Following the Signs

@UncleJoe (6318)
Virginia Beach, Virginia
April 21, 2017 12:59pm CST
My father didn’t follow his own in the family trade. Although Daddy liked working with wood, he was quite an artist in his own right. He combined 2 trades to become established in what is now a lost art. First off, my father was a licensed Master Electrician. Combined with his ability to blow glass he became the most popular sign maker in town. He was even named in a 1950’s monthly publication called “Signs of the Times” as the best glass blower on the East Coast. Outside neon signs were like big tin boxes with lettering on two faces. The inside of these boxes housed the transformers and wiring to the glass tube letter on the faces. Transformers raised voltage from 110 to 15,000, the required amount to illuminate the neon gas inside the letters. They had to me mounted inside the box out of sight. One of the most amazing things I ever watched my father do was join two pieces of neon glass tubing. When he was done you couldn’t see the weld. He was a perfectionist when it came to his glass working ability. Like my father, I didn’t follow in his footsteps either. I tried and failed too many times and gave up out of frustration. Now, I wish I had kept with it until I mastered the trade. I believe now that I would have been good at it Now the profession has practically become a lost art.
9 people like this
8 responses
@andriaperry (12179)
• Anniston, Alabama
21 Apr
There used to be a craft show inside the mall every year and there was a man that blown glass into animals and other forms of art and I would stand and watch, amazing it what it is!
2 people like this
@Platespinner (14396)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Apr
There are lots of thing I'd be good at if I had actually stuck with them.... You may not be a neon artist, but you do have a keen sense of humour and an ability to paint wonderful word pictures.
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (6318)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
21 Apr
Thank you @Platespinner That's quite a compliment.
@Morleyhunt (13676)
• Canada
18h
We all follow our own path. We can't go back for a redo, so there is no point in wishing we had done things differently. I continue to learn new things.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (38538)
• United States
22 Apr
Nice reading about your father's career. There are many lost arts, unfortunately.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (50656)
• United States
21 Apr
Such skill your father had, and he certainly took great pride in his work. It is sad that the profession your father had has become a lost art. I am in awe when I see some talented person blowing glass.
1 person likes this
@Kandae11 (11348)
21 Apr
Your father was very good at his craft - probably because he loved it.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
21 Apr
Oh, the opposite of the lyrics of the song "Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg.
1 person likes this
@Happy2BeMe (48649)
• Canada
21 Apr
Wow that is very interesting! Thank you for sharing this.
1 person likes this