Phoebus Neon Light Company, Hong Kong
IDJ has sent the following advert and newspaper article about Phoebus Neon Light Company, Hong Kong.
HF I have retyped the article to improve clarity and aid research.
Thanks to SCT for proof reading the retyped article.
NEON SIGNS MADE IN HONG KONG
Skilled Workmen In New Factory.
SECRETS OF PROCESS.
Business Had Spread Far In Few Years.
Phoebus Neon Light Company, manufacturers of genuine neon-lite tube signs and displays have established an up-to-date factory, at 5 Duddell Street. They are being sponsored by William C. Jack & Co., Ltd, and have showrooms and offices at 12 Des Voeux Road Central.
Neon-lite displays have been known to the Colony for some considerable time now, but this is the first factory where genuine neon-lite tube is shaped, to be established here. Commencing business in Los Angeles, in 1925, Phoebus Company have established factories at Dairen, Manila, Shanghai and latterly at Sourabaya, where they have met with great success.
Since their establishment here on June 1, they have already done exceedingly large business. Many prominent local business firms have had their Hong names written in neon-lite in very attractive designs and colouring. Four colours only are in use, these being red, blue, light green and dark green. Letters, from four inches to 10 feet can be manufactured.
The processing of the glass tubes – a special lead glass obtained from U.S.A. – is done on the upper floor of the factory. Here skilled Chinese work marvels in the bending of the glass. They can shape the tubes into any into any word and any design. On a table near the bending department the designs are drawn in pencil.
The whole secret of success in “neon-lite-ing” lies in the laboratory where, after the tubes have been bent to the shaped desired, they are placed in a high vacuum, which extracts all the impurities. The tubes are then given another cleaning under 15,000 volts.
The method for producing different colours is interesting. The red is neon itself, the blue is obtained by a mixture of argon and mercury, while the light and dark greens are made through a canary coloured glass tube along with the argon-mercury mixture. The tubes vary in thickness, being 3/8th, 1/2 inch and 5/8th. The light in the signs is cold, as no heat is generated. Genuine neon-lite lives for two years without flickering.
Four Europeans and fifteen Chinese, each a skilled worker in his own particular way, compose the staff of the factory.
Mr. B. Daniels, who has charge of the laboratory, explained to a Sunday Herald reporter who visited the premises, that the advantage of having a factory locally was that in the event of anything going wrong with the signs, a prompt repair could be effected, whereas, if there no factory it would mean sending the glass tubing back to Shanghai or to whatever port it was ordered from.
A visit to the factory is most interesting.
Source: The Hong Kong Sunday Herald 24th July 1932.
This article was first posted on 7th July 2022.
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