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Grant number like: HB-272928-21

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Dydia DeLyser
California State University, Fullerton (Fullerton, CA 92831-3599)

Awards for Faculty
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2022 – 12/31/2022

“Neon signs and unseen histories of the American landscape”

Writing leading to a book on neon signs and the American landscape from the late 19th century to the present.

A book revealing how neon signs have transformed the American landscape, "Hidden in Bright Light: The Untold Story of Neon Signs in America" will be the first book to detail the history of neon signs in America. Mustering extensive archival research and lengthy experience in the sign industry, the book dispels previous myths about neon’s history and uses the geographical tools of landscape interpretation to show what went previously unseen: how important it is to be able to “read” the landscape in all its detail; how landscapes must not only be read, they must also be made; how advertising is also art; and how a technology like neon can create community around the past and the present. Accessibly written, the book brings scholarly research and geographical insights to a broad audience just as museums and sign restorations lend neon’s hidden histories wide appeal.