Photo Credit: 
Holly Hutchings
04/04/2019
Ken Hines: Tubebender
Reno, NV

Ken Hines has helped create neon signage along the Reno skyline for nearly forty years, although his workload is considerably less than it was starting out. Hines styles himself as "The last full-time neon tubebender in Northern Nevada," which underscores the dwindling industry. He goes on to explain "...there are some part-timers who create signs or do repairs," but that he’s the last of his kind in the region.  Hines learned the craft from his dad, seeing him do the work from the time he was just five years old. His father would later encourage him to take up the trade. Hines reflects on a career in neon by remembering some of his most notable accomplishments, “I originally did all the neon on the Eldorado Tower, approximately two miles of neon on that tower," Hines said. "Every neon sign in town, I would say, I have done repairs on at some point in time. I had pride oozing out of me that I worked on those projects.”

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