1950s Lighting Outfits


Many of the lighting outfits from this era can be hard to identify, as the heavy percentage of foreign-made lights makes research difficult. The vast majority of the Japanese and Italian producers of these sets are no longer in business, and the company and factory production records have been lost. Presented here is a small selection of the Christmas lights available during the 1950-1960 time period, with as much information about them as possible. It was also during this time that the Italian-made mini lights started becoming popular, and began their evolution into the miniature lights that Americans predominately use to light their trees today. This section will present information about these sets as well...

A popular set of lights from the early 50s is pictured here. Called the Alpine Village set, these lights are but one example of the imported house-type lights and covers available during this time. Village or "Putz" scenes under the Christmas tree had been popular since the earliest times, but lighted houses on the tree itself were a later trend. This set is from Japan, and the houses are made of cardboard with mica and crushed glass glitter. Although not shown in the picture, the outfit came complete with a sub-miniature based 10 light string.


1952 Ring-A-Lites, made in Florida, New York. A product of the LECO Electric Manufacturing Company. The set is a typical miniature base C-6 outfit, with black plastic sockets and a high quality vinyl covered cord. More to come on this company! 


Here is a typical set of C-7 candelabra based lamps from Dialco, a company that more often made indicator light bulbs than Christmas lights. For a few years in the 1950s the company sold Christmas lights like these, but were never involved in Holiday lighting in a very big way. From the collection of Scott Sutter.


From the collection of Scott Sutter, this set of Royal lights includes the high quality inside coated C-7 candelabra base lamps that GE offered for a short time. Using the same inside coloring process that was used on their larger C-9 lights, these C-7 lamps were soon considered to be too expensive to manufacture, and GE returned to offering outside painted lamps in the United States.


Japanese lantern lights had been popular since the beginning of the figural light era in the 1920s, both for use on Christmas trees and as party and festival lighting. Falling out of favor during the years of World War II, the lights made a brief comeback in the 1950s and 60s. This set of outdoor party lights is from Amico, a division of the NOMA company. The lights are quite large, and have an intermediate base size. The outfit comes with an outdoor quality light string as well.


Here's another Amico set, this time a 15 light outfit which includes a few of the pink lamps that were popular in the late 1950s and into the 60s. Note that this example advertises that the set was made by the Amico division of NOMA. The lights are from the very late 1950s.








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