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Life

The fight to keep Hong Kong's neon lights ablaze

Once ubiquitous, the glowing signs are in danger of fading out

Stop here for dried seafood.

It was a Frenchman who first developed neon tube lighting in 1910 -- and the illuminating idea quickly spread from Parisian opera houses to New York cinemas, before arriving in Hong Kong in the 1920s. After the Second World War, Hong Kong's population boomed and business flourished. Soon, signs popped up hawking jewelry, tailor-made suits and fishball noodles. By the 1980s, the city was aglow. Smoldering signs jostled for attention down thoroughfares including Nathan Road, jutting over shop fronts in shining, serried rows.

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