazed. It was something unreal, unseen…”

Over 100 years after neon lighting was invented, Claude Neon—the firm which pioneered it in Australia—is still bringing colour and brightness to our cities and towns. The world has been through many upheavals since French engineer Georges Claude introduced his dazzling new form of electric light, and as the landscape changes, so too do the lights that illuminate it.

Robert Crawford’s history of the famous Australian firm Claude Neon shows how changing times are reflected in neon signs, in manufacturing, and in business methods. It follows technological advances in signage, advertising and outdoor media, and shifts in corporate structures.

The result is an illuminating insight into people and the work they do—with lucent illustrations that take readers back into a recent past, filled with colours and spectacle.


Robert Crawford is Professor of Advertising in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, and Associate Dean of Research and Innovation. His recent books include: Oral History and Business: Disruption and Continuity (with Matthew Bailey, Routledge, 2023), More than a Glass and a Half: A History of Cadbury in Australia (Halstead, 2022) and Digital Dawn in Adland (Routledge, 2021). He is the author of over 80 chapters, articles and encyclopaedia entries, and author or editor of 12 books already published, with others in preparation.

Hardback, 144pp. Illustrated in colour.
ISBN: 9 781875 684250