This era in
Christmas lighting saw the end of American-produced lighting outfits.
After about 1978 or so, almost all lighting sets and light bulbs, even
those from the huge American companies such as General Electric and
Westinghouse, were foreign made. Prices were coming down, and the
variety of novelty lights and other lighting string variations was
rapidly growing. This section will highlight some of the lighting sets
and accessories available during this time.
|This 1977 General
Electric set of midget lights was one of the first Straight-line
outfits offered by that company. Up until this point, the midget lights
were offered in loop type sets, which made decorating a bit
inconvenient. It is interesting to note that these developments
paralleled the development of the earlier miniature based C-6 type
lighting in the late 1920s, as those sets were first offered in loop
styles as well.
|Lit from within by a string of midget
lamps, this outfit is but one example of the many "message" lighting
strings available during the 1970s. Similar outfits, using bells for
the letters instead of the plastic shapes shown here, were offered as
early as 1934.
|First offered in the early 1920s,
behind-the-lamp reflectors continued to remain popular throughout the
1970s. This set of seven would be enough for a typical 7 light outfit
in candelabra based C-7 lamps. Manufactured by Franke in 1974.
|A 15 light Reflector set by Yuletide
Enterprises, item no 5380. This set was made in Taiwan and dates to
around 1970. The photo has been kindly shared with us from by J. S.
Pilliteri of New Jersey. The set is from his collection.
|This "Celestial Motion Tree
Topper" by the Bradford Company was offered in the early 1970s. It
consists of a simple heat activated illuminated drum inside the clear
dome halves in the center of the star, and as it rotates, the unit
creates a disco-like light pattern on the walls, ceiling and Christmas
tree branches. Lately, this light has become extremely collectible, and
the unit, which originally retailed for $3.95, now sells for more than
$250.00. The Star is shown here with the included tabletop stand. There
are several versions of this topper, and other examples include a plain
round ball and an angel with clouds that sparkle as the drum turns.