Between 1999 and 2008, Bill and George Nelson recorded and illustrated the history of Christmas tree lamps and the businesses behind them through the "Old Christmas Lights" and "Antique Christmas Lights Museum" web sites. The 2008 version, which was largely George Nelson's work has been painstakingly reconstructed in the site.

But some folks like Bill's earlier versions better. When Bill's version became unavailable, fan Tom Elmore saved what he could and created a working reconstruction of Bill's site, circa 2003. Tom spent hundreds of hours on the reconstruction, so it's not only an archive - it's the most complete and functional archive ever made of Bill's pages. (There's also a lot of Tom's work buried in the HTML code, so please don't imagine these pages are public domain.) Tom made his reconstruction available to his readers at for several years. However, seeing our efforts to protect the 2008 version of the site, Tom has graciously allowed us to share his reconstrction of Bill's 2003 site on these pages.

Initially you might think that posting both the 2003 and 2008 site would be redundant. But the brothers had different approaches to the content, different organizational and writing styles, and even different content. So we believe it is for everyone's benefit to present both versions.

The rest of these pages are in Bill's own words, not ours, That said, if you have any comments, corrections, concerns, or questions about these pages, please contact us through our Contact page.

Please note that the site authors Bill and George Nelson collected and catalogued the lights and related products shown on these pages - they did not sell them, and we don't either.

As Bill often said, "Thanks for stopping by."

We now return you to Bill's own introduction to this unique resource.

Hello, and welcome to my website, devoted to providing information about the development of electric Christmas lighting in America. Here you'll learn all about Twentieth Century electric holiday lighting in the United States, and see how it has changed over the years. Did you know that in the earliest days, Christmas lights were so expensive that they were commonly rented for the season? We've come a long way since 1900...

The best way to see a listing of everything available on the site is to use the  Table of Contents page. From the earliest Christmas  lights ever made to the popular Bubble Lites of the 1940s and beyond, it's all here!

"Touch The Button" brand light set, circa 1909

  Thanks for stopping by, and it is my sincere wish that you enjoy browsing through a bit of America's early electric Christmas heritage! 

-Bill Nelson
Knoxville, Tennessee




Please note this site is presented for historical purposes only. 

The contents and pictures on this website are 1999-2003 by and are the property of the author,
William G. Nelson. All rights reserved. Please ask for permission before borrowing
 images or quoting large sections of this site. Thank you.

The site was last updated on December 24 2003



This archive of Bill Nelson's web site was created by Tom Elmore and is sponsored by
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