Vancouver in the 1950s was considered the “neon capital of North America”

Neon signs were huge in Vancouver in the 1950s–in quantity, that is. The city was considered the “neon capital of North America,” and in 1958 Bowell-McLean wanted to put their mark on the trend. So they took “big” to the next level to get attention with their Bowmac sign, which stands 80 feet high. Originally the sign was orange and was lit with red neon, bearing over 1,200 incandescent light bulbs. Its flashing lights could be seen as far as 18 miles away. For a spell, the sign was the largest freestanding sign in North America, and the tallest structure in Vancouver outside of the downtown core. That’s big!

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