Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page


Editor's Notes about the 1950s-1970s Old Christmas Tree Lights Pages:

The pages from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s were written by Bill Nelson, but were left out when George reconfigured the site, starting about 2004. There are also signs that some of these pages were still incomplete the last time they were published (about 2003). For your convenience, we have copied them from the 2003 version and "filled in the blanks" where we could. That said, Bill was just starting on the 1970s pages when health problems forced him to quit, so they're quite short. I am just glad that the brothers took this on in the first place, so the fact that the 1970s pages only show a few unusual pieces does not detract from what they were able to accomplish overall.


This era in Christmas lighting saw the end of American-produced lighting outfits. After about 1978 or so, almost all lighting sets and light bulbs, even those from the huge American companies such as General Electric and Westinghouse, were foreign made. Prices were coming down, and the variety of novelty lights and other lighting string variations was rapidly growing. This section will highlight some of the lighting sets and accessories available during this time.


This 1977 General Electric set of midget lights was one of the first Straight-line outfits offered by that company. Up until this point, the midget lights were offered in loop type sets, which made decorating a bit inconvenient. It is interesting to note that these developments paralleled the development of the earlier miniature based C-6 type lighting in the late 1920s, as those sets were first offered in loop styles as well.


Lit from within by a string of midget lamps, this outfit is but one example of the many "message" lighting strings available during the 1970s. Similar outfits, using bells for the letters instead of the plastic shapes shown here, were offered as early as 1934.


First offered in the early 1920s, behind-the-lamp reflectors continued to remain popular throughout the 1970s. This set of seven would be enough for a typical 7 light outfit in candelabra based C-7 lamps. Manufactured by Franke in 1974.


A 15 light Reflector set by Yuletide Enterprises, item no 5380. This set was made in Taiwan and dates to around 1970. The photo has been kindly shared with us from by J. S. Pilliteri of New Jersey. The set is from his collection.


This "Celestial Motion Tree Topper" by the Bradford Company was offered in the early 1970s. It consists of a simple heat activated illuminated drum inside the clear dome halves in the center of the star, and as it rotates, the unit creates a disco-like light pattern on the walls, ceiling and Christmas tree branches. Lately, this light has become extremely collectible, and the unit, which originally retailed for $3.95, now sells for more than $250.00. The Star is shown here with the included tabletop stand. There are several versions of this topper, and other examples include a plain round ball and an angel with clouds that sparkle as the drum turns.


Click to visit the Discussion Forums
Click to sign up for the OldChristmasTreeLights Discussion Forums

Keep in touch. Sign up for the Family Christmas Online? Newsletter

Click to see more Christmas features, including stories, music, and craft resources.

Note: OldChristmasTreeLights? and FamilyChristmasOnline? are trademarks of Breakthrough Communications? (
The original subject matter content and illustrations on the product description pages are Copyright (c) 2001, 2008 by Bill and George Nelson.
All updated HTML code, editorial comments, and reformatted illustrations on this web site are Copyright (c) 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 by Paul D. Race.
Reuse or republication without prior written permission is specifically forbidden.
Old Christmas Tree Lights(tm) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

For more information, please contact us.

Click to see sturdy Lionel(r) trains that are perfect for your Christmas tree.

Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page
Jump to the OldChristmasTreeLights Discussion Forum
Visit our affiliated sites:
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Visit Papa Ted Althof's extensive history and collection of putz houses, the largest and most complete such resource on the Internet.. Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page Craft and collectibles blog with local news of Croton NY.
Click to visit Fred's Noel-Kat store.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories. Traditional Home-Made Ornaments
- Music -
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips. Own a guitar, banjo, or mandolin?  Want to play an instrument?  Tips to save you money and time, and keep your instrument playable. Own a guitar, banjo, or mandolin?  Want to play an instrument?  Tips to save you money and time, and keep your instrument playable.
- Trains and Hobbies -
Return to Big Indoor Trains Home page
Return to Family Garden Trains Home page
Big Indoor Trains Primer Articles: All about setting up and displaying indoor display trains and towns. Garden Railroading Primer Articles: All about getting a Garden Railroad up and running well
On30 and O Gauge trains to go with indoor display villages and railroads
Big Christmas Trains: Directory of Large Scale and O Scale trains with holiday themes
Visit Lionel Trains. Free building projects for your vintage railroad or Christmas village. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages. Big Christmas Train Primer: Choosing and using model trains with holiday themes Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.

Click to trains that commemorate your team!