Nixies derive their name from NIX 1, an abbreviation for Numeric Indicator Experiment No. 1, as the laboratory designation for the cold cathode tube product finessed by the Burroughs Corporation in the mid-1950s.
Although languishing from competition in the 1970s, Nixies are still available. Volume manufacture of Nixies especially continued in the former Soviet Union in the 1980s. Escaping destruction, surplus tubes have been stored in warehouses for decades, especially in Russia and eastern European countries. With a resurgence in popularity lingering into the twenty-first century, Nixies are available, especially as clocks but also as watches, with vintage tubes from surplus warehouses and with retro styling.
Steve Wozniak (born August 11, 1950), co-founder of Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.), happily sports his glowing timepiece on his left wrist.