This archive of Bill Nelson's 2001 web site was provided by Fred Fox and is sponsored by:
VINTAGE ADVERTISING PAGE 3
|This is an updated booklet from NOMA that was printed in 1939. This time using color photographs, the booklet offers lots of ideas for decorating outdoors as well as inside the house.|
|This wonderful advertisement was painted in 1922 by Worth Brehm, a prolific book illustrator. Commissioned by General Electric for their Edison Mazda division, the picture is often erroneously attributed to artist Maxfield Parrish who also did many wonderful illustrations for the company. Entitled "His First Christmas", the work was used for only 1 year by General Electric, and then the rights to the painting were sold to the Woodwin Electrical Company, who used it on their boxes of Christmas lights until about 1924. A close-up detail of the charming painting is provided on the far right.|
|During the early 1920s, moving picture shows featured pre-show advertising slides, just as today's movies do. To the right is a movie slide advertising Edison Mazda tungsten filament lamps. The slides dates to about 1918, when the transition from the "old style " carbon filament to the new and much more efficient tungsten filaments was well underway. At the time, tungsten lamps were about twice the cost of the carbon, and General Electric and the Edison companies were heavily advertising the many benefits of the new material. By about 1920, the buying public had fully embraced the new lamps, and carbon lamps were on their way out.|
|The Diamond Company advertised in 1921 several options and "improvements" to the standard lighting strings of the day. One of these improvements was their "constant contact" socket with a spring loaded center contact that provided more reliable electrical connection with the lamp, regardless of how tightly it was screwed into the socket. The "Standard Distributor" light string was made for easy alteration to the customer's needs by the retailer. Larger and smaller sets could easily be provided so that the retailer did not have to keep a large inventory of outfits in different configurations.|
|Running in 1945, this ad for the new Sylvania fluorescent lights appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. These lights were quite a departure from the brighter and more deeply colored incandescent light bulbs the public was used to, and although quite soft and beautiful when lit, they never really caught on. Adding to the uncommon appearance of the lights was their cost, more than two and a half times as expensive as a traditional lighting outfit. Another disadvantage of the unique lamps was that the soft colors were lost on a tree during the daytime. All of these factors resulted in the discontinuance of the bulbs by Sylvania in 1949. The bulbs still burn well today, and are quite collectible. They do not burn out suddenly like their incandescent counterparts, but slowly fade with age and use and eventually go dark. A commonly found condition of these lights is a loose base, but this condition can be repaired with a bit of patience and the proper glue.|
|Ads like this strip were inexpensive-and effective. Designed to run along the outer edge of pages of the large-presentation magazines such as Look, Life, The Saturday Evening Post and Colliers, NOMA heavily promoted their new bubble lights. This particular advertisement appeared in a November edition of The Ladies' Home Journal.|
|Although not particularly attractive, this NOMA ad is quite important as it discusses (although vaguely) the problems the company had when being accused of producing faulty bubble lights that caused a fire. The ad reinforced the NOMA pledge of safety, and tells of the new chemicals added to their plastic that make it both fire retardant and self extinguishing. By now, we all know that these chemicals were unnecessary, and in fact destroyed the plastic itself within a couple of years. The ad was placed in popular magazines of the time, as well as in trade publications. This particular copy is from a fire fighter's magazine called Fire Engineering, and appeared in the August 1949 issue.|
|Early appliances and Christmas lights that used the screw-in type connectors often monopolized the only electric tap in the room, until companies like Benjamin and others came to the rescue with multiple adaptors that allowed more than one device to be used at the same time. There was a problem however, in that early house wiring was suitable only for the low current draw of electric lighting and not the new power hungry irons, toasters and the like. Fuse burnouts were a frequent occurrence.||
"Watch out for dear old Santa Claus, tonight he's on his way
His pack contains electric irons, and toasters, too, they say...
He wasn't agoing to carry them, he was looking like he'd fight,
He said you couldn't stick 'em on, unless you lost your light.
But yester soon he saw an ad (gaze on his happy mug)
He knows that Ma can use her iron and light with a Benjamin Plug!"
End of Category
Note: This is an archive of the late Bill Nelson's "Antique Christmas Light" web site as it existed in 2001. Except for contact information, link updates, and some information that has been lost, we have attempted to keep the text and illustrations as Bill presented them. However, the original pages included much outdated HTML code and graphic conventions, so we have done a lot of work "behind the scenes" to bring you this archive. Consequently:
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