About us

Devlin Electric Sign Company is a locally owned and operated family business, founded in 1963 by our father, David Devlin Thorburn (1926-1990). Our family history in the sign business goes back to our grandfather, William Albert Bayliss, who started hand-lettering signs in Victoria, BC, in the early 1900s.

Bill Bayliss learned neon bending in the 1920s when neon was first introduced to North America and founded Bayliss Neon in 1928.

Dave Thorburn started working at Bayliss Neon in 1947, married the boss’ daughter in 1948, went to New York City to learn neon bending in 1949 and moved to Nanaimo in 1952 to set up a regional branch office for Bayliss Neon. After 10 years the branch office was closed and Dave Thorburn started the D. Devlin Company in 1963, incorporated in 1971 as Devlin Signs Ltd., and modified the name to Devlin Electric Sign Co. Inc. in 1989.

Two Family members are now active in the company, Blair & Drew Thorburn.

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