Young Electric Sign Company


Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) is a privately owned manufacturer of electric signs based in Salt Lake City. The company was founded by Thomas Young in 1920 and today has divisions and branches in 10 western states, as well as in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. YESCO offers a comprehensive range of services for electronic signs, including design, fabrication, installation and ongoing maintenance.

Many notable sign projects have been produced by YESCO. These include the NBC Experience globe in New York City, the historic El Capitan Theatre and Wax Museum marquees in Hollywood, the most recent incarnation of the Reno Arch and numerous icons in Las Vegas, such as Vegas Vic, the Fremont Street Experience, the Astrolabe in The Venetian and the recent Wynn Las Vegas resort sign.

Thomas Young left England in 1910 to  immigrate with his family to Ogden, Utah. Only ten years later he opened YESCO. In the beginning, his shop specialized in coffin plates, gold leaf window lettering, lighted signs and painted advertisements. As the science of lighting and sign-making advanced, so did Tom Young’s signs.

In 1933, YESCO opened a branch office in the Apache Hotel in Las Vegas. The company erected the first neon sign in Las Vegas for the Boulder Club. YESCO soon became recognized as a leader in the sign industry, tackling large and complex sign projects. It erected the first neon spectacular sign in Las Vegas for the Boulder Club in the late ’30s, and in 1995 it completed the four-block-long Fremont Street Experience canopy.

NBC ushered in the millennium with a new YESCO ‘message globe’ in its NBC Experience store, located at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The electronic sign quickly became recognized as one of the most distinctive electronic displays in the world. From the outside of the building, it looks like a brilliant illuminated globe. The 35’-diameter hemisphere is covered with thousands of full-color LEDs. Colorful video and special effects, along with animations provided by YESCO’s media services group, are displayed on the globe’s surface, telling the NBC story. When it was first turned on, it literally stopped traffic on West 49th Street.

Perhaps the world’s most recognized electronic sign, Vegas Vic was designed by and built by YESCO. Upon its installation in 1951 over the Pioneer Club on historical Fremont Street, the 40′-tall electronic cowboy immediately became Las Vegas’s unofficial greeter.

At the Wynn, the 135-foot tall marquee features a 100-foot high, 50-foot wide, concave, double-faced LED message center with a first-of-its-kind ‘moving eraser.’ Conceived by Steve Wynn, the massive eraser glides silently and smoothly up and down over the LED message center, appearing to change the graphics as it goes. The eraser weighs 62,000 pounds, and is counterbalanced by a 62,000-pound weight inside the sign. The sign uses 4,377,600 LEDs and the eraser is powered by a 300 horsepower motor at its base that runs a gear and cable system.

More formally known as the Young Electric Sign Company’s Neon Sign Graveyard, or also as the Neon Boneyard, YESCO maintains a storage yard of retired signs in Las Vegas in a fenced lot behind its facility that is not open to the public. The company has been instrumental in supporting the Neon Museum, which is dedicated to preserving the neon signs and associated artifacts of Las Vegas. The Neon Museum has now moved many of the signs from YESCO’s lot to a new storage facility at the future home of the Neon Museum in Downtown Las Vegas, where they are awaiting restoration.


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