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

A Brief History of the Ever Ready Company
Page 2


The 1899 catalog included almost 20 pages of electrical novelties, including the Flash Light, electric scarf pins, various reading lamps and night lights, electric bedside candles, gas lamp lighters and a clover leaf bicycle lamp.

Hubert's company grew dramatically in the following years. By 1904, his American Electrical Novelty Company joined with the American Miniature and Decorative Lamp Company in setting up a lavish booth at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. There, along with most of his electrical novelties proudly displayed, Hubert's glassblower publicly demonstrated the art of making carbon filament miniature electric flashlight bulbs.

In 1906, Hubert's company put out their first Christmas catalog, suggesting many of his products that were suitable as Christmas gifts. No mention of electric Christmas lights appeared in the catalog.

In this same year, the National Carbon Company, Ever Ready's supplier of materials for their dry cell batteries and some miniature lamp components, bought one half interest in the American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company for the princely sum of $200,000.00. Conrad Hubert remained president of the company, whose name was officially changed to The American Ever Ready Company. In addition to the company name change, the trade name "Ever Ready" became "Eveready," the name so well known to this day.

Sorry, no higher resolution photo is available. Sorry, no higher resolution photo is available. Sorry, no higher resolution photo is available. Sorry, no higher resolution photo is available. Sorry, no higher resolution photo is available. Sorry, no higher resolution photo is available.
Entire Outfit as Found Box With Lid Close-Up of Box Instructions Junction Box Detail Porcelain Socket Detail
Kindly shared with us from the collection of Jeff Beights, this recent discovery might well explain why The American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company did not promote Christmas lighting outfits in their catalogs of the time. The set, circa 1906, is clearly marked with the AENMC name on both ends of the box, and even includes a unique porcelain junction box bearing the Ever Ready name. However, this set was actually produced by the General Electric Company, and, except for the company name, was offered in a container identical to the GE light set sold at the same time. Note that the instructions (detail above) have even had the General Electric company name crudely cut out after the label had been applied. Also note that the name of the reseller, a P.W.A. Middleton of Bedford, Pennsylvania, has been rubber stamped onto the label. This crude alteration, coupled with the fact that this is the second of only two semi-complete sets discovered so far, suggest that the outfit was made in extremely limited quantities. Originally, the set included three festoon of eight sockets each, and twenty-eight pear shaped carbon filament lamps. This collector would like to sincerely thanks Jeff for his kindness and generosity in sharing his discovery with the rest of us!



In the new company's 1907 catalog, there was still no listing for Christmas lights. However, the catalog did list an interesting new tungsten filament light bulb designed for flashlights, called the OSRAM bulb.  The name OSRAM was derived from the combination of two words: Osmium and Wolfram. Most believe these two words were used in the trade name because of the facts that the new filaments in the lamps were made of a combination of OSmium and tungsten, which comes from the ore WolfRAM.

These early OSRAM lamps were stamped "Eveready" into the brass sockets, along with a patent date of November 8, 1904. (The collector is cautioned to remember that this patent refers to the base and/or glass envelope of the lamp itself, and is not a reliable indicator of the age of the lamp.) Interestingly, the lamps had their exhaust tips placed on the side of the lamps rather than on the tips. This was done to improve the optics of the lamp, which, when installed in flashlights, needed a clear, round tip for better light distribution and optical performance. General Electric patented the technology that allowed for the smooth globe lamps around 1908, and in this year, began making lamps for the American Ever Ready Company. These lamps were also stamped with the Eveready trademarked name and the 1904 patent date as mentioned above. In 1909, the patent date was dropped, and the lamps were marked only "Eveready". After 1910, the lamps were marked "Eveready Mazda," reflecting GE's new trademarked name Mazda, referring to high-quality tungsten filament light bulbs. (See also The Mazda Lamp Story on this web site).  Around 1908, Ever Ready sold their first Christmas lighting sets. These were actually made by General Electric and supplied in the GE-style wooden boxes, but had over-pasted Ever-Ready labels.

In 1912, Eveready began the use of their still famous trademark, the Eveready name spelled in ascending and descending letters. It is also the first year that the company offered a Christmas lighting outfit of their own manufacture. It was marketed in a cardboard shoebox style container:

Outside of box Close-up of label, showing newly designed Eveready trademark Inside of box, showing lighting outfit including festoon made by General Electric.

1914 was a another pivotal year for The American Eveready Company. In this year, The National Carbon Company bought the remaining half of the Eveready company for two million dollars, making it now a division of the parent company. this new division was renamed The American Eveready Works of the National Carbon Company. Conrad Hubert was now a very wealthy man, and vice president of the company he once owned.



This set is a scarce outfit from the American Ever Ready Works of the National Carbon Company. Due to the name on the box, it can be dated to the years after 1914 and before 1920. Another dating clue is the round tungsten exhaust tipped lamps made during the years of 1916-1919. Using these clues, and making the fairly safe assumption that the lamps are original to the set, the outfit can now easily be pinned down to a manufacture date between 1916 and 1919. Rarely does the collector have the opportunity to pin down a date so closely.  Inside the box, one can see the screw plug power tap, a green ceramic junction box, the two green ceramic festoons of eight lamps each, and the round, exhaust tipped tungsten filament lamps.  A close up view of one of the lamps in the set shows that the glass is heavily lacquered in red, which has held up surprisingly well, considering that it is at least 86 years old.


In 1919, American Ever Ready Works inserted a small catalog into their larger, main line catalog, featuring a large assortment of colorful figural lamps. These lamps were purchased from the General Electric company, as were many of Ever Ready's other lamps. As discussed elsewhere on this site, it is unknown as to whether or not GE made the entire lamp themselves, or purchased the decorative glass shells and inserted their own filament assemblies.


Catalog of American Ever Ready Works Decorative Lamps, July 1, 1919. The catalog is of series-type Christmas and all-occasion lamps, for use on circuits of 100-120 volts. All lamps are miniature base models. Research is ongoing as to the true origin of lamps like these.


The year 1920 saw the end of the American Ever Ready works division of the National Carbon Company.  Flashlights and other electrical novelties were no longer the main product of the company, as their true focus had become the manufacture of batteries. The Ever Ready division was folded into the National Carbon Company, and the manufacture of most of the company's line of novelty lights, including Christmas lights, ceased.



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, 1014 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!