NYC neon store still glowing strong after 49 years

This neon sign store has been glowing strong for 49 years

Location: New York

Let There Be Neon first lit up lower Manhattan in 1972

It was founded by artist Rudi Stern

and all of the neon signs and art are still made in-house

So, what is neon?

(SOUNDBITE) (English) OWNER OF LET THERE BE NEON, JEFF FRIEDMAN, SAYING:

"So neon is a luminous tube that when electricity is energizing the tube, the tube lights up. I mean, that's the simple explanation. But basically, there's a gas inside the tube, which is neon. Neon is red when it's lit, the pure color of neon. But we also use argon, which is blue, and by combining the different gases with different glass colors or phosphorus inside the tube, that's how we get all the different colors."

(SOUNDBITE) (English) STUDIO MANAGER OF LET THERE BE NEON, MOLLY RAE, SAYING:

"My favorite thing to show people is actually the most classic color, the very first neon color, is this one all the way at the end, it's called, 'clear red.' It is just clear glass and all that's in it is the color of the actual neon gas pumped through it. So if I turn it off, you can see there's absolutely no color here. It's just a clear glass.