Category: History of Christmas lights
With the holidays fast approaching it’s time to start preparing for the delicious traditional holiday meals
Starting with some healthy seafood snacks like shrimp and lobster a nice baked salmon with clams and mussels and of course those scrumptious baked cookies, cakes and pies that we all love! The holiday’s certainly have a special place in our hearts for large family dinner gatherings and yule time fun. However, have you ever wondered when the tradition of stringing Christmas lights around the trees and homes first came about? We’ve made a list of the history of Christmas lights from it’s initial conception in the 17th century til today.
Even before the 17th century, people used candles to decorate their Christmas trees. But these candles were only lit for a few minutes at a time, and there would always be buckets of water and sand nearby in case a fire broke out.
The history of Christmas lights would not be complete without mentioning the man who brought us the first electric lights, Thomas Edison, as he was also the first to bring out the first Christmas light bulbs. He used the Christmas lights as a marketing trick to sell more incandescent lamps. He strung these lights up outside his laboratory compound to decorate it and powered the lights from a generator that was positioned eight miles from the lab.
In 1882 a friend and co-owner of the Edison Lamp Company, Edward Hibberd Johnson came up with the idea of using colored Edison light bulb lamps and strung up his Christmas tree with these new colored electric light bulbs, at his Manhattan home. He then decided to create a display in the center of town that had a revolving base, so everyone could see this amazing new beautiful holiday display. It quickly took off from there and soon everyone wanted these glowing orbs on their trees and so started the traditional Christmas values we have today.
However 2 significant issues arose back in the day the first was fire hazard the 2nd was cost. In the early twentieth century (starting in 1908) insurance companies refused to pay for any damages caused by fires from Christmas trees. This was around the time when people began using electric light bulbs, and incandescent bulbs can get incredibly hot, and there were many instances of sparks from faulty strings setting fires to dead trees.
Bearing in mind as gorgeous as this new illuminated effect was only the rich could afford them, just one string of Christmas lights would set them back as much as $12 then, which translates to hundreds of dollars these days. So out of reach for the average consumer that some companies would have advertisements suggesting that people rent their Christmas lights.
By 1925 Christmas lights were in demand and many companies were selling Christmas lights, and a consortium called the NOMA Electric Corporation became the most prominent manufacturer of Christmas lights worldwide.
NOMA worked on many light displays, and they became the biggest manufacturer of bubble lights (lights that resembled candles) in the world, which would be the most mass-produced Christmas decor.
Bubble lights had proven to maintain their popularity right up until the late 1960’s when the NOMA Electric Company stopped making Christmas lights and bubble lights have become a collector’s item.
These days Christmas lights are relatively affordable and are not just strung around Christmas trees, but used as outdoor decor as well, strung up outside houses, on roofs, and around outdoor trees. You can get Christmas tree lights in any shapes, such as candles and chili peppers, as well as in multiple colors.