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Meet the man who made Richmond glow — in neon

Posted at 7:12 AM, Feb 01, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-01 07:13:20-05

RICHMOND, Va. --  In March of 1985, CBS 6 profiled Louis Rudd.

Rudd worked for Talley Neon and created many of the neon signs that illuminated Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia during the second half of the 20th century.

According to his 2001 obituary, printed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Rudd was known as "Mr. Neon."

Reporter Chris Dovi noted Rudd created the Universal Ford sign on Broad Street as well as signs for Miller & Rhoads and Thalhimers.

Doug Solyan, who owns Uptown Neon in Richmond, told me Rudd was his mentor and taught him how to make neon signs.

Solyan said Rudd created the iconic neon lobster sign that at atop Byram's Lobster House along Broad Street in Richmond for more than 60 years.

The sign was taken down Wednesday as the restaurant's new owners plan to re-open the business under a new name -- Tower Fish House.

Tower Fish House owner Jeff Kelso told CBS 6 he tried to donate the sign to the Valentine Richmond History Center, but the museum declined.

The future of the sign remained uncertain as Kelso said he would be willing to donate it to a non-profit organization willing to take the nine-foot neon sign.