Monday, February 9, 2015

Rubbish Tuesday


Finally a home for all those photos I take of old items!!


January 2013 - Las Vegas NV

We spent two months in Las Vegas from December 2012 to January 2013. That was our first winter as snowbirds. We loved it and spent a lot of time off the beaten track.

Las Vegas has so many iconic neon signs that have been preserved.

Vegas Vic is the unofficial, yet most widely used name for the Las Vegas, Nevada neon sign that resembles a cowboy that was erected on the exterior of The Pioneer Club in Las Vegas in 1951. The sign was a departure in graphic design from typeface based neon signs, to a friendly and welcoming human form of a cowboy. The sign's human-like abilities of talking and waving its arm constituted an immediate acceptance as the unofficial welcoming sign reproduced thousands of times over the years and all over the world. The sign is currently owned by Schiff Enterprises and can still be found at 25 E Fremont Street, where he has been since 1951 on the exterior of what used to be The Pioneer Club but is currently a souvenir shop also owned by Schiff Enterprises.



Although the Pioneer Club no longer operates as a casino, the 40-foot (12 m) neon cowboy that was its mascot still exists. In 1947, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce hired a West-Marquis firm to draw visitors to Las Vegas. The company then created the first image of Vegas Vic and his friendly "Howdy Podner" greeting. Due to the popularity of the cowboy, Young Electric Sign Company was commissioned to build a neon-sign version by the owners of the Pioneer Club. They then commissioned Pat Denner, who modeled it after the image in use by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. The neon version was complete with a waving arm, a moving cigarette, and a recording of "Howdy Podner!" every 15 minutes. Vegas Vic was then erected on the exterior of the Pioneer club in 1951 on the southwest corner of First Street and Fremont Street replacing the sign that simply said Pioneer Club with an image of a horse drawn covered wagon.



In 1966, Lee Marvin was filming The Professionals and staying at the Mint Hotel. Marvin complained that Vegas Vic was too loud, so casino executives silenced Vegas Vic and it was left that way for nearly two decades. The speaking was restored in the 1980s, but as of 2006 no longer works. The arm stopped waving in 1991.

9 comments:

  1. Would you spend more than two months in Vegas? We are not at a point where we can go away for longer periods but it's something we would like to do in the future. My dad goes to Alabama for six weeks each year, not too bothered about going down there. Someone mentioned Costa Rica, have you been there for an extended period of time? Sorry for all the questions.

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  2. So Lee was willing to make a fuss over that thing speaking only once every fifteen minutes?

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  3. Sounds like he's withering away. LOL. The first time I was in Vegas was in the 70s -- his arm was moving, if I recall correctly.

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  4. Fascinating history and a wonderful old treasure. I would love to have seen it in its heyday.

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  5. I thought exactly the same thing as William :-) - still a great sign though

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  6. I sure have enjoyed seeing your photos from Vegas, it's one of my favorite towns and I'm not a gambler either!

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  7. I enjoy going to Vegas and driving around the area. Lots of interesting things to see besides gambling.

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  8. What a neat sign. Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  9. i am almost positive i have seen this back in the day! my mom loved vegas so we went a lot back in the 70's...i think old vegas was so much better than new vegas!

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