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Christmas Lights - A Strange History!

Carrie Qualters

If you're in the North Atlanta area on a weekday, odds are you may find Carrie camped out at a local coffee shop...

If you're in the North Atlanta area on a weekday, odds are you may find Carrie camped out at a local coffee shop...

Jan 24 2 minutes read

Christmas lights are lights used for decoration around Christmas. The custom goes back to the use of candles to decorate the Christmas tree in upper-class homes in 18th-century Germany. Before electric Christmas lights, families would use candles to light up their Christmas trees. This practice was often dangerous and led to many home fires

The tradition of using small candles to light up the Christmas tree dates back to at least the middle of the XVIIth century. However, it took two centuries for the tradition to become widely established first in Germany and soon spreading to Eastern Europe.

By the time 1880 rolled around, Edison had his incandescent light bulbs pretty well figured out, and was on the lookout for a way to advertise them.To display his invention as a means of heightening Yuletide excitement, he strung up incandescent bulbs all around his Menlo Park laboratory compound so that passing commuters on the nearby railway could see the lighting miracle. But him always pushing for greatness decided to make the challenge a little trickier by powering the lights from a remote generator eight miles away.

Two years later, an Edison crony named Edward Johnson displayed the first electrically illuminated Christmas tree at his home in Manhattan. He lighted up a Christmas tree in New York City with eighty small electric light bulb.He was the first to create the first string of electric Christmas lights that were then mass produced around 1890.

By 1900, department stores started using the new Christmas lights for their Christmas displays.

The evolution of the Christmas light parallels that of the light bulb, with some remarkably ornate variations.

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