Idly speculating about the origins of the name “Nixie Tube,” we’d presumed that it had to do with the quality of the light emitted, somehow linked to the nymph-like creature from German folklore. But no. The light from a Nixie Tube might be magical, but that’s totally coincidental:
The name Nixie came about accidentally. A draftsman making drawings of the device labeled it “NIX I,” for numeric indicator experimental No. 1. His colleagues began referring to it as ‘Nixie,’ and the name stuck.
– Scientific American, June 1973
These little 12/24 Hour Nixie Tube Clocks are pretty magical themselves, even if that isn’t the origin of their name. Each of these is individually crafted, hand finished, and assembled from genuine vintage Nixie display tubes. And the compact case those tubes are set into is cherry wood, a variant which you can only get at ThinkGeek.