Haydu Brothers Laboratories developed in early 1950 the nixie tube and a cognate version the "Pixie Tube" which had a round metal disk with cut out numbers like the face of a clock. Behind was each hole an electrode, when in operation sending a light through the hole.
In 1954 the Haydu Brothers Laboratories was purchased by Burroughs Corporation and they owned the name Nixie as a trademark . The name Nixie was derived by Burroughs from "NIX I", an abbreviation of "Numeric Indicator eXperimental No. 1". The name "Pixie" is probably derived in the same way from "Position Indicator eXperimental No.1".
Similar devices that functioned in the same way were patented in the 1920s, and the first mass-produced display tubes were introduced in the late 1930s by National Union Co. and Telefunken. However, their construction was cruder, and they failed to find many applications until digital electronics reached a suitable level of development in the 1950s.
All tubes from Hydu Brothers have a designation starting with HB.
They also developed some kind of counting tube, the so called "Trochotron". Burroughs called them later "Beam Switching Tubes" or "Beam-X-Tubes"