Note: This is a reconstruction of the 2006 version of George Nelson's Antique Christmas Lights museum page.
For more information, please see the note on this page.



Notes About This Exhibit:

Between 2000 and 2010 brothers Bill and George Nelson documented the history of Christmas tree lighting in a web site that Bill started and George took over after his brother's death. In early 2010, George became too ill to keep the site going, and it shut down abruptly some months later. The editors of asked the Nelson family's permission to restore the site, then began an extensive reconstruction effort, cobbling together files from many sources to reconstruct George's "Antique Christmas Light" page as closely as possible to the 2008 version, the last year when George did substantive work on the site. Subsequently, friends have sent us additional files that made it possible to reconstruct the 2001 and 2003 versions of Bill's site, each of which have unique features.

One feature George added toward the end was Greg Hendershot's history of angel chimes. When we contacted Greg for help restoring that section, he was able to send us enough files to begin this restoration - the 2006 version of George's site. This represents George's first major revision of the site he inherited from Bill. If you compare the sites, you'll see that George has tried to "clean up" the organization, remove some of Bill's bits that George thought irrelevant, and begun to add new features that reflected his own interests.

Like our other restorations of the Nelson brothers' sites, the text and graphics are based on Bill and George's work, though changes in brower technology, etc., have required significant editing of the photos and HTML "behind the scenes." For that reason, we ask that you request permission before reusing significant amounts of text, code, or photos from this exhibit.

We have also updated the contact and link information so that you can (hopefully) reach folks who will help you with your questions or research.

Within the pages' content, "I" or "this collector" in the page content refer to the late authors, usually George.

Regarding permissions, we ask simply that any graphics or text be credited as follows: Copyright(c) 2000-2010 by Bill and George Nelson, used by permission of

For questions about this exhibit, please contact us at

Welcome to The Antique Christmas Lights website, where you'll find information about the development of electric Christmas lighting in America during the 1900-1950 time period, the years this collector considers to be the Golden Age of electric Christmas lighting. Here you'll learn all about twentieth century electric holiday lighting in the United States, and see how it has changed over the years.

Please note that I am a collector only, and the lighting sets pictured here are not for sale.

The site is quite extensive, so I've included a Table of Contents page and a search engine to enable you quickly see all that is offered. You may " e-mail me if you have questions or comments. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy your visit!

All of the information and pictures on this website 2004-2006 by George Nelson. All rights reserved.
Please contact our "curators" before quoting large sections of or borrowing pictures from this website.

Note: This is a reconstruction of the late George Nelson's
Antique Christmas Lights Museum site as it appeared in 2006.

Though the text and illustrations are from Bill and George Nelson, this reconstruction
required a substantial effort as well, so please use our contact page to
ask permission before you republish large segments.

To reuse a few photos or lines of text, please provide the following credit:

    Text and Illustrations Copyright (c) 2000-2010 by Bill and George Nelson.
    Used by permission of
To see reconstructions of this site from other years, please click here.

This reconstruction was created and is kept online with the help of volunteers from:

Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site for Christmas music, stories, craft resources and much more.
Visit our collection of resources for collecting, restoring, and making your own cardboard Christmas houses.
Visit the Internet's largest resource on choosing and displaying Christmas trains.
Resources for O gauge and On30 model railroading
Visit the OldChristmasTreeLights site for the history of Christmas tree lighting, including Bubble Lights and more.

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.. 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.
- Trains and Hobbies -
Visit Lionel Trains. Free building projects for your vintage railroad or Christmas village. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages.
Learn about backyard railroading with Family Garden Trains
Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
- 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.