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.
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:
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.
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.
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? (www.btcomm.com).
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