Wednesday, May 30, 2012

the general idea

I worked for quite a few years as a neon installation technician...not that I really knew what I was doing...but I worked with Rudi Stern's,  Let There Be Neon Gallery on West Broadway in Soho, Manhattan, NYC. I became a member of the 15,000 volt had to be a survivor to be a member. I probably bought, transported and installed the last lots of Uranium Glass available (not necessarily) legally in the USA. Uranium glass was a unique material which created a range of florescent green tints that have disappeared today. Like the legendary Cadmium pigments of classical oil painting. We now are protected from the brutal beauty of these potentially harmful substances. Like smelling tobacco in a the florescent display on a pre 1960 wristwatch.... reduced to evocative memories of a sensation
The two tubes here create spectacular effects of electricity in a near vacuum. These are a recreation of Geisslers original display of his technical discoveries. He invented neon lighting. Geissler not only managed to evacuate and seal off the tubes without contamination, but made use of the coloured effects of different gases, flourescent liquids and uranium glass. Unfortunately the originals are slightly radioactive because of the uranium glass so cannot be displayed.


J.O.B. said...

DUDE- You should write a book about your life experiences. I'd buy it.

microdot said...

I have been buying antique uranium glass cafe stuff here in France and selling it to a guy in San Francisco. It seems that uranium glass ware was used to market and promote absinthe. It has a very unique almost sci fi kind of tint like real absinthe. I haven't ever seen any where else. Yes the glass does have a low level radioactivity reading, but doesn't everything these days?
It seems to be very collectible.
The neon last uranium glass neon tubes I installed were at the old St. Marks Bar on 1st Avenue and E 8th Street in New York. Long gone now...that was in 1980. Neon was so cool!