Christmas Lights – A Brief History

Those of us who celebrate Christmas with a tree in our home usually choose to light it in one way or another. But have you ever stopped to wonder how we started lighting our trees?
The first lights on Christmas trees were candles that were attached to tree branches with melted wax or pins that held them in place. As you can imagine, many trees caught fire due to this practice. One might assume that at that time, many families would have had buckets of water nearby to extinguish the impending fire. In the homes of the wealthy, it was often the job of a servant to watch over the tree during the night hours and be prepared to put out a fire, if necessary. As a result of this eminent risk, most of the trees were decorated on December 24 and removed immediately after Christmas Day. This must have been a lot of work for such a short view of the tree!

In 1882, Thomas Edison’s technology was used to connect 80 red, white and blue lights to the first electronically lit Christmas tree. It took a few years for this idea to catch on. When President Grover Cleveland installed an electronically lit Christmas tree in the White House in 1895, the idea finally began to get some publicity. The general public realized that there was a better way to light up their Christmas trees.
In the late 1800s, the General Electric Company began manufacturing and selling hand-blown light bulbs that were ready to be wired on string to be attached to a Christmas tree. Since the average homeowner was not well informed about how electricity worked in those days, a new industry of “electricians” emerged who were hired to connect the bulbs to light the family tree.
In the early 1900s, some department stores began installing large lighted trees to attract customers. And it attracts clients that yes! Everyone wanted to have a tree at home like the one that stores were able to display. In the early 1900s, the cost of such a tree exceeded $ 300. That price included a generator and wiremans service. By the current standard, that cost would equal more than $ 2,000.
In 1903, the American Eveready Company developed and marketed the first Christmas light kit, which had screw-in bulbs and a wall socket, as many houses had been “wired” for electricity at that time. Then, in 1908, businessman Ralph Morris came up with the idea to take the lights from an old telephone switchboard, connect them to a Christmas tree, and run a battery as a power source. But the one person who made the biggest difference in best christmas light clips electric Christmas tree lights, and who made them affordable to the general public, was Albert Sadacca. The Alberts family made imitation birds in a wicker cage that was lit with electricity. At age 15, Albert had the idea to make electric Christmas lights. His parents thought it sounded like a good idea and the family gave it a go. The first year, they only sold 100 sets of lights. The following year, Albert decided to color the bulbs in red, green, and other colors. This idea really took off. Albert Sadacca became the director of NOMA Electric Company, a multi-million dollar corporation. Headed by Albert and his two brothers, Henri and Leon, the trio formed the largest Christmas lighting company in the world before 1965.
Today, another revolution in Christmas lighting is taking place. The newest offering in holiday lights are LED lights that use significantly less electricity than incandescent bulbs and burn out less frequently. With the trend towards energy conservation and “green”, LED lights are rapidly gaining popularity. Although they are more expensive than traditional incandescent light kits, one way to change up all of your holiday lights is to buy a new LED light kit per year until everything changes.

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