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Please Read This Update Relating To Our Great Cause!
The Neon History Museum Fundraising Cause
Please help by sharing this cause and if you can, donating to it.

I’m Bob Kaufman, the Owner of The Gasworks Factory and I'm asking for the public’s support, to help share and save our giant neon history collection and help me accomplish my life’s dream. I always planned on donating this giant collection to a museum and creating a public exhibit dedicated to the history of neon signs. For the last 32 years, I have amassed one of the largest privately held neon sign history artifact collections in existence, that was always intended to be given to a public museum. Now this collection is in jeopardy of being lost forever, taken from us and public view and sold to private collectors due our outstanding debt. Debt due to the 2020 Covid-19 economic shut down and my failing health, that forced the permanent closure of retail operations.

This collection has a $300,000 approximate value and I’m personally donating $200,000 of that value. I need the public’s help to raise the remaining $100,000 to free this collection from my company’s creditors. When this goal is reached, the entire collection will be donated and delivered to a non-profit museum free of charge. The museum can use the collection for education and research, furthering the mission of this collection, with no strings attached.

The Collection

The collection tells the entire history and technology path of the neon sign industry from its inception in the early 1900’s to present day. The collection also covers how neon evolved into signage, culture, society, art and architecture over the years. The collection contains 100 boxes of artifacts, encompassing 100,000 original individual items and containing almost every book, magazine and article published on neon signs in the last hundred years. The collection also includes thousands original photographs, slides, Polaroids along with antique neon signs, salesmen samples, tools of the trade including a 1930’s neon production plant and neon art by famous artists such as Rudi Stern, Dale Chihuly, Eric Zimmerman and Eve Kahn. The collection also includes types of signs used before the introduction of neon and contains historical artifacts and sign magazines dating back to 1875. Also included, are a number of museum sized exhibits showing how power and electricity works. Also being donated, are a number of significantly valuable established museum domain names such as , , and others. All items shown in photos are part of the collection, however, those only represent a small part of the entire collection being donated.

The Cause

The entire collection has a $300,000 approximate retail value. As owner of the Gasworks Factory, my intention was always to donate this entire collection to a museum and work with them to set up an interactive learning exhibit. My dream has always been, to have this collection of sign history, be preserved and shared with the public for future generations of historians, artists and neon benders, but then 2020 hit.

The 2020 Covid-19 economic shut down, that started in Mach 2020 for us, permanently shut down my retail neon company, our public gallery space and stopped all income for the last nine months, which put my company in massive debt. My company is too small to qualify for any current government loans or assistance programs. Additionally, due to personal health issues in the early part of the year and ongoing medical needs that can’t be met due to the current Coronavirus Pandemic, there is no way for me to responsibly re-open.

To save my family from financial ruin, because I care more about my family than myself and my health prognoses remaining unknown, I made the really tough decision to close down all retail operations. To reduce the remaining outstanding company debt from the closure, I chose to sell off my company’s modern business assets. Even after that, my company is still burdened with approximately $100,000 in outstanding debt.

Because of this outstanding debt and since the entire collection is considered a significant company asset, it cannot be donated at this time. In addition, our creditors can make us sell the collection into private hands to satisfy my company’s outstanding debts. If the collection were to be sold, it will be lost forever from public view.

My company has been debt free for 30 years and then 2020 changed everything! Last year closed my company, weaken my heath, burdened my family, broken my heart, and stripped me of everything I have worked for. But these challenges haven’t taken away my belief in giving back and with the public’s help, we can keep this dream alive.

My Philosophy 

In life, I always believed in giving more than you take. I’m donating $200,000 of the $300,000 collection value. I’m asking for the public’s help to raise the remaining $100,000, to pay the debts due to the Covid-19 shut down, to free this collection from its creditors. In the end, after donating this collection, I will end up with nothing, but the accomplishment of a dream, the knowledge of leaving a legacy and the spiritual feeling of good, that there are still people that care about each other in these very uncertain times. Please realize I could sell the entire collection and be $200,000 ahead, but I feel leaving a legacy is worth more than money and my loving family supports this decision.


I’m asking for the public’s loving’s help to raise the remaining $100,000, so I can satisfy my company’s debts and donate this entire $300,0000 collection to a museum. Thereby, fulfilling my life’s dream and letting me focus on my health. Please help me give this collection to the public; keeping this collection together for generations to come, by sharing and giving to this cause.

Thanks for everyone’s support and God Bless...


Follow us on Facebook, on our Gasworks Factory page, for all information regarding this fundraising campaign and read my full life’s story. There is also a basic inventory of what is being donated, a full disclosure about the donation and museum selection process and there will updates regarding this fundraiser endeavor. We will keep everyone updated on the funding received from all sources and when the goal is reached. We will share the museum and their intentions, when the donation is accepted by the museum chosen. 

Campaign Details

If the full donation goal amount is not received in a given amount of time, the amount received will be converted into specific items in the collection, based on those items retail values. These items will then be donated to the museum or museums we choose to fulfill the donations we received. We do hope to raise the full amount needed to keep the collection complete.

The Gasworks Factory nor I, are not asking for any naming rights for this donation or naming of the future exhibit, instead we will specify that the future exhibit be named after the person or company that gives the largest donation to support this cause. We will also ask, that the top 10 contributors, be formally permanently recognized and all others contributing will be thanked for supporting this cause. We will also ask the accepting museum, that all people who supported this cause, get a free pass to visit the museum when the exhibit is open, or a related perk, as a thank you for supporting this great cause.

Museum Selection

Our minimal requirements for a museum to be considered to receive this donation is:
1) Have the means (space and logistics) to accept this collection (free delivery to the museum, anywhere in the country, is included in the donation).
2) Have the ability and the intention to build an exhibit around this collection, preferably with an online research component. (this is mostly a vague requirement, meaning basically the museum has an interest in integrating an exhibit of neon sign history into their existing collection.)
3) Have required nonprofit legal tax status and will legally accept the collection at the $300,000 appraisal value.
4) Museums and supporters of museums interested in this collection, please submit selection requests to our Facebook page.
5) Any museum interested in being selected before the fundraiser is completed, must contact us and agree to actively participate in helping us reaching our funding goal by endorsing this campaign and actively sharing this cause with their online community of supporters. Please contact us if you are a museum board member and would be interested in endorsing and supporting this cause, and receiving this collection.