Do You Know Where Signs Started?

Even the ancient Egyptians and Romans used signs for advertising, but definitely not LED signs. In Rome they were made from stone or terracotta. They used unique symbols to display their businesses to attract customers: a bush sign meant a tavern; three balls meant pawnbrokers; the cross attracted Christians, and the sun and moon attracted pagans.

In Pompeii a wall painting was preserved that shows a baker distributing bread to portray the shop’s products. Even outside of the temples were signs that stated, “Sacrificial Bread Sold Here”.  After the Dark Ages, trade increased and so did advertising displays. Merchants would compete like some do now to see who could have the most elaborately, carved, gilded and brightly painted sign in front of their shop.

In 1393, King Richard II of England stated that all alehouses must post a display to help official ale tasters know who they were, but then the idea caught on and those signs became popular for promoting alehouses.

In the mid-1800s catalogues, newspapers, and other advertisements began, which continued into this century. The neon tube was also created, which brought new color and life to advertisements, but LED digital displays eventually even surpassed that.

The First LED

Nick Holonyak, Jr., who worked at General Electric Company, created the first practical LED in 1962. LEDs were commercially produced in the late 1960s, but only in a red light source that humans could not see in the day light. The military first used them as indicator lights. They were also used in laboratory and electronic testers. Then in the 1970s a variety of colors were created and new uses for LED lights arose.

At first they were put in only calculators, digital watches, test devices, etc. In the 1980s technology came that helped make LEDs brighter, more stable and cost efficient, so the industry began to grow tremendously. Now they are used in traffic control lights, car equipment, and of course LED digital displays.

Since time began people have been using signs to advertise their products. If you want to be part of the newest advancement in LED walls, contact Focus Digital Displays to learn more about LED digital displays and how they have transformed the world of advertising.