The collection presented on this site is constantly expanding. As it
grows and this collector's research continues,
the frequent visitor will notice that additions, corrections and site enhancements occur often. The most
recent of these are chronicled on a special page. Please visit the Collector's Notebook by clicking
HERE to see what has changed
within the past year or so. As always, I encourage your questions and
comments--please feel free to
Text in BLUE
Introduction: A Letter From Your Host
American Christmases Before the Advent of
A brief glimpse of what American Christmases were like without
electricity. This section includes some interesting
and early candle holders and devices.
A Timeline of Major Events in the History of the
American Christmas Lighting Industry
A Brief History of Electric Christmas Lighting in
Information about how the electric Christmas
lighting industry got started, a picture of the first electric Christmas
and more about the earliest days of electric Christmases in America.
Chapter Two: The Earliest Light Sets 1900-1920
Pictures of the oldest lighting outfits in the collection, both
battery and household mains powered.
Chapter Three: The Roaring Twenties
It is here that the Christmas lighting industry in America really
got off the ground. Box art hit a peak during this time, and some of the
most colorful boxes the collector can find come from this era. You'll find a huge number of outfits both pictured and
discussed in this section.
As the American economy faltered, lighting outfits were made more
economically, in an effort to appeal to even the poorest of families. Low cost Japanese imports became much more common.
- Page 1- 1930-1932:
An introduction, a discussion of the National Recovery Act, and some
lighting sets from the first part of this decade.
- Page 2-
1932-1935: Matchless Stars, as well as a good assortment of some
of the novelty lights introduced to spur sales of Christmas lights
during The Depression.
- Page 3-
1935-1936: The "new "XL shunt type lamps are introduced. Also,
more novelty lights, including the NOMA Mickey Mouse light set.
- Page 4-
1937-1939: An experimental General Electric lighting outfit, and
more late-30s sets.
- Page 5-
1939-1940: The last sets introduced before America entered World
Also in this chapter:
Also in this chapter:
If one goes out, they ALL go out!
The War Years
The United States enters the War, and the American lighting is
forever changed because of it.
- Page 1-
1941-1943: The beginning of World War II, and its
affect on the Christmas lighting industry.
- Page 2-
1944-1945: War-era box art, the end of Christmas
lighting for a few years, and the Sylvania Fluorescent Christmas lights
After the War
The postwar economic boom changes forever America's perception of
the "traditional" Christmas tree and the way it was lit.
Chapter Seven: A Look
Beyond the 50s...
A brief look at electric lights offered after 1950 and a short history of
the aluminum Christmas tree.
NOMA, the World's Largest Christmas Lighting Company
A detailed history of this incredible company.
Chapter Nine: The
History of Bubble Lights, Once the World's Most Popular Christmas Light
An interesting history, and discussion of the major legal battle
that accompanied the introduction of this popular light.
Chapter Ten: Lighted
Figures and Novelties
Three pages of lighted candles, figures and other novelty items
from the early 1920s through 1950.
Chapter Eleven: Lighted Tabletop Trees
A brief look at lighted table top and bubbling light trees
from the 30s, 40s and 50s.
Chapter Twelve: Just For Fun, a
Few Pictures of Christmas Past
Presented here is a small collection of photographic memories of
Christmas as it was in Great Grandmother's time.
Some charming glimpses into past Christmases, shared with us by
visitors to this site.
A Collection of
A list of interesting bit of information about American Christmas
lights, in no particular order. My parents would have called these
"useless facts", but I find them quite intriguing...
A discussion of some of the most asked questions by site visitors.
More is always being added.
A lot can be learned from early advertising, and these pages present many
of the ads that this collector has used for research in preparing this web
A Combined Glossary of
Terms and Index of Manufacturers
An explanation of the terms used on
this website as well as information on many of the Christmas lighting
manufacturers from the first half of the twentieth century.
Chapter Eighteen: The
A presentation of interesting Christmas related
patents filed over the years.
A Listing of Manufacturers
A list of manufacturers divided into two sections- Before the formation of
NOMA and after the formation of NOMA.
The Collector's Notebook
This page chronicles the changes and updates to this site over the past
year or so. Frequent visitors might like to check
here first for references and links to the most recent updates and
Chapter Twenty One:
Where to find more information, and links to other informational sites.