The French engineer, chemist, and inventor Georges Claude (September 24, 1870 – May 23, 1960), was the first to apply an electrical discharge to a sealed tube of neon gas (circa 1902) to create a lamp. Inspired in part by Daniel McFarlan Moore's invention, Moore's Lamp, Paris-born Claude invented the neon lamp by passing an electric current through inert gases, making them glow very brightly.
Georges Claude studied at the elite École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI). In 1902 Georges Claude and businessman Paul Delorme founded L'Air Liquide S.A. (Air Liquide) based on a method to liquify air that enabled large scale production of oxygen. Air Liquide presently exists as a large multinational corporation headquartered in Paris, France.
In 1923, Georges Claude and his French company Claude Neon, introduced neon gas signs to the United States, by selling two to a Packard car dealership in Los Angeles. Earle C. Anthony purchased the two signs reading "Packard" for $1,250 apiece. Neon lighting quickly became a popular fixture in outdoor advertising. Visible even in daylight, people would stop and stare at the first neon signs for hours, dubbed "liquid fire."