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The Indiglo button let there be light

The Indiglo button on a modern Timex Weekender. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Long before the self-lit pixels of OLED phones illuminated our lives, there was a time many portable gadgets didn’t shine at all. Remember when the display of practically every Nintendo Game Boy was designed to be viewed by sunlight? Remember when it was tough to tell time with your average wristwatch after dark?

But in 1992, Timex popularized a push-button technology that could bathe any small display in a soothing, sea-green glow. And even though the actual button was often bad, it literally changed the face of portable electronics.

They called it Indiglo.

As a ‘90s kid, I thought Indiglo was the coolest thing. It still kind of is! Electricity energizes a layer of phosphorescent material as thin as a human hair, invisibly suspended…

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