The Nixie tube made its debut in 1954 by Burroughs Corporation and quickly found its way as a digital display in high end test equipment, frequency counters, military applications and research projects. Soon they were used as the very first electronic digital display in consumer products like calculators, and the very first digital clocks. For those that were there, who couldn’t forget that warm golden glow of actual formed numbers one through zero changing before your eyes!
The tubes were and still are a marvel in themselves! While resembling a standard vacuum tube, they had ten separate cold cathodes precisely formed into the shape of the ten numerical digits, stacked one on top another! Filled with neon gas, each digit would emit a characteristic and appealing soft orange glow when 170 VDC was applied between its respective cathode and its wire mesh anode.