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Inside The Neon Museum: The boneyard for the oldest tech in Vegas

The Las Vegas Strip might be glitzy, but five miles north of the big casinos, The Neon Museum is looking after the real bright light masterpieces that gave the city its name.

Claire Reilly
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
Claire Reilly
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1 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Neon Boneyard

Five miles north of the Las Vegas Strip, The Neon Museum is a dedicated to rescuing and restoring the forgotten signs that made Las Vegas in its heyday.

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2 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Bright lights, big city

The Neon Museum's main exhibition area, known as the Neon Boneyard, brings together a huge array of once bright signs and letters under the Nevada sun.

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3 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Boneyard 'showpiece'

The Museum's most popular sign is the Stardust. While its letters sit together, the galaxy of stars that made this retro-futuristic sign so famous is scattered through the Boneyard.

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4 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Home of Liberace

One of The Neon Museum's restored and relit signs pays tribute to another Vegas icon.

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5 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Happy Shirt

This sign from Liberace's go-to dry cleaner, Steiner Cleaners, featured two sets of sleeves that used to light up to make the Happy Shirt "dance."

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6 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Hand blown

Every neon tube, including the ones on this Yucca sign, has to be hand blown.

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7 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Rust and ruin

After spending years out in the elements, plenty of The Neon Museum's signs show the kind of wear and tear you'd expect from a veteran Elvis impersonator.

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8 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Road to restoration

Even without re-blowing and lighting the Neon tubes on this Desert Rose sign, the restoration of paint and metal cost tens of thousands of dollars.

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9 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

lady luck lucky

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10 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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11 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

motel color tv vacation

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12 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

entrance enter golden

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13 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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14 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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15 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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16 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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17 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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18 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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19 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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20 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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21 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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22 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Wedding information

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23 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Queen of hearts hotel

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24 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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25 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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26 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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27 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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28 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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29 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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30 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Sassy

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31 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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32 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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33 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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34 of 34 James Martin/CNET, with permission at The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

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