December 22, 2010

First string of Christmas tree lights – 1882

Before this day in 1882, Christmas trees were decorated with wax candles—and I can hardly believe that, because it seems so dangerous! I suppose people didn't have their decorated trees as long as many of us have them—about a month in a centrally-heated home, in my case!

At any rate, Thomas Edison's associate, Edward H. Johnson, created a string of Christmas tree lights with miniature two-candlepower carbon-filament lamps.

Nowadays we have easily accessible strings of “white” (clear) and colored lights, several sizes of bulbs, “icicle” shaped strings of ordinary lights plus the new LED icicles that look like falling rain or snow, twinkle lights, and many other products. Nowadays even ordinary people can program light shows to music—near us is an entire street that has WOW lights programmed to the same music!

Here are a few Christmas light faves:

  • This is my personal favorite: “Wizards in Winter” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. 

  • A Christmas favorite is “Carol of the Bells.” Here are a CRAZY number of lights dedicated to lighting up that song. 

  • And here is “Amazing Grace.” The lights go from classic and beautiful to colorful and pulsing. 

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