Talk about vintage Christmas lights

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 Post subject: Noma Santa Face # 551
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:23 pm 
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A reader writes:

I have a Santa Face made by Noma Electric Corp. Cat. No. 551. Can you tell me anything about it? I bought it at a garage sale for $5.00 and it works. Thank you.

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Thanks for getting in touch. My source on this page below puts it in the late fifties to early sixties.

http://www.oldchristmastreelights.com/b ... ge_two.htm

Image

I'll forward your message to a friend who knows a LOT more about this stuff than I do.

Fred Fox runs an online store of Christmas Collectibles called NoelKat, and I always count on him to keep me "honest." when I comment on a collectible.

NOMA started as a bunch of different companies and there were several plants even after they merged into a single business, so it might be interesting to know which factory yours was made in.

I've seen them in good condition listed for $20 and for 80. I've seen some sold in the $20 range on the internet. I've never seen one sold for much more than that. So I hope you bought it to display and not to pay college tuition. :-)

Hope this helps - Paul


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:26 pm 
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The reader replied:

Thank you. I bought it because it was one of my child hood memories. I remember my parents having something like it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:04 pm 
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It first appears in 1948 NOMA catalogs in the now surviving hard plastic versions found. In 1958 NOMA replaced it with an identical version out of vynilite which was a thinner, lighter, slightly flexible plastic (when new and warm) which was stapled around the edge to a pressed board back. It's one of those items that one definitely remembers seeing on homes that were decorated outdoors from the 50s through 70s. There were quite a number of manuafactures that produced similar versions through the 50s but this one was the most comonly seen. Hope it brings you lots of great memories!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:33 am 
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Vermont Country Store is doing a repro Santa face allegedly cast from the 50's mold

http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/stor ... Face/47952


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:53 am 
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He's not bad, can't find a similar face in my 50s info, could be 60s or 70s as similar blow molds were made right up to the 1990s.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:46 pm 
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Fred, I think I've seen the Santa VermontCountryStore is selling somewhere before. I'll keep my eye out to see if I can find a vintage one. Here's a question are the "sunburn Santas" Vacu-formed? They have that look to them. . . .


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:44 pm 
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Paul, I have seen the "sun-burned" Santa in both the earliest of injection mold ones and the later vynilite vacuum formed so............ :-)
NOMA's reason for switching to the vynilite was that it was lighter and passed the light better through the plastic but it was most likely the cost to produce was much cheaper.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:50 pm 
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In fact, I'm not so sure if some or all of the "lighter" painted faces were not just faded red faced versions as red paint tends to fade out. I have no info I can find on ones that were ever made with a paler face. Some of the red painted faces I have seen looked to have had the original red sprayed a little thinner or lighter than Santa's hat.


Last edited by Noel-kat on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:01 am 
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I think this is the one Maria, 1968 Empire.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1968-EM ... 565f872b4d


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:44 pm 
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Fred, I think you have found it. Empire makes sense, too.


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