Once the patent was granted, everyone using any form of a Tachon connector now had to purchase licenses from C.D. Wood Electric in order to incorporate the device into their Christmas lighting strings. One company, the M. Propp organization, challenged the patent and lost. Small companies, who chose not to pay for the license prior to the patent being granted, found themselves strapped for cash.

The time was right. The Sadacca Brothers, Albert, Henri and Leon, proposed that a trade organization be started, whereby any company who wanted to would be able to join, reducing licensing and advertising costs to everyone. The brothers, along with Louis Szel were to head up the association, aptly named The National Outfit Manufacturer's Association, and it was officially started early in 1925. Accounts of the number of companies who joined vary from thirteen to fifteen, but I do know that these companies were involved: The C.D. Wood Electric company, The Triangle Electro Trading Company, the decorative lighting division of Deal Electric, Franco, the decorative lighting division of Monowatt and The Henry Hyman Company. The United States Electric Company, better known as USALITE, joined for a short time but then broke away. A major holdout was the M. Propp Company, who continued (for a time, at least) on their own. See also The Morris Propp Story on this site for more information.

The Association was a great success. Smaller companies enjoyed the influx of cash brought by Association membership, and business for the Christmas selling season of 1925 was very good for everyone. Though the companies were members of the association under the NOMA name, they continued selling under their own identities. Late in 1926, it was proposed and accepted by the association members that they officially merge into one company, and the famous NOMA Electric Corporation was born. The American Christmas lighting industry was to be changed forever.

Light set from NOMA's first full year of production, 1927

In Christmas of 1927, NOMA Electric sold products under that new name for the first time. Aggressively marketed and advertised, the company enjoyed stellar sales. In 1928, the M. Propp Company finally agreed to merge with NOMA, and interestingly, Morris Propp, the owner and founder of that company, became the president of NOMA Electric in 1929. He held that position until his untimely death of a brain tumor in 1933.

1927-1928 1940 1948 1955 1958
Some examples of NOMA catalog covers through the years

The formation of NOMA Electric dramatically reduced the number of decorative lighting companies in business in 1927. As the market leader, NOMA began to offer a huge variety of electrical decorative accessories and lighting outfits to the public, and set the competitive example for other lighting companies to follow. Through their years of operation, NOMA Electric developed and/or marketed many "firsts", including the Tri-Plug connector (this differs from the Tachon devices in that the Tachons are typically found at the end of the string rather than on the wall plug itself), the adjustable berry bead fasteners to allow proper positioning of lights on the tree, intermediate base outfits for outdoor decorating, bubble lights, and the safety fuse plug (still in use today). Below is a brief timeline of some of the important events in the history of NOMA Electric Incorporated:

1925 The National Outfit Manufacturer's Association was formed. This was a trade association only, and not an official company.
1926 The NOMA companies officially merged into a single company: NOMA Electric Corporation.
1927 NOMA Electric Corporation sold products under its own name for the first time.
1928 Offers intermediate base outdoor light set for the first time as set number 3000: NOMA Multiple Outfit.
1934 Offers candelabra based multiple wired lighting sets for indoor use.
1935 Sells the lighted character bells for the first time. Subjects included the Mickey Mouse characters and the gang from Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies cartoons.
1940 Introduced the plastic halo, a decorative piece that provided a warm candle flame like glow around a single light bulb.
1940 For the first time, sells an all-rubber cord with their outdoor lighting set. Even the sockets themselves were rubber in this outfit.
1940 Offers lighted table top trees for the first time, with individual replaceable lamps on the branches. Earlier tabletop trees were lit from within by a single lamp.
1946 Introduces Bubble Lites to the world. (There are claims that the year might have been 1945, but if true, few were marketed in that year).
1946 Offers the new GE G-14 lamps in sets of seven as Glo Ray outfits.
1948 Changes Bubble Lite base from "biscuit" shape to "saucer" shape.
1949 Reverts to "biscuit" base shape for Bubble Lites. (Sells through overstock of saucer shaped bubblers as well).
1951 Introduces the "Safety Plug" with fuses in the plug itself, an invention still in use today.
1953 "Spins off" and changes the name of the electrical decorative light division of NOMA Electric Corporation to NOMA Lites Incorporated. This was done to differentiate their manufacture of Christmas lights from many other products the company was making at the time. Opens an additional manufacturing plant in St. Joseph, Missouri.
1955 Introduces the "Safety Socket" to go with the "Safety Fuse Plug". The sockets have permanent clips, and a solderless flow-through wire design that prevents loose connections. The beginnings of the effects of huge amounts of foreign imports are felt financially.
1961 Changes their famous Bubble Lites to a rocket style due to increasing public awareness of and interest in the "space race". Imports are now having a serious affect on NOMA.
1962 Substantial financial struggling due to competition from increasing imported, less expensive electrical Christmas lights and decorations.
1963 Stops production of rocket type bubble lights, and sells Peerless style of bubblers. Company is in severe financial trouble at this point, and begins selling products from other bankrupt or out-of-operation Christmas light companies that were purchased at a discount.
1965 Files for bankruptcy. The company will never again be the super power that it once was.
1965 Late in this year, NOMA is reorganized as Noma Worldwide, Incorporated. Sells mostly imported goods for the 1965 Christmas season.
1967 NOMA name is dropped, and company becomes Worldwide, Incorporated.
1968 From this time on, the NOMA name is a licensed trademark only, and not actually a manufacturer of Christmas lights. Licensed NOMA products will now have a "?" symbol by the NOMA name.
1968-Present The name has been bought and sold many times over the years, and is now owned by NOMA International, Incorporated. The NOMA name for Christmas lights is currently licensed by Inliten, LLC.







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