Gordon Thompson's Pages


Gordon Thompson, a friend and fellow collector who lives in Canada, shares with us some of the favorite items in his collection. All of the photographs on these pages were taken by Gordon.

Gordon is also glad to answer questions and can be contacted HERE.


Some of the earliest "Christmas Lights" used in the United States and Canada were glass holders like these. The earliest of these were lit with a wick floating on a layer of oil over water. Later decorators used small votive candles inside the glass. This group is circa 1900.


Here is one of the earliest Canadian outfits in Gordon's collection, which dates circa 1915. It is a carbon filament light set, that features true colored glass lamps. This particular outfit is unmarked as to manufacturer, as were many of the early American lighting outfits. Unmarked sets like these were often sold by small hardware and variety stores.


Here is an American carbon filament outfit, circa 1918. It was manufactured by USALITE, one of the few companies who merged to form the great NOMA Electric Corporation and then and then dropped out to become independent again.


A close-up of a carbon filament lamp that still retains its original label. In the early days of light bulbs, lamps were labeled like this with both the voltage and the brightness ratings. Once the lamps were used, the labels soon fell or burned off. Brightness rating in early carbon filament lamps such as this were stated in candlepower rather than in watts like we are used to today.


This early 1920s outfit from Monowatt is of American manufacture. Monowatt was a huge electrical device manufacturer, who, for a time at least, tried their hand at selling Christmas lights. Mildly successful, the company sold their Christmas lighting division to NOMA in 1926.


One of the most charming and hard to find sets of Christmas lights was manufactured in the US in the early 1920s by the Woodwin company. The delightful box art depicts a child under an electrically lit Christmas tree, and is entitled "His First Christmas". Inside the box lid is printed the music for an original Christmas carol, that apparently never became popular.


From GACOR, here is a very early example of a twinkling light set. From the mid 1920s, the set uses a blinking device quite similar to the flashing mechanism that was to be later used for automobile directional signals. The set's $6.00 price tag kept it from becoming a big seller.


Circa 1925, here is a classic outfit offered by the M. Propp Company. For a time, Propp was the largest Christmas lighting company in the world.


Here is a set of lights by NOMA, from their earliest years of production. This box of lights is considered by many collectors to be a true classic, with some of the most beautiful box art of any lighting outfit. Circa 1927.


This circa 1927 set of lights by the M. Propp Company illustrates the last box style that was used before their merger with the NOMA Electric Corporation in 1928.


This 1928 outfit is also a Propp Company set, which was sold as an unbranded inexpensive set which usually contained Japanese imported lamps. Selling unbranded sets was a common practice by many companies, including NOMA, when a set was to include less expensive lamps. This outfit is Canadian in origin.


Here is an example of an unbranded NOMA outfit, which originally included Japanese lamps. Circa 1930.







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